Yes, I said “Happy New Year!” And no, I’m not 4 months behind. According to the Biblical timetable laid out for us in the Torah, the month of Nisan (which usually falls in the March/April period of time) begins the New Year! Leviticus 23:4-6 tells us,
“These are the appointed times of YHVH, set-apart gatherings which you are to proclaim at their appointed times. In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, between the evenings, is the Passover to YHVH. And on the fifteenth day of this month is the Festival of Unleavened Bread to YHVH – seven days you eat unleavened bread.”
According to YHVH’s timetable, Passover will begin on April 14, 2014 this year and the Feast of Unleavened Bread begins the 15th of April because the new moon was spotted March 31, 2014. The focus of this post is not Passover, but rather, the new year…although you can’t talk about one without the other. I will be talking more about Passover in the coming weeks as we get closer to it.
For right now, let’s focus on the New Year. There seems to be conflicting guidance from “Jewish” and “Messianic” sources about when the New Year actually begins. According to both secular and Orthodox Jews, there are up to 4 new years in one year! This is just crazy! Although, if you fail at your new years’ resolution, no need to worry! There’s sure to be another new year right around the corner so you can start over!
Keep in mind that as we go through the Biblical timetable, I will be using the Hebrew names for these months as designated in the Word and will do my best to name the corresponding English month as well.
The first two “new years” I will go through, are lesser known and less commonly “celebrated” in the traditional sense of the word. The first “new year” is 15 Shevat (January/February). This is said to be the new year of trees and separating your fruits for tithing. The second “new year” is 1 Elul (August/September) and is the new year of tithing cattle. The month of Elul is very significant in YHVH’s calendar and we will be discussing this more as we approach this important month.
The third “new year” is where the bulk of the argument about the real New Year comes in. 1 Tishrei (September/October) is the civil new year of Israel. However, 1 Nisan (March/April) is the month designated by YHVH to be the first month. You see, this distorts a very important feast in YHVH’s timetable: Yom Teruach or the Feast of Trumpets.
I will be talking more about Yom Teruach as we approach this appointed time in September/October, but I’ll give you an idea of why this feast is so important. In Biblical times, and even still today, Yom Teruach was nicknamed “the day and the hour which no man knows.” This is because in order to know when this feast begins, the sliver of the new moon must be spotted. Once the new moon sliver is spotted, the Feast of Trumpets immediately begins. While YHVH’s entire timetable is based on the lunar cycle, the other feasts usually begin several days after the new moon is spotted. However, the Feasts of Trumpets is the only one that begins the moment the new moon is spotted. Hence the nickname “the day and the hour which no man knows.”
So when Yeshua said, “The heaven and the earth shall pass away, but My words shall by no means pass away. But concerning that day and the hour no one knows, not even the messengers of the heavens, but My Father only. And as the days of Noah, so also shall the coming of the Son of Adam be,” He was referencing this particular feast…the Feast of Trumpets. There is more to this scripture and the reference to the days of Noah but we can save that for another day.
You can see how this could get confusing, right??? Well, there is definitely a reason for all the confusion.
You see, in Leviticus 23, YHVH lays out his timetable, which include His feasts or His moedim. The Hebrew word moedim can be translated as “feasts, celebrations, or holidays.” But perhaps the most accurate and descriptive translation is “appointed times.” You see, the feasts of YHVH are the appointed times that He has laid aside in order to meet with us. When the King of the Universe says He wants to meet with you, you don’t want to miss it or turn it down. Would you turn down an invitation to the White House? Well….with the political climate the way it is some of you might very well indeed turn down a visit to the White House, but you catch my drift.
My point is that YHVH, our God and King, has said that He wants to meet with us on these days at these times. Why would we turn it down? Simply because we weren’t taught this way of living? Because it goes against our theology? Because it challenges everything we have been taught and believed to this point? So what! Let it go! Would you really miss an opportunity to meet with YHVH because of your stiff neck and your pride? I hope not. Because let me fill you in on the real reason there is so much confusion surrounding the beginning of the new year and YHVH’s timetable in general.
Habakkuk 2:3 tells us that the end time vision seen by Habakkuk is at an appointed time or moedim. It will take time but we are to patiently wait until it is fulfilled.
“For the vision is yet for an appointed time, and it speaks of the end, and does not lie. If it lingers, wait for it, for it shall certainly come, it shall not delay.”
Genesis 1:14-19 tells us that YHVH established the sun, moon, and stars to be signs that point us toward the appointed times.
“And Elohim said, “Let lights come to be in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and appointed times, and for days and years, and let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth.” And it came to be so. And Elohim made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night, and the stars. And Elohim set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And Elohim saw that it was good. And there came to be evening and there came to be morning, the fourth day.”
As we see from these two passages, the moedim or feasts of YHVH are the timetable that YHVH uses. If this is the timetable YHVH uses, that means that all prophetic visions and end time events are dictated by the feasts of YHVH. If you read any verses about end times prophecy and you have an understanding of the feasts of YHVH, a lot of the “mystery” and “unknown” is taken out and it begins to make a whole lot more sense. Go figure!
So we can see why the enemy would have such an interest in keeping us in the dark about these feasts, the heavenly signs, and YHVH’s timetable in general. Daniel 7:25 tells us that the spirit of the anti-Messiah is to change these appointed times and to keep us forever lost to their meaning.
“and it [the anti-Messiah/beast] speaks words against the Most High, and it wears out the set-apart ones of the Most High, and it intends to change appointed times and law, and they are given into its hand for a time and times and half a time.”
Think about it. If the people of God are kept in confusion and deceit about when these things will take place, how much easier is it for him to catch us off guard and unprepared? How much easier is it for him to defeat us? Fortunately, we know the end of the story and we know that he is not victorious but that YHVH emerges triumphant and His kingdom is established on earth. This means that there are those who hear the word, repent, and return to the ways of YHVH! So to those who have ears to hear and a heart to understand: the time is now to repent and return to the ways of YHVH! Happy New Year 5775!