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The Determination of
Yahweh’s Appointed Times
The Way That Seemeth Right
Among the various Sabbath-keeping groups that have accepted the keeping of Yahweh’s Moed (appointed times) as commanded in Leviticus 23, which were to be a “statute forever,” there is still some confusion concerning whether the Bible based calendar should be followed. The world has elected to be guided by our secular calendar and observe the days of churchianity. This includes Sunday, xmas, Easter, lent, halloween, Valentines, New Year, etc. These days stem from paganism and should be rejected. Carnal man has rejected the Scriptural calendar which was followed by Yahshua and included the weekly and annual Sabbaths.
    In turning from our present Gregorian calendar which most of the world follows, we must reject the pagan-based days of worship and turn to Yahweh’s special times. The big question now is, should we follow the Jewish calendar which lists the Saturday Sabbath as well as the Annual Sabbaths? While we feel the Jewish Calendar is basically correct in delineating the months, they are often off a day or two because of their postponements. The present Jewish Calendar was introduced to the world in 359 C.E.
    The Biblical calendar is based upon the visible new moons and each month will have alternately 29 or 30 days. The year begins with green barley ears in Israel, which generally is the new moon nearest the vernal equinox. The Biblical calendar parallels the Jewish calendar but does not accept the Rabbinic postponements.
The Proper Time
The striking of the blood upon the lintel and doorposts of the Israelites dwelling in Egypt was to be done on the proper day if the firstborn were to survive, Exodus 12. Had the Jews “out of every nation under heaven” not been devout and kept Pentecost (Shavuoth) at the proper time, they would not have witnessed the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the 120 disciples who “were all with one accord in one place,” Acts 2. We, who are living in the latter days, must carefully determine the exact days upon which Yahweh promises to meet with His people, the “Moed” or the “appointed times.” The next un fulfilled Annual Sabbath after Pentecost is the day of Trumpets (1Thess. 4:16, Matt. 24:31, 1Cor. 15:52). This could well be the “time appointed” of Daniel 11:27 and 35.
    By not observing these Moed or “appointed times” at the proper season, we may well miss the significance of the day as did the Jews who killed the Passover Lamb a day late and did not perceive the true LAMB slain from the foundation of the world. [Compare John 13, where the disciples and Yahshua kept the Passover, with John 18:28.]
Confusion of the Times
One of the objections to the Observance of the Biblical calendar has for its basis the addition of the 13th month Ve-Adar. It is claimed this is not Scriptural, for there is no Bible command this be done. However, neither is there an exact number of days to be found a month (from one new month to the next) delineated in the Scripture.
    Rabbi Hillel II in the years following the last temple very accurately said that from one new moon to the next was 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes and 3 ½ seconds. It is necessary, therefore, to have one month of 30 days and a month of 29 days to even out the irregularity of hours, minutes and seconds. The entire problem of determining the proper calendar has its basis in the difference of the solar year’s 365 days and the lunar year 354 days. The problem is reconciling 12 lunar months that fall 11 days short of the 365 days of the solar year. In three years, the 11 days add up to 33 days or a full month.
Biblical Support of Ve-Adar
Genesis 1:14 reads in part, “Let there be lights…and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years.” (Note the “lights” are not to be observed for seasons, days and years, such as observing the equinox which is condemned in Deut. 18:10). This verse itself indicates a lunar-solar year, for the Bible assigns a regulation of the year’s length indifferently to both sun and moon. Just as it is necessary to add an extra day every other month to compensate for the irregularity of the month’s days, it is also necessary to add another month from time to time to bring the lunar months to correspond to the seasons of the year which are governed by the sun. [Questions arise over a 13 month year from time to time.]
    If this is not done, we would be following the Mohammedan calendar, an absolutely lunar system in which every month follows the moon closely, but wanders through all four seasons during a period of 33 years. If the rule of no 13th month is followed, the month of Abib comes in spring, then midsummer, then at the harvest season, and then would fall at the time when one should observe the Feast of Tabernacles. A leap year is necessary to keep the months in season.
    Many times in prophecy we know that a day stands for a year (Num. 14:34). In the 4th chapter of Ezekiel we read in verse 5 that Ezekiel has to lie on his left side 390 days. Because a prophetic month is 30 days, we can see that Ezekiel was actually showing us a year of 13 months (13 x 30 = 390 days). Yahweh did not pick numbers like this haphazardly. There is a purpose in showing that He approves of Ve-Adar, or leap year. The addition of the 13th month of 30 days reveals the prophetic month given Israel. No matter which calendar is followed, approximately every third year will have 13 new moons [or months].
Changing the Times
It is an accepted fact that the earliest believers observed Passover and the other feasts in accordance with the Biblical calendar (Act 2:1, 13:14, 16:13, 18:4, 18:21, 20:6, 20:16). They did so until the time of Constantine at the Council of Nicea in 325 C.E. The Roman church resented dependence upon the Jews for arranging its ecclesiastical year. The church had to contact the Jews to learn the date of Passover so they could establish Easter. The church has since established Easter as the first Sunday following the full moon, following the Vernal Equinox.
    To remove this taint of Judaism, the Council of Nicea adopted the vernal equinox as the point in which they determined the pagan Easter (Ashtoreth) celebration. Rome adopted the Egyptian solar system of 12 months plus the pagan Easter teachings, and this is the basis of our secular calendar in the Western world. A little reflection upon the word “month,” which means “of the moon,” shows our secular calendar does not follow the moons at all but has 12 months of basically 30 or 31 days.
    There is a prediction in Daniel 7:25 that a vile person shall think to change the times and the laws. This could not be the Jews, who are known for their scrupulous keeping of the Sabbath and the Feast days. The credit for the changing of the times and the laws goes to the Roman Catholic Church, which, in 325 C.E. at the Council of Nicea, in effect did away with the Biblical calendar, and in 365 C.E. at the Council of Laodicea established worship on the venerable day of the sun. This was that which was predicted as shown by the Smith-Goodspeed and Moffatt translations where we read, “Would attempt to change sacred seasons and the law.” The Y2K was thought by some to be a time of changing our calendar to fulfill prophecy.
    The Biblical calendar has since been largely ignored and our pagan Gregorian calendar has been followed by the Western world. No wonder Daniel 7:25 says that he “shall wear out the saints of the most high” in their endeavor to follow the days Yahweh has proclaimed we should keep in obedience to Him. 2Thess. 2:3,4 also brings this out by saying “Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called Yahweh or that is worshiped.” One way to exalt oneself above Yahweh would be to change His Law, His commandments of days of worship. Degeneration of Yahweh’s people from purity began as they cooperated through compromise with paganism.
Calendar Evident in David’s Time
Hillel II made the Jewish calendar available to the Jews in 359 C.E. to avoid confusion among the Jews following their dispersion at the destruction of the second temple in 70 C.E. and the Bar Kochba rebellion of 135 C.E. This insured the Jews around the world would all be keeping the same moons, festivals and holidays at the same time. In the past, this calendar was used only to check the observations and testimonies of witnesses who watched for the new moon. This same calendar was in use within 200 years after the death of Alexander the Great according to the Arab scholar ALBirumi. He also makes a point that Noah “computed and fixed the beginning of the months by calculations, because heaven was covered and clouded for so long as six months, during which time neither new moon nor any other phase of the moon could be observed,” The Chronology of Ancient Nations, pp. 67-68.
    There is Scriptural proof that this same calendar was in use in David’s time and was calculated, for he said, “Tomorrow is the new moon,” 1 Sam. 20:5, 24, 27. How could one know that the following day is a new moon unless some record and calculations be made? Yet no one doubts that David was anyone but a man after Yahweh’s own heart (Act 13:22). Here is proof positive that a calculated calendar was already in use circa 1000 years before Messiah!
The Sabbath of the Jews
Many Sabbath-keepers make reference to the Jews when questioned about which day is the Sabbath. A big point is made of the fact that the Jews have kept the Sabbath for nearly 2,000 years ever since their return from Babylon. Overlooked, however, is the simple fact that when the Jews returned to Palestine in 1948 from all over the world, there was no disputing over which were the proper days to keep sacred from Passover to the Feast of Tabernacles. If there were some question over which were the proper days of the appointed time of Yahweh, a case might be made for the alleged corruption of the Biblical calendar. The present Jewish calendar is the result of careful calculations by educated astronomers. Yahweh’s calendar is based upon the crops grown in Israel. The Feast days are geared to the three main harvests: barley, wheat, and grapes and oil. We have shown in our booklet “Biblical vs. Jewish Calendar" the difference between the Jewish and the true Biblical calendar. In Biblical times months were always established by the first visible crescent of the new moons. While we accept the months of the Jewish calendar, the actual days may be off a day or two because of their man-made postponements which are foreign to the Bible.
The Earth Bringeth Forth Fruit
Two methods of reckoning calendar time were available to the primitive people, which were as follows: 1) Base time on the periodic motion of the sun, moon, and stars; and 2) base time on the periodic growth of plants, grain, and fruit.
    The former method originated with those worshiping the heavenly bodies, those who followed the signs of the zodiac. Such following of astrology is condemned in the Bible in such places as Deut. 18:10, Gal. 4:9, and Col. 2:8. In these latter two references, the word “elements” as explained in Thayer’s Lexicon is more applicable to the context of Paul’s writings and reads, “the heavenly bodies,” either as parts of the heavens, or (as others think) because in them the elements of man’s life and destiny were supposed to reside. “Elements” could well be translated “astrological signs” and has to do with not only the zodiac, but looking for signs such as the summer and winter solstices or the winter or vernal equinox.
    Just as there is condemnation in the Scriptures for looking to the heavenly bodies for signs, there is direct command to look to earth and the crops brought forth. Deut. 16:1 reads “Observe the month of Abib.” Observe is from Strong’s 8104 (shamar) and means “attend to, be ware, be circumspect, take heed, keep, mark, look narrowly, regard, observe, wait for.” This is a direct command!
Green Ears, Not Ripe Ears
Abib must be the month in which the green ears appear. Following the directions as given in Deut. 16, an Israelite would note the New Moon in the beginning of spring and check the barley fields for the appearance of the heads of grain. If he found the grain short, and no heads forming, he would wait until the next month. At the time of the New Moon, he would again check the barley fields and when he noted a balling in the ear, he would know that this was the month of Abib when he could garner an omer (handful) of green ears after the Sabbath during the days of unleavened bread. Shavuoth (Pentecost) is to be counted from when the sickle is put to the standing corn. (Deut. 16:9)
    Because all true believers are commanded to watch for the crops in Palestine, we should be alert to what is going on in the Holy Land. This is where the Messiah will set His foot upon His return to this earth (Zech. 14:4), from which the law will go forth (Isaiah 2:3). The Biblical calendar is based upon the agricultural crops in Palestine, and is given us for a guide for the keeping of the Annual Sabbaths.
    Several witnesses from Israel have commented that ever since Israel became recognized as a nation in 1948, Yahweh has honored their calendar. When the Jewish calendar has a leap year, the barley crop is delayed. When the month of Abib is upon us, the green barley is there. Again, we remind our readers that due to the unbiblical dehioth [postponements] the Jewish calendar may be off a day or so.
Biblical References
Of all months, Abib stands alone as not having an ordinal number. It has no number because it is coincidental with the certain season. Abib is always THE ABIB as an appellation of the season of the new ears of grain. We read of the second month in Gen. 7:11, third in Esth. 8:9, fourth in 2Kings 25:3, etc. In addition to the month of Abib (which means green ears) the names of the other months themselves indicate a solar reckoning so that these months make a regular appearance at the proper season: Zif= “Blossom”; Bul=”Rain,” The Hebrew month Ethanim = ”Gifts” (of the harvest, oil, fruit, corn). Proper observances of Yahweh’s Feasts are dependent upon the stages of the agricultural years: Passover, the oblation of the omer of barley, and Shavuoth, wheat or grain harvest, and Tabernacles, ingathering of oil, fruit and wine – Fall Harvest.
    There is no command to use the vernal equinox in the Scriptures, but as pointed out, this practice is actually condemned because it is a sign to the pagan worshipers.
    The Hebrew months are mentioned in the Scriptures—Abib, Deut. 16:1; Zif, 1Kings 6:1; Bul, 1Kings 6:38; Ethanim, 1Kings 8:2. The Jewish calendar is said to be based on the Bible, but man has tampered with it by adding various interpretations to it. For example, never does Atonement fall before or fall immediately after a weekly Sabbath in the present Jewish calendar. [This rule was added to give a day’s preparation either before or after Atonement. But where does Scripture justify such a change?]
The Year’s Beginning
There are some who reject the Biblical calendar on the basis that the Biblical beginning of the new year begins in the spring of the year. This is not entirely true, however, for we can see from Ex. 23:16 and 34:22 that the end of the year is at the feast of Ingathering, several months before spring begins.
    Also, the Jubilee year begins in the fall of the year beginning in the seventh month, for this heralds the Jubilee YEARS’ beginning. This is the time of the year when the Messiah may well return at the last trump (Lev. 25:9, 1Thess. 4:16, Matt. 24:31, 1 Cor. 15:52) to put down all governments at this time and set up His own Kingdom and establish His own CIVIL rules here on this earth with divine laws and judgments. (Dan. 7:14)
    The spiritual significance is that we as believers begin our life in Him in the “Spring” when the firstfruits begin to develop “heads of grain.” We begin our spiritual life by accepting the shed blood of the Messiah and grow up in Him, and in the “Fall” of the year those who have been faithful unto the end join Him at the harvest season to take over the rule of the civil governments here on earth.
Proof in Our Time
A very simple test of which is the proper month for Abib would be to ascertain which was the month in 1970 wherein the green ear appeared. This was a year in which the 13th month Ve-Adar was added. In a letter from Israel to the Faith Staff directed to Pastor Samuel Graham, it was unequivocally declared that the barley harvest would not begin until May. This means that Yahweh (who controls the seasons) did not approve of the early March reckoning of Passover, but did approve of the Jewish calendar, which listed April 20th as the proper day of Passover. March 22 was a month too early and the grain was not sufficiently grown to garner a handful of barley ears. All through the years Yahweh has honored His Biblical calendar by delaying the spring season whenever a necessary 13th month is added. (See Mt. Zion Reporter, March, 1970, page 11 – Passover).
    Just as Yahweh is able to control the crops prior to the Sabbath and Jubilee years by making them “bumper crops,” enough to last three years (Lev. 25:21), so He controls the seasons and makes them fall in line with the inspired Biblical calendar. Rejection of the vernal equinox is readily apparent by the late green ears in 1970.
Follow in His Jewish Steps
We are commanded to be followers of the Savior as well as to follow the example set by the apostles in such places in 1Cor. 11:1, Phil. 3:17, and 1Pet. 2:21. There is no Scriptural evidence that the disciples or the Messiah followed any other than the Biblical calendar. Our Savior observed the official calendar of Israel as determined in those days by the Sadducees. Yahshua observed this calendar by not only acknowledging the feast of dedication, but observed all the commanded feasts of Leviticus 23 as well (Luke 2:42, 22:15; John 2:23, 7:10, 7:37, 11:56, 13:1, Matt. 26:2, 26:17; Mark 14:12, etc.).
    Yahshua kept the Feast days of Leviticus 23 as well as the weekly Sabbaths. He did not keep xmas, Easter, Halloween, Lent, St. Valentine’s day. Why should we? We are to walk in His steps.
    From 1Chron. 12:32 we learn that it was the tribe of Issachar that has “understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do.” In Gen. 46:13 we learn that Job was of the tribe of Issachar, therefore familiar with the calendar. In Job 9:9 and 38:31-33 we learn that Job was a mathematician and an astronomer – a son of Issachar. The sons of Issachar apparently were the astronomers and knew the heavens and safeguarded Israel’s calendar. These rules of the calendar were preserved through the priests of Jerusalem from generation to generation and published by Hillel II.
Salvation Is of the Jews
We are forced to abide by the present Gregorian calendar of our day. However, there is no reason at all why we should take up the pagan days and celebrate the days the worldly merchants attempt to force upon us such as Easter, xmas, etc. We are told not to “learn the way of the heathen,” Jer. 10:4. You should become familiar with the holy days in Yahweh’s calendar which will be kept in the Kingdom. There is no Scriptural indication that we should follow any other than the Biblical calendar where the months are accounted for by the visible new moons. If you do not already have YAIY’s wall calendar for the year, be sure to request yours today!
    Isaiah tells us, “From one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before Me, saith Yahweh,” Isaiah 66:23. Note that it will be the new moon which will bring us each new month. You should get in the habit now to seek the visible new moons and make preparation now for your station in the Kingdom. Revelation 1:6 says you are to be a king and a priest!
    Many people ignorantly refer to Yahweh’s Feast days as being Jewish, and feel they are something to do with animal sacrifices. However, these special times are called Yahweh’s Feasts,
    And Yahweh spake unto Moses, saying, “Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, ‘Concerning the feasts of Yahweh, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts. Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of Yahweh in all your dwellings. These are the feasts of Yahweh, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons,’” Leviticus 23:1-4.
    Even so, we are to be spiritual Jews, Rev. 2:9 and 3:9. In prophecy written for our time and the soon-coming establishment of the Kingdom of the Heavens, it is the Mount of Olives where Yahshua will stand in that day, just outside Jerusalem, as the Jew who is given the pre-eminent position of having the keys of salvation,
    We are given the importance of the Jews as having pre-eminence in the plan of salvation in Romans 1:16, 2:9, 10:
    For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Messiah: for it is the power of Yahweh unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek... Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile.
    In the years just ahead of us we are given the importance of the Jew in true worship of Yahweh in such places as Zech. 2:12 and 8:23 where we learn that people will actually seek out the Jew to learn how to worship Yahweh in Spirit and in Truth. People will seek out the Jew because they have heard that Yahweh is with him.
Backsliding Israel
In contrast to the way of life of the Jews who still keep these days, Israel rejected the Feast days of Yahweh. Israel was condemned because she fell from the steadfastness in keeping the weekly and Annual Sabbaths. Isaiah 1:13-14 show that the feasts which Israel was to keep are not referred to by Yahweh as “HIS” feasts or “MY” feasts, but they have degenerated to the point that Yahweh calls them “YOUR new moons” and “YOUR appointed feasts,” and He says He hates them! Yahweh goes on in Hosea 2:11 and says He will cause her [Israel’s] mirth, HER feast days, HER new moons. HER Sabbaths, HER solemn Feasts to cease. (See also Amos 5:21)
    Notice these condemnations are of ISRAEL!! It was Israel that has neglected the Biblical calendar. Do not fall into the same trap and be taken up with the ways of our paganized society. Following the ways of our secular world only leads us to turn from the paths of righteousness. The average so-called “Christian” is not even aware of those days which Yahweh has commanded us to keep so we can teach others about them. Rome introduced the solar calendar with all its pagan holidays and succeeded in burying the Annual Sabbaths of Yahweh. Instead, we have Sunday worship, and with it the forgetting of our Creator, and the teachings of evolution. Easter and egg and rabbit of fertility. Halloween and doctrine of immortality of the soul. Xmas and the saturnalia worship of the sun, along with drunkenness, reveling, and worship by the children of St. Nicholas. New Year’s parties and along with all of these, astrology and worship of the zodiac appearing in my daily papers.
    All of these have successfully put our true Elohim in the background and caused the people to forget Yahweh. Keeping track of time by Yahweh’s new moons will help us keep His days in mind. Thus, we can draw closer to Him as we seek the narrow way that leads to life eternal. Join us!
-Elder Donald R. Mansager

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