(Corrected and/or Revised on 10 Sept 2014; 4 Jan 2015; Mar 2015; June 2015; Aug 2015; Mar 2016; 31 Jan 2018; 30 Aug 2018)
Tonight (March 11, 2013), there is a New Moon. Do you see it? What is it that you saw?
This New Moon also marks the beginning of the first month in God’s redemptive calendar year given to Israel, leading up to the Passover on the Full Moon in two weeks. (Ex 12:2)
I am not going to give a teaching here on all that is written concerning the New Moon celebrations given by YHVH to Israel to commemorate, both under the Law of Moses and also in the future Millennial Kingdom (Lev 23:24; Num 10:10; Ezek 46:1-8). The New Testament tells those who are now believers in Yeshua/Jesus not to make too much of days, months, seasons, years, festivals, New Moons, Sabbaths – all of these things being shadows of things to come, but the substance is Messiah. (Gal 4:9-11; Col 2:16-17)
The Lord has told us that all of the Scriptures are written about Him, and we know that all of the sacrifices and holidays/appointed times are also fulfilled by Jesus in the entirety of His first coming, and in the anticipation of His coming again to fulfill all that is written in the whole of the Bible, which still waits for the Kingdom of God to come.
My main purpose here is to try to shed some light on a subject which seems to have been darkened by human reasoning, rather than understood by faith in God’s own Word. We believe by faith, not by sight. (2Cor 5:7; Heb 11:2)
In Scripture, we do have references indicating that the sun, the moon, and the stars symbolize the Son, Yeshua; Israel; and, born-again saints, respectively. (Gen 1:14-19; 37:9-11; Mal 4:2Eng; 1Cor 15:40-41; Rev 12:1-2) Yeshua is the glory both of Israel — His people — and of the Church — His Body and Bride. In Him, both find their true identity and fullness. (Is 49:3; Lk 2:32; 1Cor 11:7; Col 2:6-10)
If we accept the truth that all things are created by God through Messiah Yeshua/Jesus Christ (Jn 1:1-3), and all in Christ find their true identity and purpose, then we can better understand that there is no Israel of God apart from Him; there is no true Church apart from Him. Even the sun and moon exist only through His creation, but in the eternal New Heavens and New Earth there will be no need for the temporal sun and moon. Again, these present things are but a shadow of the things to come, whose substance is Christ. The Israel of God (the Millennial Israel, ultimately, I believe) and the Church of God (those in Christ, whether dead or still living) are identified with YHVH God and His Anointed Son – the Holy Spirit indwelling the born-again believers: Messiah in us.
So, is the new moon covered over, that is, darkened?; or, is it a slim crescent, that is, partially revealed or exposed? The Scriptures are not silent about this, since God commanded Israel to celebrate every New Moon, and to blow the trumpets on that occasion! (Num 10:10) If Jesus does fulfill the meaning of the New Moon, and if the moon does symbolize Israel, then the answer to whether the New Moon is covered or partially revealed will be consistent with its symbolism. When the Holy Spirit speaks through Scriptural authority, then it is other voices which need to be silenced, as we “cast down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Messiah…” (2Cor 10:5)
There are three Bible references to the New Moon that can help us:
1Sam 20:5 “And David said to Jonathan, ‘Indeed tomorrow is the New Moon, and I should not fail to sit with the King to eat. But let me go, that I may hide in the field until the third day at evening.'”
From this verse, we can see that David knew when there would be a New Moon, without there being any official ‘spotters’ to watch for it and inform all the others after they had seen it. David also says that he will be hiding in the field. How hiding? Because there would be no light of the moon to help make him detectable in any night-time movements (he would have been hiding out during the day in any event), as he sought to protect himself from the king who sought his life. (Were the New Moon the first crescent sliver, then each succeeding night the moon would have waxed larger and brighter, making hiding at night more difficult.) How long did he plan to hide out in the field during the New Moon? Until the third evening, which is about the length of time for the dark moon to wax as the moon moves from its final light phase to its next crescent moon.
Amos 8:5 “. . . When will the New Moon be past, that we may sell grain? . . . .”
The heartless people, who were only concerned with their own commercial interests at the expense of the poor and needy, were anxious to know when the beginning-of-the-month New Moon (and also the end-of-the-work-week Sabbath) would be over – and not, “when is it beginning?” — so that they could get back to business and oppress the poor and needy. If the New Moon were a sliver of light (like the Islamic sign by sight!), there would be no need of the question! But if the New Moon is darkened by being directly between the Earth and the Sun, it could take up to three days until the light that was hidden to unaided human sight appeared again. (As an aside, an eclipse of the Sun can occur only at New Moon, while an eclipse of the Moon can occur only at Full Moon: there is perfect symmetry in the moon’s phases. And, exactly one half of the moon is always illuminated by the sun: God always ‘sees’ a Full Moon!) The oppressors wanted to know when they could again be ‘freed’ from the constraints of the Law of God in whatever way it restricted their greedy, self-serving thoughts and plans. The commandment to sound the trumpet was for the New Moon beginning, and not for the New Moon ending. Again, it is a new moon, not a renewed moon: it is there, yet concealed, signifying the beginning of a new month, not a renewed month. (Those who would make the first sliver of a crescent moon the New Moon are then putting the darkened phase at the end of the month rather than at the beginning. This is akin to those who moved Sonday to be the last day of the week rather than the first.)
Ps 81:3-4 (Eng); (see also Job 26:9, which has the same Hebrew word for the covered New Moon, despite every translation otherwise) “Blow the trumpet at the time of the New Moon; at the covering, on our celebration day. For this is a statute for Israel, a law of the God of Jacob.”
Verse 3 (4 in Hebrew) has been used by many to go through hoops not to accept it for what it plainly and simply says in Hebrew. The two verses are in parallel. Verse 4 (5 in Hebrew) says in parallel the same thing: God gave His instruction to Israel – to Jacob – to celebrate the New Moon. Verse 3 (4 in Hebrew) is describing when to blow the trumpet: at the New Moon, which is described as being covered. (See also Job 26:9, where the Hebrew word is the same; for some reason, all of the translations have either ‘full moon’, or ‘throne’. The Hebrew word for ‘throne’ is spelled differently than for ‘cover’. The parallel part of the verse is not describing the time, nor is the verse speaking of two different moon phases, just as the other verse is not speaking of two different peoples. And, God did not command Israel to blow the trumpets on the Full Moons (which they could, though, when holidays fell on them; e.g., Passover, Feast of Booths, Purim). The Hebrew word is ba–kaseh (בכסה), which simply means ‘at the [whole] covering’. If something is partially covered, it is not ‘covered’: it is partly exposed. We do not speak of ‘covering’ something in some measure of light, but we speak of covering something over. Light reveals; darkness covers. Yeshua spoke of letting our light shine, not being hidden under cover of a basket. (Mt 5:14-16)
Identification with, and being the representative Israel (Is 49:3; Gal 4:4-5; Heb 2:14-18), the Man Yeshua came stripped of His visible glory as the Son of God. But the Sun of Righteousness died, went down in burial (hidden in the secret, dark, lower parts of the Earth), and rose again visibly and triumphantly as the Bright and Morning Star on the third day! As the risen Savior King and Head of the Church, believers ‘see’ Him clothed in divine light and majesty with the glory that was His before He came to His own, and to the world that He made. Israel has no glory of her own: the moon has no light but that of the sun which it reflects. YHVH called Israel to be a light to the nations, but without receiving her Source of Light, she is darkened until. . . – having an inherent hope of a restoration through the covenant promises of God to Abraham, to Isaac, to Jacob, and to their descendants. Born-again Christians are a light. Yeshua has said: “You are the light of the world. . . . ” Stars are lights of their own, each with its own glory, but none outshining the glory of the Sun. (1Cor 15:41) Israel is still hidden from man’s view, as if away from the light of the Sun/Son, whom the nation still rejects because it prefers the darkness (Gen 3:7-10; Jn 3:19-21) During the New Moon, the illuminated side of the Moon is then pointed away from Earth, but is full in God’s sight, who sees the end from the beginning! (Num 23:18-23) The Church, through her historic replacement theology presuming that God is finished with Israel, also has consequently rejected the truth from God’s side that Israel’s future is assured. (Jer 31:35-37) Israel began to be seen since the re-establishment of the State of Israel, and will be seen in her full [moon] glory when she rises up to remember the former glory that was given her by YHVH, and seeks with all her heart the true Son who has risen! (Hos 6:15; Rom 9:4); finally repenting, and accepting the Sun of Righteousness, Yeshua whom she pierced. (Zech 12:10; Mt 23:39)
The New Moon (which, technically, is only for a brief minute, but can seem to the natural naked eye to be extended over a period of some three days) occurs when the visible side is completely covered from the light of the sun (much like a blanket over us to keep out light) by being directly between it and the Earth. It is the phase when the moon is ‘out of sight’, and the night, which the moon rules, is less lit. Yet, the stars are more brilliant and so many more can be seen when there is a New Moon. Spiritually, it is Israel’s phase of “being there”, but out-of-sight, and, for too many people, also out-of-mind. The moon then waxes for 13-14 days to the Full Moon, then wanes for 13-14 days till the New Moon. And, meanwhile, the born-again ‘star saints’ are given their opportunity to shine! So God, in His infinite wisdom, gave Israel a statute to remember the New Moon. The whole world — including Gentiles, angelic and demonic spirits, and the Body of Christ — are reminded of God’s New Moon which He gave for a sign and for seasons, and for days and for years: every month (from the word, ‘moon’; in Hebrew חודש/chodesh, new month), begins with the new and unseen moon that is there! It is a globally recurring heavenly sign from the Creator and Redeemer that He has thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give Israel a future and a hope. (Jer 11-14)
The trumpets for the New Moon are for a memorial before YHVH. The Memorial Feast of Blowing of Trumpets (Lev 23:24), which marks the beginning of the seventh month in God’s redemptive calendar to Israel (the Jewish ‘New Year’ today), is basically a uniquely appointed New Moon prophetic wake-up BLAST! to Israel to gather together for preparing to meet her God on the Day of Atonements, either to have her sins forgiven and removed by calling on His Name on that Day (Num 10:9; Joel 2; Acts 4:8-12; Mt 23:37-39), or else to face His wrath like the rest of His enemies. Those who are saved celebrate the Jubilee — truly a new beginning! — and as on all the celebratory days for His people, the trumpet is sounded. (Lev 25:8-10) The historic steps towards the reestablishment of national Israel were the New Moon trumpet of God to the Church and the nations in these last days, to remember that the God of Israel keeps His covenant promises to the seed of Jacob. Israel’s full glory – the Full Moon – will be manifested when the Lord returns to dwell in the midst of His completely restored people at the fulfillment of the Feast of Booths (which always begins at the Full Moon of the 7th month of the redemptive calendar) – the Millennial Kingdom.
Israel is Messiah’s treasure hidden in a field (Mt 13:44), to be uncovered on the third day (Hos 6:2) at the revelation of Jesus Christ (who is Himself now hidden from the world (Jn 16:10)), when the surviving remnant of Jacob shall see Him whom they pierced, repent with great affliction of soul, and all Israel will be saved. (Zech 12:10 – 13:2; Rom 11:25-27)
Yeshua fulfills the New Moon in His death, burial (covering and removing our sins out of sight), and resurrection to life everlasting. Israel fulfills the New Moon, which symbolizes her as a continual reminder of God’s covenantal faithfulness — and of her hope in Him — that there is a day coming when her redemption will shine forth, the glory of the LORD will shine upon her, and all the nations will praise YHVH, God of Israel, and call her blessed when He cleanses her from all her sin against the Lord. (Lev 26:40-45; Ps 117) There is joy when a woman becomes aware that she is pregnant; there is greater joy when she has given birth. (Jn 16:21-22; Lk 15:7,10,32) What began in secret in the dark inward parts, (even as in the womb at conception. ..Ps 139:11-15), will come to light and be seen by all in its full glory, that which was already conceived by the Holy Spirit for a new birth and the celebration of life (Is 66:5-14)! Yeshua’s conception was not ‘light’; His birth brought to light the public knowledge of the promised Messiah and Lord. Blessed is he who believes and has not seen! Even the creation began with darkness, being outside of God, who is Light! The heavens declare the glory of God! (Gen 1:2)
God is redeeming Israel today. He is again returning His attention to Jerusalem. He is calling His people to remember Him and to rejoice in His goodness and long-suffering, which lead to repentance unto salvation. Let all who want God’s purposes to be fulfilled, who desire the peace of Jerusalem, not keep silent, but remind the Lord as workers with Him to make Jerusalem a praise in the Earth, with a highway of holiness and blessing between Egypt and Assyria, running through Israel. YHVH God will remove unrighteousness from Jacob, and all Israel will be saved. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!