Sabbath Message 5/9/32/120
This Sabbath follows the New Moon of the Ninth month and in this message we will deal with the significance of the restoration of the New Moons of the true Temple Calendar at Jerusalem to the Church of God and the keeping of the New Moons as recorded in Scripture and the consequences of not keeping the complete structure of the ordained Sabbaths of God.
The Christian Churches of God, at the beginning of the sacred year on 1 Abib in 1994, had restored the New Moons to the Churches of God in the 20th Century. The other Churches of God that had existed throughout the past century with the responsibility to completely restore the law failed to do so. It was left to CCG to complete the restoration and that is what God raised us up to do in the Last Days.
It has been brought to our attention through the account recorded in David C. Pack’s authorized biography that the leader of Global Church of God in 1995, Roderick Meredith, wanted to keep the New Moons. This man currently presides as leader of the Living Church of God (LCG). This is the church that sets the demarcation of the Sardis era. “I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.” (Rev.3:1, KJV) A second witness, a current minister in LCG, would be able to attest to the fact that in 1996 at another regional conference in Global that was held in Akron, Ohio, Rod Meredith again raised the issue to restore the New Moons. This account was made known to us by his son-in-law, a current minister in RCG. He says his father-in-law was the only minister to agree with Meredith at that conference in 1996. So why have Rod Meredith and LCG gone on this long and have done nothing to restore the New Moons? Why have they continued to withhold this truth in unrighteousness?
The answer is simple. God hates the corruption of His Holy Days and He will not allow the New Moons to be restored to a church that teaches the polytheistic doctrine of Ditheism or indeed of the non Christian Binitarianism/Trinitarianism (see the papers Ditheism (No. 76b) and Binitarian and Trinitarian Misrepresentation of the Early Theology of the Godhead (No. 127b)). This is also the reason they follow the false Jewish calendar originating with Rabbi Hillel II in 358 CE. Isaiah confirms God’s displeasure in the corruption of His law.
Isaiah 1:13, Bring no more vain offerings; incense is an abomination to me. New moon and sabbath and the calling of assemblies--I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly. (RSV)
The antinomians, those against the keeping of the law of God, would try to interpret this as meaning God doing away with all His Sabbaths, but clearly that is not so. It simply means that it is God who will eliminate the false worshippers and iniquitous from keeping God’s solemn assemblies. These are His appointed feasts, to which Isaiah and Hosea include the New Moons to be a part.
Hosea 2:11, And I will put an end to all her mirth, her feasts, her new moons, her sabbaths, and all her appointed feasts. (RSV)
The people during the time of Amos had viewed the New Moons and Sabbaths as a drawback to their daily lives especially when it came to working and trading for profit.
Amos 8:5, saying, "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)
Is this the attitude that God would desire in us toward His Sabbaths and New Moons? Remember, God does not take lightly the breaking of His Sabbaths. The following is an excerpt from a previous New Moon Message on this very matter.
“The Christian Churches of God has had a clear and distinct policy on conduct on the Sabbath, which includes the question of what is permissible for members of CCG to do on the Sabbath and New Moons and Holy Days.
No person is to engage in employing other persons or in employment or work for remuneration on the Sabbath, on a New Moon or Holy Day. No person is permitted to go to a restaurant or purchase food or other products on a Sabbath or New Moon or Holy Day. All items are to be paid for prior to the Sabbath and prepared on the preparation day.
It has come to our attention that a debate is occurring among the Armstrongite offshoots that seeks to appeal to the conduct of the WCG under Herbert Armstrong to justify breach of the Sabbath.
The test of what is correct is in Isaiah 8:20: To the Law and to the testimony: If they speak not according to this it is because there is no light in them.
The ministry of Herbert Armstrong broke the Laws of God pertaining to the Sabbath, on a repeated basis. They taught against God’s Law in this matter, and they continue to break God’s Laws and encourage others to break God’s Laws.
The Bible is quite clear on the matter of purchasing food on the Sabbath and using others as one’s servants on the Sabbath.
The argument is advanced that because Armstrong broke God’s Laws it is OK to continue to break God’s Laws, as he was an Apostle of God and head of the Church of God in the WCG.”
We would advise the reading or rereading of the remainder of this message from which this excerpt was quoted. It can be found here http://www.ccg.org/_domain/ccg.org/Sabbath/2008/NM_02_07_08.htm
It is common ground in the Sabbatarian system that the Fourth Commandment is the test Commandment and is all embracing of the festivals of God. Herbert Armstrong would often say, "The fourth commandment is the test commandment as to whether we will obey God or not." WCG recognized that the fourth commandment was a commandment involving the Sabbath as a system that included the annual Sabbaths, but they left out the monthly Sabbaths, the New Moons. It is beyond dispute that, during the Temple period, the entire Temple priesthood and the nation held this view. We see from Philo that the Fourth Commandment covered the entire sacrificial system and the Third element of this commandment covered the New Moons which were kept as Sabbaths through the entire Temple system. Aside from the Pentateuch, there are seven Bible texts that show the New Moon was a Sabbath and they are ignored by Armstrong’s followers because they show the Hillel system to be unworkable (cf. Amos 8:5; Hos. 2:11; Ps. 81:3; Ezek. 45:17; 46:1,3)
Quoting again from the Sabbath Message quoted above we see that:
“Philo stated in his exposition of the Special Laws concerning the Fourth Commandment that there were ten elements or festivals under the Fourth Commandment.
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 Daily Sacrifices]
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. [Atonement]
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 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 (cf. God’s Calendar (No. 156). From God’s Calendar (No. 156) we see the following determinations regarding the day and its start and finish and its application to the Sabbath and New Moon and Holy Days. The commencement of the day is being deliberately misrepresented by the ex-WCG offshoots, as it was under Armstrong. The day begins and ends at EENT.”
Now let us look at an excerpt from the paper God’s Calendar (No. 156) to bring to light the origin of the present day Jewish Calendar, the calendar that is being used to determine the days of worship for the daughters of the Worldwide Church of God (see the paper God’s Calendar (No. 156)).
“The progression from the original pure biblical calendar to the rabbinical calendar introduced from Babylon, firstly under Rabbi Hillel II in 358 CE, was rather long-winded as the traditions had to be entrenched to justify the gradual changes. The Mishnah, which was compiled around 200 CE and on which the Talmud was later written as commentary, more or less records this process by the comments and the authorities it cites.
We will see below that the Calendar at the time of the Temple period followed the Sadducean reckoning, and the Pharisaic reckoning or system only came into effect after the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE. The Mishnah notes many practices which the modern Jewish calendar is designed to prevent. This calendar was not really perfected – even under Hillel II from ca. 358 – and suffered modification until the eleventh century. Details of the changes and conflicts are recorded in the paper The Calendar and the Moon: Postponements or Festivals? (No. 195).
The Mishnah shows that the Holy Days fell before and after the Sabbath on repeated occasions, which means that the traditions and the system that the Pharisees had invented to protect the traditions were not in place even as late as the compilation of the Mishnah (cf. Soncino Talmud: Shabbat 114b; Menachoth 100b; and Mishnah Besah 2:1; Shabbat 15:3; Sukkah 5:7; Arakhin 2:2; Hagigah 2:4). Back-to-back Sabbaths were common. The text in Hagigah 2:4 shows the conflict developing at that time (200 CE) between the pro- and anti-Sunday Pentecost advocates (cf. ibid. (No. 195) and see below).
It is impossible for the postponement system and the current or modern Jewish calendar to have been in place at the time of Christ.”
Because of the polytheistic theology of the 20th century WCG, and those that continue to follow in this heretical doctrine on the nature of God, God will not even allow these remnants of the destroyed WCG to keep His annual festivals on the correct days most of the time let alone to understand to keep His New Moons even though the scriptures are clear concerning it.
The Feast of the New Moon is one of the Feasts of the Lord being listed at Numbers 10:10.
Numbers 10:10 Also in the day of your gladness, and in your solemn 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 before your God: I am the LORD your God. (KJV)
The sacrifices were made on all Sabbaths, New Moons, and Holy Days. We know that the sacrifices were fulfilled in Christ. The Feasts or Sabbaths themselves were not eliminated. The New Moons were not eliminated. The Fourth commandment still stands. It is only the sacrifices that were eliminated once and for all, because Christ by his crucifixion and death nailed our bill of indebtedness for sin, or the Chierogriphon, to the stake once and for all.
To say that the New Moons were eliminated with the sacrifices is to say the Fourth Commandment was eliminated, which is obviously untrue. So, the New Moons still stand as a Sabbath and are included in the solemn feasts of the house of Israel (Ezek. 45: 17, Ps 81:3).
The New Moons do need to be kept as Sabbaths and Messiah will reintroduce and enforce them with the Sabbath when he returns (Isaiah 66:20-23) together with the other feasts of God (see Zechariah 14:16-19) during the Millennium.
Isaiah 66: 20-24, 20, And they shall bring all your brethren from all the nations as an offering to the LORD, upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon dromedaries, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, says the LORD, just as the Israelites bring their cereal offering in a clean vessel to the house of the LORD. 21, And some of them also I will take for priests and for Levites, says the LORD. 22, "For as the new heavens and the new earth which I will make shall remain before me, says the LORD; so shall your descendants and your name remain. 23, From new moon to new moon, and from sabbath to sabbath, all flesh shall come to worship before me, says the LORD. 24, "And they shall go forth and look on the dead bodies of the men that have rebelled against me; for their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh." (RSV)
The rebellion against God spoken of in verse 24 is in relation to the transgression of His law. If God is expecting worship on the Sabbath and New Moon in the period of just rule then wouldn’t the breaking of the Sabbath and New Moon have been rebellion against Him?
Another important example showing us the New Moons are required to be kept as Sabbaths is found in Ezekiel. Ezekiel shut the gate of the inner court on the working days, but it was open for worship on Sabbaths and New Moons.
Ezekiel 46:1-6 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. 2 The prince shall enter by the vestibule of the gate from without, and shall take his stand by the post of the gate. The priests shall offer his burnt offering and his peace offerings, and he shall worship at the threshold of the gate. Then he shall go out, but the gate shall not be shut until evening. 3 The people of the land shall worship at the entrance of that gate before the LORD on the sabbaths and on the new moons. 4 The burnt offering that the prince offers to the LORD on the sabbath day shall be six lambs without blemish and a ram without blemish; 5 and the cereal offering with the ram shall be an ephah, and the cereal offering with the lambs shall be as much as he is able, together with a hin of oil to each ephah. 6 On the day of the new moon he shall offer a young bull without blemish, and six lambs and a ram, which shall be without blemish; (RSV)
The prince in verse 2 is symbolic of Messiah entering the Church on the Sabbaths of God, the days that God set aside as holy. If our door is shut to the prince, Christ, the Messiah, on the New Moons then we are purposefully shutting out the Holy Spirit from entering us by breaking this command of keeping the Sabbaths of God. As a result, our restoration, reorganization, understanding and cleansing will not be complete. It is clear from this passage that worship before the LORD is commanded on both days.
The New Moons are also found mentioned in the New Testament. One must understand, however, that the New Testament is not the law that Christ and the apostles repeatedly referred to when they would say, “it is written” or make reference to the “scripture”. The law is found in the Old Testament, and the New Testament is commentary on the Old Testament. That being said, let us look now in Colossians.
Colossians 2:16, Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a sabbath. (RSV)
Some would like to argue that this means that the New Moons were an option. If that were so, then so would be the festivals and the Sabbaths that are mentioned before and after it here in Colossians. It is obviously not stating that, but referring to the manner in which they are being kept. Paul would have not made this statement if the various types of observances were not being kept. The command to keep the New Moons with the law is clearly stated from previous scriptures, and this scripture in Col 2:16 reaffirms that the New Moons were important in Israel all through its history and that Israel were keeping them as days of assembly. So, yes, Christ and his disciples and all of the Apostles were keeping the New Moons. Any other interpretation is wilful manipulation of Scripture.
It is recorded in Josephus that the New Moons were kept during the entire Temple period and the High Priest attended in the Temple on the New Moons and Sabbaths. It is not addressed in the New Testament in other places because it is not an issue. What the Apostles dealt with in their epistles were the problems that arose in the various churches. The church has kept it for centuries (see the paper Role of the Fourth Commandment in the Sabbath Keeping Churches of God (No. 170). The New Moons were last kept in Europe in the Hungarian and Transylvanian Churches, as recorded by the Chief Rabbi of Buda and Pest (Budapest), Rabbi Samuel Kohn (see the paper The New Moons of Israel (No 132). The Armstrong offshoots are using a partial translation of his work that does not include all details and omits the references to the Hymns for the New Moons. The paper is quoted by apologists to assert that the Transylvanians kept the Hillel Calendar, of all things, when the reverse is the case and the evidence is clearly available in a full and accurate translation with a foreword that explains in great detail the history and their doctrines and their associations. That book is available on the web at www.CCGPublishing.org. To quote the partial translation of G. O. Marx to make the text say something it does not say while the full translation is present and easily available is simply dishonest.
Below is an excerpt from the paper New Moons of Israel (No. 132) referencing Samuel Kohn’s work.
“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.”
Because God hates the corruption of His Holy Days it is He who does not allow people to keep His Feasts and New Moons under the proper calendar because they worship falsely and only those of the First Resurrection Church of God are allowed to keep them. Those worshipping the One True God and Him only are allowed to keep them correctly.
There was a member of the SDAs that had brought to the mind of the first listed writer a question when he was living in Germany in 1998. He asked, “If you are keeping the Feasts mentioned in scripture then why are you not keeping the New Moons?” It wasn’t until later, after he had started keeping the New Moons, that he had realized that both the Feasts and the New Moons had significance and were both necessary to fully understand the intent they play in the plan of God. If we say that the Holy Days stand with the Fourth Commandment, which we do, then we have to say that so do the New Moons. The deep spiritual significance is drawn out in detail in the paper The New Moons of Israel (No. 132).
In the same way the Sanctification process of the Temple from 1 Abib and of the Simple and Erroneous on 7 Abib is also listed and grouped with the Sabbaths, New Moons and Feasts (Ezek. 45:18-20) and encompasses the structure of the laws pertaining to the Sabbaths and the Sanctification of the Temple. Some Seventh Day Adventists know the texts and have sought to trip CCG officers up over the Sanctification process and of that on 7 Abib. They are stunned when informed that the entire process has been restored and is kept. Ezekiel 45 requires the Prince (who is now Christ and thus the church) to make provision for the Sabbaths, New Moons and Feasts and the entire congregation is to provide the Terumah levy so that all may eat of the offerings on those days.
The Law and the Testimony is determined here a little, there a little, as follows:
- Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5 instructs the weekly Sabbath as the Fourth Commandment;
- Leviticus 23 instructs the weekly Sabbaths The Wave Sheaf and the Omer count to Pentecost and the annual Sabbaths;
- Numbers 10:10 instructs the New Moons;
- Numbers 28/29 instructs the weekly Sabbath, New Moons, and Annual Sabbaths;
- Ezekiel then groups the additional Sanctification process and groups them and the responsibilities of the Prince and the Congregation of Israel which is the Church of God. This text is also a Millennial text. He then goes on in 46: 1-3 to show they will be kept under Christ in the Millennial system.
Without restoring the New Moons and the Sanctification process there can be no complete restoration. Along with Elijah comes the restoration of 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). This is the restoration, the same law given to Moses and to us as the Church. That restoration has now commenced before the coming of Messiah and will continue until the nations are all subjugated and converted under Messiah.
From the FAQ: The New Moons (No. 158):
“The understanding of the New Moon is the last phase in the restoration of the individual to the knowledge of the one true God and Jesus Christ, or Joshua the Messiah, whom He sent (Jn. 17:3). The New Moon is essential to the keeping of the original calendar and hence the true feasts of the one true God. By making this the last and most difficult of the restoration, only those with the true faith can return to God and keep His feasts on His days under His terms and laws.
You have to be diligent in trying to keep the Laws of God. You have to be diligent in understanding the faith in order to be allowed to keep the Feasts of God, because it is an honour and the New Moons are part of that system. Until you understand them, you cannot fully understand the system of God.
We have an awesome responsibility to faithfully observe the correct sacred days, which include the New Moons, and also help to fully restore them so that others may keep them in rewarding obedience to the Word of the Almighty God.”
God is using the New Moons to effect the restoration in the last days and the Church sees the hand of God in much that happens on these days and from one New Moon to the next New Moon. Once they are kept, the understanding of those that obey God is increased yet again.
Remember that the proverb “Commit (or give) your works to the LORD” precedes the declaration of the reward that comes from this obedience, “And your thoughts will be established.” (Prov. 16:3)
Jeremy Hatchett, Wade Cox and Tom Schardt