Many religions celebrate moon festivals but only the Bible commands that the New Moon be observed. In Hebrew, it is called, Rosh Chodesh which means 'head of the month'. Though it was not a Sabbath like the 7th day of the High Sabbaths during some of the annual festivals (except at Yom Teruah when the New Moon and the High Sabbath of the Day of Trumpets fall on the same day), four things were supposed to happen on that day:
Originally the New Moon was the time the moon was totally invisible. When the Jews returned from Exile in Babylon they brought with them the Babylonian tradition of reckoning the New Moon by the first cresent moon after the New Moon (which is also followed by Islam). As a result, both these Jews, modern Jews and nearly all Messianic Jews start Rosh Chodesh 1-2 days late and as a result miscalculate all the annual festivals.
- 1. The Israelites were to set the calendar (the first Rosh Chodesh at Aviv being the most important); and
- 2. The people were to assemble to hear the prophets speak, one of the functions of the weekly Sabbath too;
- 3. Silver trumpets were to be blown as a memorial of Yahweh's creation of the heavenly bodies (the sun, moon and planets) (Gen.1:14); and
- 4. Silver trumpets were to be blown as a reminder that Yahweh is our Elohim (God) (Num.10:10).
'So what?' you might ask. 'What has that got to do with today?' Everything! Whilst we can meet with Yahweh any time of the day and on any day 24/7, He commanded the nation or community of Israel to assemble for specific purposes. These are called 'appointments' or moedim - this is when He expects us to meet with Him together! These appointments include the weekly seventh-day Sabbath, the monthly New Moon, and the annual festivals of Passover, Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits, Pentecost, Trumpets, Atonement and Tabernacles. You can learn about these by clicking on the links in the text.
'But we are not Israel,' most Christians insist, 'so it has nothing to do with us.' Wrong. It has everything to do with Christians because every single festival is about Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) and we are New Covenant Israel! They are as Christian as they get. And the New Moon helps us reckon them each year. That is what Rosh Chodesh is for.
It shocks most Christians to discover that orthodox Christianity got paganised early on. Festivals like Christmas, Easter, Lent, New Year's Day, Halloween and other familar festivals have strong pagan roots that originated long before Christianity. Yahweh never commanded us to celebrate them. Indeed, He expressly commanded us not to. It should come as no surprise, then, to learn that all these pagan festivals follow the pagan calendar, and specifically the pagan Roman Gregorian calendar which is used today internationally. And the New Moon has no part of it because it is all based on the Sun and sun-worship. It's a totally different system to the one found in the Bible.
Christian apologists are quick to claim that New Testament says all of these festivals have been abolished by Christ. They typically cite the writings of the apostle Paul without having a clear understanding of their background. One such passage may be found in Galatians:
It is automatically assumed that Paul is talking about the Old Testament festivals and that as Christians we should no longer observe them because they are "weak and beggerly" as if Yahweh could be the author if such things. But if you read the two verses before Paul is talking about ex-pagan Greek Galatians, reminding them of them time when they did not know Yahweh, and served idols. He then asks them why they are reverting to pagan practices, and specifically to the "days and months and seasons and years" of their former pagan religion. He is not talking about the Old Testament moedim at all!
"But then, indeed, when you did not know Elohim (God), you served those which by nature are not elohim (gods). But now after you have known Elohim (God), or rather are known by Elohim (God), how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage? You observe days and months and seasons and years" (Gal.4:8-10, NKJV).
Another favourite is to be found in Colossians:
A better translation that eleiminates the anti-law bias of Protestant and Catholic versions renders it this way:
"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. These are only a shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Messiah" (Col.2:16-17, RSV).
In other words, the Body of Messiah or assembly is to make rulings on all matters regarding festivals and observances and not outsiders! This supports the theory that Talmudist converts to Messiah were trying to impose Pharisaic interpretations and observances which went beyond the teachings of the Scriptures. This accords with the literal Greeek translation of this passage which reads:
"Let no one therefore judge you in eating or drinking (the kosher laws), or in respect of a[n annual] festival. or a new moon or Sabbaths - which are a shadow of what is to come - but the Body of Messiah" (Ibid., ISRV)
Be careful of modern versions of the Bible which, even though they have many strengths, still reflect the doctrinal biases of their translators.
"Let not therefore anyone judge you in eating and in drinking or in respect of a feast or of a new moon or of Sabbaths, which things are a shadow of things coming, but the body of Christ".
For clear understanding of this passage, please see Colossians 2:16 - God's Sabbath and Holy Days in the Light of an Ancient Heresy. Paul's critique was against extremist aesthetics such as the Gnostics. Some have even proposed that Paul was exposing all the extra Talmudic observances which Jewish converts were trying to impose on both Jewish and Gentile Christians. Either explanation is possible. The point is, the believers were to guard the simplicity of the festivals, new moons and sabbath and and not go adding other traditions to them.
According to Numbers 10:10 we are to blow silver trumpets (not Shofars) at Rosh Chodesh as a reminder that Yahweh is our Elohim. He is the one who dictates how we shall live our lives if we acknowledge Him as our Ruler.
For me, Rosh Chodesh is like a 'monthly new year', a time in which to once again acknowledge Yahweh as Sovereign, and to celebrate the Great Cosmic Astronomer. You might say it is a heavenly 'Astronomy Day' and an acknowledgement of the genius of Yahweh's Science. As a scientist I am thrilled at the thought! It's also a calendar-setting event (a bit like synchronising spiritual watches) and a time to seek prophetic revelation. So I have four grounds now to look forward to Rosh Chodesh and discover that it contains more than I at first supposed. Moreover, Scripture clearly spells out that this is an eternal ordinance for Yahweh's people even into the Millennium:
Notice that the commandment to observe Rosh Chodesh and Shabbat (Sabbath) is not, moreover, just for Israel (old or new covenant) but all flesh - that's everyone! In the Millennium after Yah'shua returns every living soul will be required to observe them - that's five gatherings a month in honour of Yahweh-Elohim in addition to the 7 annual festivals.
"'For as the new heavens and the new earth (cp. 2 Pet.3:13) which I will make shall remain before Me,' says Yahweh, 'so shall your descendants and your name remain. And it shall come to pass that from one New Moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, all flesh shall come to worship before Me,' says Yahweh" (Isa.66:22-23, NKJV)
So these are the reasons we are gathered today - can anyone deny they are good reasons? Can anyone claim that Yahweh has abolished ordinances which He has established in perpetuity? Is it the Torah-observant believers in the Messiah who are "accursed" for preaching another Gospel (Gal.1:8-9) or is it lawless believers who refuse to obey the commandments with the excuse that Yahweh has somehow nullified His own law?
It is a joy and a privilege for me to be here with you today to honour the Creator. Therefore may I heartily say, Chag Sameach Rosh Chodesh! - May you have a Joyous New Moon Festival!
Further Reading Materials
 The Ephraimite Page
 Rosh Chodesh website
Comments from Readers
A good message. I was reminded of what is written for us in Deuteronomy to discern what is times and seasons which are not even to be associated with YHWH's feasts! Maybe a problem where KJV has not discerned Yisrael and divides by "Jew" and "Gentile". But so much to unravel there... and we Redeemed Yisrael are no longer worldly titles of "Jew" or "Greek" or bond or slave... American or British or other nationality or as a religious Babylonian Baal-Peor 'christian' deluxe... if we are truly redeemed having remission of sin in the Passover Lamb Yahushua, we have been bonded by circumcision of heart to a Living Savior who is the Living Covenant foretold in words YHWH gave to us to learn of our Yahushua by. So much could be said about our Life we have been given within us, that is so far above mere knowledge of that Life. And we are no longer citizens of the world but of Zion above and emmisaries to the world having not left the body yet.
When we begin to discern everything from our Kingdom we are a part of, we do see things quite differently than we used to or of what we learned from traditions based on scriptures. We are in covenant to a living covenant Yahushua! A Being or state of existence and not just brain knowledge!
Here is a reference in Deuteronomy 18 to observers of times/divination.
Deu 18:9 When thou art come into the land which YHWH thy Elohim giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations.
Deu 18:10 There shall not be found among you any one that
1) maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire,
2) or that useth divination,
3) or an observer of times,
4) or an enchanter,
5) or a witch,
6) Or a charmer,
7) or a consulter with familiar spirits,
8) or a wizard,
9) or a necromancer.
Deu 18:12 For all that do these things are an abomination unto YHWH:
and because of these abominations YHWH thy Elohim doth drive them out from before thee.
Deu 18:13 Thou shalt be perfect with YHWH thy Elohim.
Deu 18:14 For these nations, which thou shalt possess, hearkened unto
**) observers of times,
**) unto diviners:
but as for thee, YHWH thy Elohim hath not suffered thee so to do.
And the next verses speak of Yahushua the true prophet the opposite of the false prophet.
And we see observers of times and seasons equated to witchcraft, divination, and other such wickedness. And the tragedy of 'redeemed' Yisrael following after the voice of this world instead of the voice of our great shepherd. Equating the things of YHWH to the evil YHWH warned us of. Why some wonder He will destroy this present world because of all of the abominations and even He will deliver His people loving those abominations? Only YHWH Yahushua knows who are truly His. But even so that wonderful voice is calling and there are some that hear!
Astrology and 'magic' are what we see used by the 'Elite' to plan their evil upon us all. They have figured out by their wicked one who deceives them, the 'code' or 'numerology' of Yahushua in the existence of the "Light", of the book of all life, but have failed to discern the "Light within the Light" of that eternal part of the book that is the Lambs book of Eternal Life and those who have become as Echad/One with Him in the book/body of Yahushua. Though we could not expect them to discern from the place being seated far above principalities, and powers, and rulers of darkness in high places. Those rulers of darkness are being led to the slaughter because they play with the 'toys' that Yahushua gave them to deceive them by a STRONG delusion even the ultimate LIE embodied in a 'man' 'god'....
So to understand what Paul referenced we know exactly that it is to observe the pagan holidays and other nonsense of today's Babylon, Astrology (discerning FALSE signs from the TRUE signs), and those who are redeemed or proclaiming to be redeemed who have sold out their birth right to the confusion of today's kingdoms of the nations without realizing and operating as those who are become of a new creature in a new kingdom that is forever and eternal. We are here to rescue whom we can for so many years until we leave this vile body and get to our place and that kingdom that will be known to all who are still wandering around in the darkness of this present time.
I also wonder if we are set to discern FALSE signs vs. TRUE signs. We are given both in today's age. What are true signs vs. false signs. A good question to hold in thought as we learn where our Yahushua is residing at the right Hand of YHWH and will bring all of His people together in New Body and New Kingdom at the appointed time. I see so many wondering/wandering and following after the Beast it is heart breaking and could not express those feelings at such a deception that has come upon us all. Even those following after the head that was, was not and now is. But we have great Hope because of the last verse of Zechariah 14. The redeemed kingdom will come and the redeemed people will live with YHWH Yahushua in the place He has already foretold. And there will no more be found a Canaanite in the House of YHWH. Is His House overrun by them today? Not speaking geographic but right where we are the world over, even in His land.
I feel it is so imperative today to discern our birth right and our kingdom if we are redeemed by the blood of the Lamb so that we will not fall to the flatteries of the 'beast' we see in YHWH's House of Every Flavor... Shalom! In Yahushua our Covenant we are Alive!! (RDR, USA, 15 April 2010)