The Cycle of The Moon
Traduccion en Castellano
Introduction: The Church as A Bride
arely in Scripture do we find a more clear analogy than that of the people of Yah as a woman; as the “True Bride.” “For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee.” (Isa 62:5) Even from the very origins of man, marriage has been a picture of the covenant relationship that Yah has desired to have with His faithful creations.
Ezekiel gives a powerful rebuke to the nation of Israel using this very imagery. “And as for thy nativity, in the day thou wast born thy navel was not cut, neither wast thou washed in water to supple thee; thou wast not salted at all, nor swaddled at all. None eye pitied thee, to do any of these unto thee, to have compassion upon thee; but thou wast cast out in the open field, to the loathing of thy person, in the day that thou wast born. And when I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, ‘Live;’ yea, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, ‘Live.’” (Ezek 16:4-7)
To humble them to repentance, Yah reminds Israel that they were brought forth out of heathen lands; that He loved them even before they were capable of returning His affection, and He goes on to say how He Himself raised the nation from youth to maturity, giving her the best of gifts along the way. “I have caused thee to multiply as the bud of the field, and thou hast increased and waxen great, and thou art come to excellent ornaments: thy breasts are fashioned, and thine hair is grown, whereas thou wast naked and bare. Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord GOD, and thou becamest mine.” (Ezek 16:7,8)
To spread one’s garment over a woman was a symbol of taking her as a wife (Ruth 3:9), and Yah is explaining through His prophet that Israel is to Him as a wife. Unfortunately, He continues, this wedding was not what one would call ideal. “But thou didst trust in thine own beauty, and playedst the harlot because of thy renown, and pouredst out thy fornications on every one that passed by; his it was. And in all thine abominations and thy whoredoms thou hast not remembered the days of thy youth, when thou wast naked and bare, and wast polluted in thy blood.” (Ezek 16:15,22) Of course, our Father is merciful, and does not leave His “case” against His wife at a rebuke, but rather He will allow her to fall on misfortune, and will punish her “lovers,” that she may remember her Husband and cry out to Him. He concludes with, “For thus saith the Lord GOD; ‘I will even deal with thee as thou hast done, which hast despised the oath in breaking the covenant. Nevertheless I will remember my covenant with thee in the days of thy youth, and I will establish unto thee an everlasting covenant. Then thou shalt remember thy ways, and be ashamed, when thou shalt receive thy sisters, thine elder and thy younger: and I will give them unto thee for daughters, but not by thy covenant. And I will establish my covenant with thee; and thou shalt know that I am the LORD.’” (Ezek 16:59-62)
Yah loves His bride. Even when they rejected Him completely by crucifying Him in the form of His Son Yahshua, He nevertheless went to His people first with the new covenant. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” (Rom 1:16) “But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile. (Rom 2:10) But now we Gentiles (for I have not much Jewish heritage) are become a part of that Bride. “And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree, boast not against the branches.” (Rom 11:7,8a)
Yahshua did not establish a “new religion” in the sense of bringing us a new God, or a new system. Rather, we have the fulfilled system of worship now, and we are the SAME Bride. We are that woman whom Yah has loved from the beginning, and we are that Woman who will be received into Heaven in the end of days. “And he saith unto me, ‘Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.’ And he saith unto me, ‘These are the true sayings of God.’” (Rev 19:9) Now let us look at the description of the Bride, and this verse will lead us into our next section: “And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: (Rev 12:1)
What does it mean to be “clothed with the sun?” That is explained in these verses, as Scripture interprets Scripture: “I put on righteousness, and it clothed me: my judgment was as a robe and a diadem.” (Job 29:14) “But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in His wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.” (Mal 4:2) The Woman is clothed in the righteousness of Christ, who is the “Sun of righteousness.” On her head is a crown of twelve stars – A crown represents a kingdom, and Yahshua said to His twelve apostles, “Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations. And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; that ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel “ (Luke 22:28-30) The twelve tribes of Israel are they who will be “sealed” in the last days, (Rev 7) and become the firstfruits of ALL the redeemed in the heavens and earth to come. The Woman will be 12 kingdoms, each a star in her crown.
Now it also says the True Bride will have the “moon under her feet.” What does that mean? We examine the meaning of that in this study.
1. The New Moon in The Old Testament
On the fourth day of the Creation, we find this event: “And God said, ‘Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth:’ and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: He made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.” (Gen 1:14-19)
The sun and the moon were given to be “for signs and seasons.” All of Israel ran on a lunar calendar: “He appointed the moon for seasons: the sun knoweth his going down.” (Psa 104:9) Moreover, their months all began when the moon was dark, on the day of the “new moon.” The Jews even today call the first day of the month (which falls on a new moon) “rosh hodesh.”
Lots of interesting things happened on New Moons in the Old Testament. The reason they are not always readily apparent is because it is most often referred to, not as the New Moon, but as “the first day of the month.” After the flood in Noah’s day, the waters first fell below the peak of the mountains, “And the waters decreased continually until the tenth month: in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, were the tops of the mountains seen.” (Gen 8:5) The waters also completed their descent on a New Moon: “And it came to pass in the six hundredth and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried up from off the earth: and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and, behold, the face of the ground was dry.” (Gen 8:13)
The tabernacle in the wilderness was set up on a New Moon: “On the first day of the first month shalt thou set up the tabernacle of the tent of the congregation;” (Exo 40:2) as were many of the feasts. (Lev 23:24, 39) Regarding prophecy, the majority of Ezekiel’s visions came to him on the first day of any given month.
In terms of strictly human activities, the New Moons were always a time of self-examination, of cleansing. A very small set of examples: “And they assembled all the congregation together on the first day of the second month, and they declared their pedigrees after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, by their polls.” (Num 1:18) “And Ezra the priest, with certain chiefs of the fathers, after the house of their fathers, and all of them by their names, were separated, and sat down in the first day of the tenth month to examine the matter. And they made an end with all the men that had taken strange wives by the first day of the first month.” (Ezra 10:16,17) Ezra also read the Law to the people who had come out of captivity on a “first day of the month.” (Neh 8:2)
Jonathan examined his father’s motives regarding David on this day, the first time in Scripture it is explicitly referred to AS the New Moon: “And David said unto Jonathan, ‘Behold, to morrow is the new moon, and I should not fail to sit with the king at meat: but let me go, that I may hide myself in the field unto the third day at even. If thy father at all miss me, then say, David earnestly asked leave of me that he might run to Bethlehem his city: for there is a yearly sacrifice there for all the family. If he say thus, It is well; thy servant shall have peace: but if he be very wroth, then be sure that evil is determined by him.’” (1 Sam 20:5-7)
All of this makes perfect sense as we consider the Bride of Yahshua as a woman. For natural women also there is a symbol of this, a monthly “cleansing” of that which is unnecessary, and now purposeless. The Woman in Revelation 12 “stands on the moon,” because she also runs on a lunar calendar; just as the Sabbath is our weekly rest, so is the New Moon to be our “monthly cleansing.”
In the Old Testament, we have the clear indication that New Moons were kept as Sabbaths were. The two are often mentioned together, and as with the weekly rest, there was no buying and selling, secular work or unnecessary physical labor: “Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day.” (Psa 81:3) “Thus saith the Lord GOD; ‘The gate of the inner court that looketh toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the Sabbath it shall be opened, and in the day of the New Moon it shall be opened.” (Ezek 46:1) “Hear this, O ye that swallow up the needy, even to make the poor of the land to fail, saying, ‘When will the New Moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the Sabbath, that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsifying the balances by deceit? That we may buy the poor for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes; yea, and sell the refuse of the wheat?’ The LORD hath sworn by the excellency of Jacob, ‘Surely I will never forget any of their works.’” (Amos 8:4-7)
And just as the Woman, the Bride, endures forever, and just as the moon itself will endure forever – “It shall be established for ever as the moon, and as a faithful witness in heaven. Selah.”(Psa 89:37) – so shall the New Moon ceremony endure forever; ever a part of the cycle of the immortal Wife of the Lamb. “‘For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me,’ saith the LORD, ‘so shall your seed and your name remain. And it shall come to pass, that from one New Moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me,’ saith the LORD.” (Isa 66:22,23) It should be of note that this is the primary verse used to show that the Sabbath is a perpetual ordinance, and as is often the case, the New Moon is mentioned right along with it.
2. The New Moon in The New Testament
The New Moon in the New Testament? Yes, it’s really there. It is only mentioned by name once. However, there are many Biblical Feasts mentioned as being common activities of Yahshua and Paul (Luke 2:41,42; John 7:2, Acts 27:9, 18:21, 1 Cor 16:8) – and it should be remembered that all of these are reckoned from various New Moon timeframes.
But the one place where it’s explicitly mentioned is actually used to deny its validity, believe it or not. Paul writes of the Sabbath and the New Moon in his letter to the Colossians, contrasting man’s ordinances and Yah’s laws. He writes, “Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.” (Col 2:18,19) The Body of Christ is increasing, he writes, in wisdom and true knowledge; but men, puffed up by their vanity, will try to lead others astray, “Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.” (verse 23)
The truly sad thing about this situation is that Paul’s OWN writings would be used to deceive many. The apostle Peter warned Christians to watch out for this. He speaks of the time of the end, and says, “Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things [new heavens and earth], be diligent that ye may be found of Him in peace, without spot, and blameless. And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.” (2 Peter 3:14-16) The unlearned and unstable battle over the meaning of the difficult passages of Paul’s epistles, and to their own destruction, as well as the others they lead astray.
Paul’s writings are to be read with wisdom, and insight from the Holy Spirit. It is not that they are too complicated for the “common man;” no priest is needed to expound the wisdom of the Word of Yah, but we must have the inspiration and wisdom that comes from the Throne, for by this we will have all knowledge, and without it we become citizens of Babylon – great confusion.
Now let us look at one of these “difficult passages” of Paul’s writings and see if the Spirit cannot lead us into all truth. Here is the passage mentioning the New Moon: “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days, which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.” (Col 2:16-17)
I have seen some very well-meaning Sabbathkeepers do a great ballet to try to explain that the “Sabbath days” here are those of the Biblical feasts, or that Paul meant “some other thing.” However, the word “days” is added in English – he is indeed speaking of the weekly day of rest. However, there is ANOTHER word added in English to that passage that completely changes the meaning of the entire chapter.
If the reader will remember from above, Paul is writing in Colossians chapter 2 to contrast the Law of Yah and the laws of men. He is giving example after example of the differences between the two, and this is just another example. Here is the passage again, with the two words added by English editors in brackets: “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath [days]: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body [is] of Christ.” Now, it has been rightly pointed out that this passage was written after the death of Yahshua and the establishment of the New Covenant, yet the holy days, the New Moon and the Sabbath are still shadows of “things to come,” i.e., future events. They have therefore NOT passed away.
But even more clearly is the spirit of Colossians 2 seen when we take out the two words that have been added. The passage them reads in clear, simple language: “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the New Moon, or of the Sabbath: which are a shadow of things to come; but the Body of Christ.” (Col 2:16-17) These things, the shadows of things to come, are to be judged ONLY by the Body of Christ: “Let no man therefore judge you... but the Body of Christ.” Only the Body of the Woman knows her time. Only the Woman “stands on the moon,” examining and purifying herself once a month even as she awaits the Bridegroom. Only the Body of the Messiah is learned in the letter and Spirit of Scripture in order to enable them to judge a good diet, the days of rest, the days of sanctification.
When there was a dispute over circumcision in the early church, “the apostles and elders came together for to consider the matter.” (Acts 15:6) There was a disagreement, yet the members did not go to man’s law to establish what was right, nor did they use the arm of civil authority to establish their doctrine; rather they came to the Body. James concluded the meeting with this declaration, “Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God: But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood. For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath day.” (Acts 15:19-21)
Notice: the council judged rightly on matters of “meat and drink” and in respect to “an holy day,” the Sabbath, where they counsel new Gentile converts to go to the synagogues to learn the teachings of Moses for their education (on foods, idols etc.) on the 7th Day of the week. This was in keeping exactly with what Paul was referring to in Colossians. He was in no way saying, “These things are your own business, keep them if you want to.” No! He was saying rather, “Submit yourself to the Body, the only institution on earth not corrupted by man’s false wisdom and pride; the only institution capable of rightly judging the will of Yah on these matters.” The Bride is in submission to the Husband, and Christ’s voice will be heard declaring what we His people ought to do.
3. The New Moon Today and Tomorrow
It has been asked of me a couple of times, “If the New Moon is so important, why was it not included in the Ten Commandments?” Well, the answer for that is simple. The Decalogue is a written reflection of the character of Yah. The Psalmist wrote, “Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy Law is the truth.” (Psa 119:142)
The Ten Commandments are a reflection of the character of Yah, the Husband, not the Bride. His Words established the Heavens as well as the earth, and His ways are from everlasting unto everlasting. Essentially, when Yah created His way, His order – there was no sin. The New Moon is not mentioned in Scripture until well after man’s sin. There was no need for a person to “examine” himself or herself if there was nothing to look for. Adam and Eve, in their perfection, had no use for the New Moon ceremony; and the Decalogue, which is a standard of perfection, reflects this.
Now, however, our “eyes have been opened,” and we see that we are naked. (Gen 3:7) Forever more we will have an awareness of sin, even in the New Creation. Of course, there will BE no sin there, but Yahshua will bear His scars for us; and it is written: “In the midst of the street of [New Jerusalem], and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” (Rev 22:2) Isaiah 66 says that New Moons will be kept in the post-sin Universe, and Revelation says that once a month, for the 12 months of the year, the tree of life will bear fruit. No more will we examine ourselves for sin, but forever after the New Moon will be an ordinance of humility reminding us that we depend upon Yahshua, and the tree of life (the manifestation of His sustaining grace) continually for our eternal existence.
Today, there is still sin in the world. This is the most perverse generation that history has ever known; Sodom and Gomorrah in their wretchedness were nothing compared to the stench of unrighteousness that filters up even to the Throne of the Most High today. Men are lovers of self, and seekers after their own pleasure. Innocent children are indoctrinated in our public schools in humanism, evolution, homosexuality and all manner of misleading philosophies. Even the churches waver under the weight of unconfessed sin; relying on a counterfeit grace that has no power to change the heart, or make the spirit new. It may rightly be said of us, as in the days before the flood, “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (Gen 6:5)
We, who are preparing for the marriage of the Lamb, we must watch and seek after His righteousness always. We gather together once a month with our brothers and sisters, and we rest from our worldly labors; and we commune with our Father, letting Yahshua our Savior wash our feet. For we were once baptized into His Body, but we yet walk in this world on streets that are filthy with sin. And yes, even at the last supper (which incidentally took place at Passover – also reckoned from the day of the New Moon); even then the disciples were examining themselves as they awaited the New Kingdom. “Lord is it I?” They asked themselves, when our Master said that one of them would betray Him.
Let us therefore examine ourselves always for the stains of transgression, and not be ashamed to “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (James 5:16)
Conclusion: For They Are Virgins
It is written of the purified Church in the last days, “And they sung as it were a new song before the Throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the Throne of God. (Rev 14:3-5)
Let us remember Paul’s words. Only the true Woman can rightly judge matters of the Spirit on earth. Yahshua said of His Bride, “Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Mat 18:18) If a church is not equipped to judge these matters, let it examine itself – Paul says the true Bride IS. There are many false women out there that are not the true Bride, for Babylon has many daughters: “And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” (Rev 17:5) Solomon in his wisdom warns us not to be defiled by “false women,” “For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil: But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell.” (Pro 5:3-5)
“Hearken unto me now therefore, O ye children, and attend to the words of my mouth. Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths. For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her. Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.” (Pro 7:24-27)
But we must be virgins: pure and undefiled by these false women; by these counterfeit brides who have no knowledge of the Husband, nor oil in their lamps to last until that Great Day. We must be sealed, and members of the True Bride, who is clothed with the righteousness of Yahshua, who has twelve stars in her glittering crown, and who stands on the moon... making herself ready, like Esther who received “things for purification” (Est 2:9) from those who kept watch over the maidens until such a time as they were prepared to stand before the Groom. The hour is at hand, and the Bridegroom hastens. The Woman is even now standing up to take her place in the Heavens, and all who look forward to the marriage rejoice that the day is not far off; but even while we await, we worship our Lord – from one Sabbath to another, and from one New Moon to another. (Isa 66:23)