Posts Tagged With: Feast Days

Moonbeams and the Moedim Part IV  

Please see Part I, Part II, and Part III for the best context.

Gestation

 I do hope you that you have at least read Part III and have considered the significance of the number NINE in regard to the creation of LIFE. The following analogy will cover all seven of YHWH’s moedim and the two festivals of the people (Chanukah and Purim). I realize that some people will have a “problem” with me adding in the latter two festivals. My hope is that those that do will at least take the time to read the whole matter before making a judgment.

I’m obviously not the first person to compare the feast cycle with the human gestation. But in my research of this topic, I haven’t found one that includes all nine of the aforementioned festivals. Since the Biblical year begins in Nisan, all the resources I’ve inquired start the analogy with Pesach. Since human gestation is nine months, 280 days, or 40 weeks, one cannot begin with Passover and end with Sukkot because there are only about 25.3 weeks between these festivals. Thus, many resources extend their analogy to include Chanukah. But even then, there still isn’t a true nine month period as there are only about 10 weeks between Sukkot and Chanukah. (A total of 35.3 weeks)

But if we begin with Purim, a feast that begins exactly one month before Passover, and we walk through the moedim cycle all the purimway to Chanukah, we indeed end up right at 40 weeks or nine months. I personally don’t believe this is a coincidence. Since Purim technically falls toward the end of the Biblical year, this may seem to be a perplexing place to start. But when we consider what Purim commemorates, I believe things come into focus. Please join me through this exciting journey that chronicles both natural and spiritual life.

Purim and Conception

In the Book of Esther, we are given the history and story behind Purim. There are quite a few fascinating tidbits in Esther that I hope to write about soon. For this post, I will curb my fingers and give you the bare bones as to why I believe Purim is a picture of conception or the beginning of life. In the time of Esther, the Jewish people were living in exile under the rule of the Persian Empire. A highly anti-Semitic official (Haman) tricked the king into signing a decree to annihilate the Jewish people. But God chose a woman (Esther) to intercede and act on behalf of her people. As the new bride of the king of Persia, Esther was able to not only save her people, but also ensure their future.

This is overly simplified, but the point is that Esther became a “mother” to Israel and a builder of the House. Without her heroics, the Jewish people would have been annihilated and the Messiah wouldn’t have been born. During Purim, the people were “fertile” with potential. If Esther had refused to become YHWH’s vessel, salvation would have come from another. (Esther 4:14) Purim celebrates survival; something conceived babies’ need more than ever in today’s world.

Thus, Purim appropriately involves rejoicing through the physical pleasures (food, drink, etc.) because it was our physical bodies that were saved. Ahem… this also implies sex and the potential to receive seed (conception). The date of Purim is Adar 14th, which occurs at the full moon on the last Hebrew month of the year. In leap years, when there are two months of Adar, Purim is celebrated in the second month of Adar, so it is always one month before Passover.

If you will recall from Part II, when a woman is in menses at the new moon, she is fertile at the full moon. In our analogy, both Purim and ovulation occur on the 14th of the month when the moon is full. (Esther 9:17) To make things simple for our comparisons of the moedim and gestation, I will use the Jewish calendar beginning with the date for Purim this year, March 4th, 2015.

Passover

In our analogy, it is during the weeks between Purim and Passover that a woman’s body would make the crucial decision of whether or not the fertilized egg is viable enough to implant in the uterus. Likewise, those that are preparing for Passover begin a similar process of selection by eating up and removing any leaven in the home. Just as Israel had to experience several of the plagues of Egypt, a woman may experience some sickness at this point.

If conception occurred on the evening of March 4th, 2015, then by the time the Biblical New Year and Passover occurs, it will be April 3rd. Since exactly one full month would have passed, Passover will also occur during a full moon when there is more “light”. A woman would have just recently been made aware that she had conceived as her menses would have skipped its cycle at the new moon. At this point, she would be four weeks pregnant.

By the fourth week of pregnancy, the tiny baby has already made itself a “home” in the uterus. As you read the following quote, please keep spiritual birth at the forefront of your mind. What to Expect[1] says this about the fourth week of gestation:

 “Once there [in the uterus], it burrows into your uterine lining and implants — making that unbreakable connection to you that’ll last the next eight months (and a lifetime after that). As soon as that little ball of cells is settled in its new home, it will undergo the great divide — splitting into two groups. Half (now called the embryo) will become your son or daughter, while the other half forms the placenta, your baby’s lifeline…” [Bolding and brackets are mine.]

I don’t know about you, but I find this fascinating. Passover is the covenantal meal. It is what makes that “unbreakable” connection between YHWH and us – and it does last for a lifetime!

Unleavened Bread and Early First Fruits

 On the heels of Passover, the Days of Unleavened Bread commence. In our analogy these festivals would fall from April 4th through April 10th. There is to be no leavened bread consumed for these seven days. This was to remind the children of Israel that they had to leave Egypt in haste. But Pharaoh pursued the Israelites as far as the Red Sea. This would have been about the time that the early first fruits festival would occur. Later as a fulfillment of Passover, Unleavened Bread, and Early First Fruits, Messiah shed His blood in death as the Paschal Lamb, was buried during Unleavened Bread, and rose from the grave becoming our Firstfruits.

 A lot happens throughout this fourth week of pregnancy as well. What to Expect continues:

“Your little embryo is busy setting up house. While the amniotic sac (also called the bag of waters) forms around it, so does the yolk sac which will later be incorporated into your baby’s developing digestive tract. And the embryo now has three distinct layers of cells that will grow into specialized parts of your baby’s body.” [Bolding mine.]

 If you look carefully, you can see elements that are involved with Matzah and Early Firstfruits. Just as the children of Israel walked through the waters of the Red Sea during this time frame, the baby is surrounded (and yet protected) by the merciful waters of the womb. Moreover, its digestive tract begins to develop. This is indicative of our digestive tracts being “reprogrammed” each year by abstaining from leaven. I also cannot help but to notice that it is in this week that the baby (embryo) develops THREE distinct layers of cells that will build its little body. This whole process in the natural and the spiritual is about building the HOUSE.

Omer Counting

The following points are labeled according to gestation weeks, not omer weeks. I have included SEVEN as we are told to count 7×7 weeks up to Shavuot (Pentecost). All of the following developmental stages were taken from What to Expect.

  • Week 5: Baby has visible heartbeat.
  • Week 6: Head and face takes shape.
  • Week 7: Brain cells rapidly develop as do arm/leg buds.
  • Week 8: Heart beats at 150 beats a minute. Lips, nose, and eyelids develop.
  • Week 9: Baby hits milestone. (Notice this is in NINTH week.) Embryonic stage ends and fetal stage begins.
  • Week 10: Bones and cartilage form.
  • Week 11: Sex organs begin forming. Baby now has distinct human features such as hands, feet, nose, and ears.

Shavuot (Pentecost)

Approximately seven weeks later on May 23rd, after the counting of the Omer, the second pilgrimage festival begins. The first fruits of wheat are brought in and baked into two leavened loaves that are then waved before YHWH. The children of Israel would have reached Mt. Sinai at this point and received the Ten Commandments. Later, the resurrected Messiah would send the Holy Spirit to appear as tongues of fire upon His disciples.

The developing baby would be at about 12 weeks gestation and nearing the end of the first trimester by Shavuot. This week marks a turning point for the developing baby much in the same way that experiencing Pentecost is a turning point in the life of a Believer. What to Expect says this about the 12th week of gestation:

“At 12 weeks pregnant, the herculean task of developing new bodily structures is nearing an end, as most of your baby’s systems are fully formed – though there’s still plenty of maturing to do. For one thing, the fetal digestive system is beginning to flex its digestive muscle — literally — as it starts beginning to practice contraction movements, a skill your baby will need after birth to push food through the digestive tract. The bone marrow is busy making white blood cells — weapons which will one day help your baby fight infection once he’s out of your safe haven. And the pituitary gland at the base of the brain has started producing the hormones that’ll enable him (or her) to make babies of his (or her) own in a couple of decades or so.” [Bolding mine]

human-pregnancy-stages-of-developmentI think it’s pretty easy to deduce that the Israelites weren’t quite “mature” by the time they reached the mountain to receive the Ten Words. The same could be said of those that received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost in Acts chapter 2 (we read in the epistles of their ongoing immaturity issues.) And if we are really honest, the same thing can be said of us! We are all like the little developing baby (spiritually speaking). Our systems might be fully formed, but we still have a lot of growing to do.

 By this point in our spiritual development, we should have enough digestive power to receive the bread offering at Shavuot. The fact that the baby’s white blood cells are arming it against infection mirrors the spiritual armor given to us by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.  But perhaps the most intriguing thing that begins to happen at this stage is the capacity to REPRODUCE. Just as the baby develops the ability to one day have children of its own, we become spiritually empowered to spread the Seed (Gospel) at Shavuot.

Long Summer

There are about 16 weeks between Shavuot and Rosh Hashanah. That’s close to half the gestation cycle! As you can imagine, a lot of development and maturity occurs during these months. This is true of the harvest and for us spiritually as well. The long, hot summer is meant to prepare and mature us for what is to come.

One month before the fall feasts (Elul), the shofar is blasted every day to call us to repentance. Judgment and the harvest are near. The entire second trimester passed in the hot summer months. One of the most notable things to occur before the Feast of Trumpets is the baby’s development of hearing. Read the following amazing quote about the 17th week of gestation from What to Expect.

Baby’s Startled By Noise. Your baby is almost certainly listening up by now. In fact, loud noises — the dog barking, the doorbell ringing — will actually startle your baby…”

 Obviously, you know that the “loud noise” could certainly include the blast of the shofar!

 Rosh Hashanah or Feast of Trumpets

The trials and struggles of the long hot summer have produced ears that can hear when the heavenly shofar sounds aloud. By the time Rosh Hashanah arrives on September 13th, our ears are fully open. We know the sound of our Master’s voice and are willing to heed His call.

The shofar is meant to call the sleeper from the grave. Those that slumber must “wake up”! Notice that it is at this stage of development (about 28 weeks) that the baby has the ability to sleep and dream. Moreover, the baby has now moved into the “proper” position for birth — which is with its head facing downward. Is this not also the proper posture for us during the High Holy Days? Again from What to Expect:

“Your baby is settling into the proper position for birth, with his head facing downward (toward your body’s nearest exit!). Brain wave activity measured in a developing fetus shows different sleep cycles, including the rapid eye movement phase — the stage when dreaming occurs.” [Bolding mine]

Yom Kippur

Ten days after Rosh Hashanah the most Holy day of the year is upon us. In our analogy, it is Sept. 22nd. The baby enters into the third trimester of development and is almost at 30 weeks gestation. At this stage, the baby’s eyes are just starting to open.

 The people fast as the High Priest makes atonement for the entire nation at Yom Kippur. This day is the only day of the year that the High Priest can enter the Most Holy Place and he doesn’t enter without changing his garments and offering blood. Once again from What to Expect:

“Another big change at 30 weeks pregnant: Your baby’s bone marrow has taken over production of red blood cells (before, tissue groups and then the spleen took care of producing the blood cells). This is an important step for your baby, because it means he or she is better able to thrive on his or her own once born. [Bolding mine.]

 When the blood is offered for atonement, the baby’s bones (frame/building) can now produce blood (where life is found).

Sukkot

In our analogy, the dates for Sukkot are September 27th –October 4th. Judgment has passed and the party begins under the sukkah. The baby is now at about 30-31 weeks into development. All of YHWH’s festivals are meant to engage our senses. But Sukkot seems to invoke these sensations a little more than all the others. Perhaps, it is because Sukkot (as the SEVENTH moed) is a picture of the culmination of the entire festal calendar.  At Sukkot, we see the stars and the neatly decorated sukkah, we feel the wind and the embrace of the brethren, we hear the sounds of the shofar, dancing, and rejoicing, we taste the sumptuous foods in the sukkah, and we smell the fire, food, and four species waved at the four corners of the earth. Not surprisingly, it is at this stage that the baby can now perceive from all five senses. Again from What to Expect:

He’s now processing information, tracking light and perceiving signals from all five senses. [Bolding mine.]

Throughout the following ten weeks, many more changes begin to happen in the development of the baby. Perhaps, two are most notable. First, the baby begins to practice breathing. Its little lungs are now prepared to take in its first breath. Second, its pupils can constrict, dilate and detect light entering his or her eyes.

Chanukah

Chanukah in our analogy is Dec. 6th – Dec. 14th. As the festival of lights, it is not surprising that the baby’s eyes can now fully detect light. After all, it will be during this festival that our little baby will make its way from the darkness of the womb into the bright light of the new world. It is fully developed and ready to meet its maker.

Chanukah is actually a late Sukkot festival. Although we celebrate with Light, we can still sense all the wonder and joy we experienced during the eight days of Tabernacles. I actually like to think of Purim and Chanukah as standing outside the seven festivals of YHWH on either end as a picture of the olam haba. Obviously, that is my opinion; you are free to have your own.

HD-Baby-Wallpapers-1-1Life in cycles of nine speaks to mankind (adam), covenant, light, and TRUTH.[2] The Gospel is spoken in the stars, in our flesh, and in the moedim. Natural human gestation is a picture of our spiritual gestation as we grow, mature, and develop in order to meet our Maker. I do hope this analogy has given you some food for thought as we are quickly approaching a new year! Purim is this week! Part V should wrap all these concepts up and offer a conclusion to Moonbeams and the Moedim. I hope you’ll join me.

John 3:3-8 Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (4) Nicodemus *said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?” (5) Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. (6) “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. (7) “Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ (8) “The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”


[1] I gleaned the various stages of fetal development in my analogies from the website: What to Expect.

[2] See Moonbeams and the Moedim Part III.

Categories: Moedim, Women | Tags: , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Moonbeams and the Moedim Part II

We discussed YHWH as the Master Time keeper and the relationship between women and the moon in Part I. This post will compare the four primary moon phases to the feast days and women’s cycles. 

supermoon_01Quick Review

The Creator’s purpose for placing the great luminaries in the sky is to govern our TIME (and calendars).

Then God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate 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 expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth“; and it was so. God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night; He made the stars also. God placed them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good. There was evening and there was morning, a fourth day. (Gen. 1:14-19)

The moon is given a unique role in setting our calendars; it keeps, guards, protects, and marks out our moedim or appointed times with the Creator. These roles mirror those of the female and the ezer kenegdo.[1] These “appointed times” or appointments with God were meant to be important and relevant to God’s people in all generations (Lev. 23).

He made the moon for the seasons (moedim)… (Ps. 104:19)

In this post, we are going to focus on the various moon phases that mark out our months. Have you ever considered what phase the moon is in at various biblical festivals? Do you think it’s possible that the Creator meant for us to consider not only the season of each feast, but also the phase the moon would be in? Since the moon was given for the moedim, I believe there is great significance to be gleaned by these observances.

Moon-PhasesThe moon actually changes (from our perspective) a little each night. Science generally categorizes these changes into four principal lunar phases. In between each of these quarters, there are also four intermediate phases.[2] All together, they are:

  • New moon (astronomical)
  •      Waxing crescent
  • First quarter
  •      Waxing gibbous
  • Full moon
  •      Waning gibbous
  • Last quarter
  •      Waning crescent

For our purposes here, I will be using the four principal lunar phases as section titles. Where a feast day falls during an intermediate phase, it will be noted. But first, let’s define the new moon more clearly.[3]

As I’m sure most of my readers understand, there is a difference between the astronomical new moon and the biblical new moon. The astronomical new moon occurs when the moon is completely invisible or dark. Most of the time, you can see this phase with the naked eye. The moon appears “full” but it has no illumination. This may help us to understand a fascinating contranym (a word that can mean its own opposite) in Hebrew with regard to the moon. That word is the Hebrew keseh. This Hebrew word may sound familiar to you in the form Yom HaKeseh, the Hidden Day — a day referring most particularly to the new moon feast of Yom Teruah (Rosh Hashanah).

Truly, the moon is “hidden” just before the first sliver of the new crescent reveals the return of light and the biblical new moon. But the word keseh means much more than “hidden”. It is used here in the Psalm 81:

Blow the trumpet at the new moon (chodesh), at the full moon (keseh), on our feast day (chag). (Ps. 81:3)

Chodesh (New Moon) is a Hebrew word derived from the root meaning new or renew.[4] The Crescent New Moon is called chodesh precisely because it is the first time the moon is seen anew after being concealed in darkness. What seems to cause confusion is the uncertainty of the root behind the Hebrew word keseh (translated as full moon). This is Strong’s definition followed by its root.

H3677 כּסה    כּסא kese’  keseh Apparently from H3680; properly fullness or the full moon, that is, its festival: – (time) appointed.

H3680 כּסה kâsâh A primitive root; properly to plump, that is, fill up hollows; by implication to cover (for clothing or secrecy): – clad self, close, clothe, conceal, cover (self), (flee to) hide, overwhelm. Compare H3780.

Obviously, keseh means to be full or fully covered. Is not the full moon full of light and the new moon covered in (partial) darkness? Can you detect the contranym in keseh? This word denotes both revealed fullness and concealed coverings. Keseh is like kos, cup. The full moon is like a cup overflowing with abundance. Likewise, the new moon is “covered” with the same abundant force. Thus, the moon (from our perspective) is in a continual state of keseh. Like many Hebrew words, keseh can mean its own opposite. The moon is both revealed and concealed in a cycle. This activity is mirrored by women, both in their appearances in the biblical narratives (their movement in and out of the text) and in their physical bodies (menses/flow).

According to the Bible and Hebraic history, sighting the very first sliver of the waxing moon crescent marks a biblical new moon. This makes sense considering that when the moon is still black, there is not yet an indication of renewal. Only when the first visible sign of light returns can the moon be considered “renewed”. Historically, each new month began with the sightings of two reliable witnesses. Once announced, two silver trumpets heralded the day. Signal fires were then lit from mountain to mountain to spread the news throughout the Kingdom. And a new moonth began.

Rosh Chodesh (New Moon)

Phase One

The Biblical New Moon honors God as the Creator, the Master of TIME and new beginnings. The moon is a symbol that emphasizes our move from darkness unto light. At the head of every new month, we have an opportunity to live out this truth anew. The moon’s cycle of waxing and waning reminds us that even in our failings, when our light decreases, there is always hope for renewal. Rosh Chodesh offers us the opportunity to begin anew every month. This is just one more way that we may join YHWH as masters of TIME in the wheel in the middle of the wheel.

In Jewish tradition, women are given special honor during Rosh Chodesh. Some women celebrate it as a special Shabbat from certain types of labor and gather together with other women for study. There are several stories from tradition that make these associations quite fascinating. You can read about them in the links in this footnote.[5] Regardless of whether the traditional stories are true or not, the physical nature of women’s cycles weren’t lost to the Sages. Though shrouded in some mystery, women’s bodies align themselves with YHWH’s mystical lunar clock.

shfar manYom Teruah

Although Chanukah extends into a new moon phase, there is only one feast day that begins at the New Moon: Yom Teruah or Rosh Hashanah (Trumpets). It may now be very obvious why trumpets are blown at this date. Since weather can affect the sighting of a new moon sliver, this day has been dubbed, Yom HaKeseh, the Hidden Day at which no man knows the hour or the day of its occurrence. Yom Teruah heralds the seventh month, the coming Day of Atonement, and the Feast of Ingathering.

This day calls the ones sleeping in darkness to hear the great alarm of the shofar. Wake from slumber and know the season and phase you are entering. The Father desires that none perish, but many will choose otherwise. There are exactly ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. These days are called the Days of Awe and throughout this time, the moon grows fuller and fuller. In other words, the new moon brings promises of more light, more awareness. There is an escalation that begins with this New Moon Feast that will culminate at Sukkot. Remember that first sliver of light is visible at this feast and moon phase. It brings with it the potential for growth and restoration.

Women

Many women have their menses either during the dark/new moon or during the full moon. They shed the old, so they can begin building the new. Obviously, menses can occur at any time during the month, but when a woman bleeds during the new moon, she will be fertile at the full. And when she bleeds at the full moon, she will be fertile during the new moon. Studies show that the more women are exposed to natural light (rather than artificial), the more consistent their cycles align with the moon phases.[6] The new moon is certainly a type of renewal, just as the woman’s womb continually renews itself.

To simplify our analogy with women and the moon, let’s consider a woman that ovulates during the new moon. If the egg is met with seed, new life will begin to form.

First Quarter

Phase Two

 As soon as the first sliver of the new moon reveals itself, the moon begins to grow increasing fuller in the night sky.

Shavuot and Yom Kippur

Shavuot (Pentecost) is the fourth feast on YHWH’s calendar. It is the holiday that commemorates the giving of the Torah and the Holy Spirit. Every year, this spring harvest festival falls at the waxing moon. The implication is that this season and phase of the moon is a time of growth, harvest, and blessing.

Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, also falls at this time as the sixth feast. As the most holy day of the year, it behooves us to ask why it arrives during the waxing moon. I believe the answer is revealed when we also consider the other two festivals that sandwich this feast (fast) day in the seventh month. We’ve already looked at Rosh Hashanah as the new moon. It calls us to awaken from our slumber and to hear the shofar’s call, warning us of coming Judgment. Ideally, the call will lead us to life.

Yom Kippur is the Day of Judgment. Too often we associate judgment with finality. The moon speaks to us that that is not what the Creator has in mind. There is more to the story. His desire is that we are judged favorably as pictured in this waxing/growing moon phase. Judgment leads us to something. It points us to eternity as visualized in the following feast of Sukkot (Tabernacles).

Women

If an egg was fertilized at the new moon, then at this phase, the zygote will be implanted into the womb and growth will rapidly occur. Conversely, if no seed was received, the womb will prepare to shed in menses.

The Full Moon

Phase Three

The full moon falls around the fourteenth or fifteenth day of Hebrew months. The important thing to remember is that when the moon is full, we have the most light in the darkness. It’s easier to SEE.

lulavPesach and Sukkot

Two of the three pilgrimage festivals, Pesach (Passover) and Sukkot (Tabernacles), occur at the full moon. If we looked at all seven festivals together, these feasts would bookend YHWH’s entire calendar. The light of the moon offers a bright night sky for worshippers and pilgrims to gather together. Interestingly, Sukkot commemorates the original Passover and the succeeding wanderings in the wilderness. The two feasts with the most light in the darkness are linked and connected by their memorials, light, and completeness.

Mystically speaking, there is more “spiritual” light on the earth at these appointed times. In my experience, it is the two festivals of Passover and Tabernacles that people are more curious about and willing to participate in.

Women

If a woman ovulated during the new moon, she will begin menses at this time if she didn’t receive seed. If she did conceive, her body will pause her cycle at this moon and full gestation will begin. I believe Passover and Sukkot both impregnate the true spiritual seeker with a desire to seek the Creator more diligently through obedience.

Last Quarter

Phase Four

The moon’s light begins to decrease.

Unleavened Bread, Early Firstfruits, Shemini Atzeret, and Chanukah

Holidays that fall during the waning days of diminishing light include Chanukah (which extends into the new moon) and Shemini Atzeret/Simchat Torah, the eighth day of Sukkot. This holiday also marks the end of the Torah cycle and its beginning. These are holidays of new beginnings, cleansing and renewal, and portals from death into life.

In the spring, just after the full moon of Passover, come the days of Unleavened Bread and Early Firstfruits. The moon light begins to gently decrease during these days as well. The theme of these festivals mirrors Shemini Atzeret and Chanukah. This isn’t surprising since they all occur during the same waning moon phase. Harvest, rebirth, resurrection, and renewal are all present.

While decreasing in light can be considered a negative thing, sometimes it is a very necessary and holy act. Perhaps that is why more feast days occur at this moon phase than any other. Consider John the Baptist’s words:

John answered and said, “A man can receive nothing unless it has been given him from heaven. “You yourselves are my witnesses that I said, ‘I am not the Christ,’ but, ‘I have been sent ahead of Him.’ “He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. So this joy of mine has been made full. “He must increase, but I must decrease. “He who comes from above is above all, he who is of the earth is from the earth and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all. (John 3:27-31)

I wonder if John had the analogy of the moon in mind when he said these words. If you carefully read the above passage, you can clearly see the moon phases. John was sent ahead of the Messiah as the “sent one”. His job was to testify (reflect) the true light:

 There came a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the Light, but he came to testify about the Light. (John 1:6-8)

The imagery of the moon reflecting the true light of the sun (Son) is unmistakable here. The fact that the Hebrew month begins in the evening with the moon in the sky also testifies to this. The moon precedes the sunlight just as John preceded the Messiah. His job? To testify or reflect the coming Light. This is the job of all “sent ones”. Remember to think cyclically and not linearly. In Hebraic thought, this imagery doesn’t occur once, it is ongoing and repetitive. This cycle didn’t begin with John the Baptist nor will it end with him; just as the daily cycles of evening and morning repeat every day and the moon phases repeat every month.

In Jewish literature, the moon is not only associated with women, but with Israel as a nation. This shouldn’t surprise us since God’s people are often given feminine metaphors in the Bible. Israel and Judah are sisters; Israel/Judah is a bride, a woman, and a wife. As I’ve mentioned many times, both men and women are revealed in the Woman of Scripture. This is true whether you are a harlot or a righteous woman.

John knew that he had no real light of himself. The people didn’t need to be distracted by him, a mere man. The Mashiach, the Light of the World, was in their midst. To Him alone all glory belongs. This is a test for all “sent ones”. The moment a “sent one” believes that people must come to them for “light” is the moment they pass from truth to the realm of a false apostle.

angel-lightThis brings us to the other side of the coin of diminishment. Not all light is good or holy light. We know that the enemy masquerades as an “angel of light” and Messiah told us to “watch out that the light that in you is not darkness”. (Luke 11:35) The first wicked spirit that lights a dark lamp is pride.[7] We all suffer from this malady and it must be diminished as a wicked or dark lamp. Repenting and humbling ourselves, we have the promise of renewal and rebirth as seen in the coming new moon.

Women

Women also have this same promise if the conception of life didn’t occur earlier in the month. The new moon is coming, but not before darkness. I believe this is true for women desiring to conceive children and for those trying to birth other (good) things into the world. The cycle teaches us that sometimes we must endure the darkness. Sometimes our light is dim. But praise Adonai; the promise of His light is near. We need only to look up. Our salvation draws nigh.

“For just as the new heavens and the new earth which I make will endure before Me,” declares the LORD, “So your offspring and your name will endure. “And it shall be from new moon to new moon And from Sabbath to Sabbath, All mankind will come to bow down before Me,” says the LORD. (Is. 66:22-23)

Recap

Women connect us to sacred time. Their bodies tell the same story as the great luminaries in the sky. It is a message of life, death, and renewal. It is the gospel spoken through the flesh. Let’s put together what we know about the moon, the feasts, and women thus far. Here, I’ve given the analogy of a woman that is in menses at the new moon. Here are the festivals and their associated moon phase. I’ll let you make your own assessments for the feasts of the people: Chanukah and Purim.

Passover/Full Moon = Shedding of blood. Death is cleansed by blood, so new life can begin. All people must pass through the bloody opening of their mother’s womb, just as people of faith must leave Egypt through the bloody door of the covenant. Light is separated from the darkness. A woman is separated (niddah) by the blood, whether it is menstrual or from birth. Both speak to life, birth, and renewal.

Unleavened Bread/Waning Moon = Leaving an old life for a new one is difficult. All must eat the bread of affliction and struggle with this phase of repentance and cleansing. The light may “appear” dimmer as we walk through this process. As the uterus continues to shed death and decay, a woman experiences a level of discomfort and separation.

Early Firstfruits/Waning Moon = The moon continues to wane during this week. But the darkness of the tomb has light. The separation process isn’t indefinite. Gathering unto life is promised. (As pictured in Isaac and Messiah’s resurrection.) Though the days ahead may be dark, a new dawn is coming. The waters of immersion wash us in the Red Sea just as a woman is cleansed from her blood flow in the mikveh. Newness and cleansing preps us to receive life. We begin to count our days to fullness, to Shavuot.

Pentecost/Waxing Moon = When the day of Pentecost has “fully come”, the moon waxes toward fullness and we begin to overflow with the fullness of the Torah and the Holy Spirit. This likened to a woman that has received Seed. There is promise that a New Life is forming. This is why the moon isn’t yet full. We have our instructions and the filling of the Holy Spirit to see us through to the harvest.

Rosh Hashanah/New Moon = During the long hot summer, the harvest grows and ripens. Eventually, the darkness of this present world seems as if it will engulf us in wickedness. Alas, the trumpet sounds (Rosh Hashanah) announcing the arrival of the king. The tiny new sliver brings with it the promise of the bright full moon to come. But first, judgment must come to pass. The shofar calls the Bride to make herself ready. She is fertile and ready to receive her King.

Yom Kippur/Waxing moon = As the moon begins to reach fullness, Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement arrives. The harvest is gathered, bundled, and placed in the covering of the Master’s barn, but the chaff is burned outside. Likewise, two goats are marked. One for Adonai and the other is sent into the wilderness of sin to die for Azazel. The woman has been judged. Will she bear fruit fit for the Kingdom or will she only have the curse of a swollen belly because of the bitter waters?

Sukkot/Full Moon = After judgment, the marriage feast takes place under the bright harvest moon. What was promised in the betrothal at Shavuot is consummated under the chuppah. The bridegroom is joined with his bride. She recalls their time in the wilderness of her youth and her redemption from slavery. Everything about this festival recalls the great work and preparation of her Maker, her husband. Though He seemed to delay, the harvest is great. The guests are dressed in clean white linen. What was once a seed has become new and eternal life.

Shemini Atzeret /Waning Moon = The last great day occurs. Though the moon is waning once again, it won’t last long. The cycle will continue, but the moon’s light will no longer be diminished. YHWH is making all things new. There will be no need for the light of the earthly luminaries. He is our Light and His people know their appointed times. The trees (His people) will produce fruit every month because they are nourished from the River of Life that flows from the throne of God. (Ezek. 47:12, Rev. 22:2)

Chanukah = Waning Moon and New Moon

Purim = Full Moon

My hope is that you will now begin to meditate on the moon phase as you celebrate the moedim cycle. While men do not have a menstrual cycle that keeps their physical body attune with the moon, they no doubt have women in their lives that do. As a part of the greater assembly, both men and women (as a Bride) go through cycles of shedding death and nourishing good seed. In a very real sense, both men and women birth things in both the natural and the spiritual realms. The next post in this series will take this concept a bit further by examining the moedim within the framework of a human gestation cycle.

Part III



[1] The Biblical Role of Women Part I and Part II.

[2] The word crescent refers to the phases where the moon is less than half illuminated. The word gibbous refers to phases where the moon is more than half illuminated. Waxing means “growing” or expanding in illumination, while waning means “shrinking” or decreasing in illumination.

[3] In the camps of those returning to the Torah, the moon can cause a bit of controversy in the realm of calendar keeping.  Many divisions and splits have resulted from differing opinions and research of new moon sightings. Many a paper and teaching have sought to prove that their view of when a “new moon” actually occurs is the right one. There are others that adamantly claim that once the new month begins, the count for the weekdays should begin. This makes the weekly Shabbat, fall on the 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th of a month instead of the usual reckoning of Saturday (Sabbath). Confused yet?

We can truly act like LUNATICS in our pursuit of truth. I encourage you to seek balance in these areas through humility. Our Greek mind-sets desire absolutes, black and white answers, and “rightness”. But Hebraic thought allows for more than one understanding even when they appear contrary to our finite minds. Be careful when you feel the need or desire to draw line in the sand. No one has yet cornered the truth no matter how thoroughly researched the topic may be. Ask yourself what type of fruit will be manifested by your “belief” or “actions”. Will your stand produce life or death in the Body? Will your conviction build or destroy? I’m not calling for compromise, but sacrificial love. We don’t have to sacrifice our convictions in order to love others or respect their conclusions. We will be known by our fruit. May our fruit NOT reek of division, confusion, bickering, self-righteousness, and pride.

So, in regards to the “right” way to observe, mark, or calculate the new moon, humbly follow your convictions, but be careful when you judge someone else’s if it is contrary to yours. If your local Body doesn’t keep the moedim on the dates you do, I encourage you to join with them anyway. Separation that doesn’t lead to gathering is DEATH. (You can always keep the dates you feel are most accurate at home.) In this same spirit, be careful when you “judge” Jewish laws in this area as well. In light of this, I will not engage or allow others to mete out their fierce convictions on this issue in the comments on my blog. I see nothing but rotten fruit in such endeavors.

[4] Strong’s Definitions: H2320 חדשׁ chôdesh From H2318; the new moon; by implication a month: – month (-ly), new moon.

       H2318 חדשׁ châdash A primitive root; to be new; causatively to rebuild: – renew, repair.

[5]  http://www.myjewishlearning.com/holidays/Jewish_Holidays/Rosh_Chodesh/Women/Moon.shtml

http://www.aish.com/jl/hol/o/48972041.html

[6] See The Garden of Fertility by Katie Singer

[7] See Proverbs 6:6-8 and The Creation Gospel Workbook Two, by Dr. Hollisa Alewine.

Categories: Moedim, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Moonbeams and the Moedim Part I

moon

Women, Cycles, and Time

Have you ever considered why many of the families that have returned to the seventh day Sabbath and YHWH’s festivals began with the prompting of the woman or wife?[1] Or have you ever wondered why there is so much physical preparation (domestic and relational requirements) that a woman must do in order for the family to keep Shabbat and the Feasts? What about the rabbinical ruling that women are “exempt” from certain time related commandments; what is this about? Why do women seem to be associated with TIME again and again? Hopefully, we will begin to answer these questions in this post.

I think I’ve figured out why I’ve struggled to start this next series of posts. They each deal with time. And time, like light, is still very much a mystery to mankind (and modern science). There are several ways that people try to understand time. Some think of it as a linear line with an infinite beginning and end. Each end of this line is constantly moving away from the other. Others view time as a circle with the beginning also being the end. And still others believe that while time is indeed cyclical, that it is much more akin to the double helix of our DNA. It is connected, but with rungs that progress upward on a twisted ladder. Lower parts touch higher rungs repeating the information in new and more dynamic ways with each cyclical step.

The latter view will be the way in which I present this material. This part will present the base line and it will spiral and spread throughout the following posts, but will twist back to touch this post again. To put it simply, I will present this in a “spiral” form of teaching. I just don’t see any other way to do it. (:

Cycles

grapicOne thing that I really try to emphasize when teaching others about Hebraic Roots is the difference between Hebrew and Greek thought. We are so accustomed to linear thought that many treasures from the Bible and Creation falls on blind eyes. One thing is certain, the Word and Creation both declare CYCLES to us again and again. Thinking about a linear timeline that moves from the indefinite left and progresses to the indefinite right is not Biblical or logical; especially when we consider the largest and smallest things in the creation. Take a look at the graphic “Cycles in Nature”. Everything we can see moves in CYCLES. And the seen things are meant to teach us about the unseen (spiritual) things. (1 Cor. 15:46)

God’s calendar, His appointed times, are also cyclical. Before we delve into how women are connected to these cycles, let’s first look at how God has revealed time.

YHWH’s calendar is primarily based on the lunar cycle.[2] New months begin with sighting the first sliver of a new moon and mark out the appropriate timing of our festivals, fasts, and harvests. In other words, the moon keeps or guards our weeks, months, and years. The passage below chronicles Day 4 of creation. Those of you that have been following my posts or that are Creation Gospel students will notice that as the fourth day, God is establishing His government or authority in the luminaries. (And in His calendar.)

Then God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate 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 expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth“; and it was so. God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night; He made the stars also. God placed them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good. There was evening and there was morning, a fourth day. (Gen. 1:14-19)

Verse 14 states that one of the governing actions of the luminaries is to serve as signs, seasons, days, and years. I believe “days” and “years” are pretty self-explanatory, so let’s look at the “signs” and “seasons”. The Hebrew word for signs is ot (aleph, vav, tav). It literally means a mark, signal, omen, or flag. The heavenly lights declare not only the glory of God, but give us signals or warnings of things to come. So while they may help us to keep track of time (past), they can also point to or warn us of future events (prophesy).

The Hebrew word for seasons in verse 14 is moedim. I expect that most of my readers will be familiar with this word. These are our feasts and festivals.[3] Notice that in the very Beginning, YHWH established His calendar or His time clock on day four of creation. This is significant because our calendars govern our day to day lives. They dictate when we celebrate, when we rest, when we work, and when we gather together. If the Creator felt that His calendar required the actual sun, moon, and stars to guard, protect, keep, and mark His time, how much more should His people regard His calendar?

These appointments with the Creator give us LIGHT much in the same way that the sun, moon, and stars give us natural light. They truly separate the light from the darkness. If we ignore these appointments, we will have less light, less revelation. Remember, the natural things are meant to reveal spiritual truths. The guardians of God’s calendar speak to every creature on earth summoning us to come and meet with the King. David said it this way:

The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, And night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language Where their voice is not heard. (Ps. 19:1-3)

In the very Beginning, the Creator preordained that we meet with Him certain times of the year. You only need to look up at the majestic sun, moon, and stars to see and know the season. Notice that at night the heavens reveal “knowledge”. This is the Hebrew word da’at. This type of knowledge is an intimate knowing and carries with it the idea of sacrificial love. It is the “bone of my bone and flesh of flesh” that Adam experienced with Chavah (Eve) and she conceived and bore a son. It is the loving knowledge that provoked Yeshua to become the sacrifice for His people. Because of the intimate nature of da’at, it cannot be completed without a woman. This type of sacrificial love needs a vessel to pour itself into and women are the natural imagery of a receiving vessel. (Hopefully, you can see men too in this imagery as part of the Bride.)

There is a cycle at work here that is meant to be a guide to God’s people. For our purposes, we will limit our study to the lesser light of the moon. Both men and women as the people of Elohim can be compared to the moon. But women have a unique association that I’d like to focus on. Since both the male and the female are revealed in The Woman in Scripture, we will see some overlaps in the two sex roles.

Moonbeams

He made the moon for the seasons (moedim)… (Ps. 104:19)

The moon has a special role to play in the guardianship role of the moedim (feasts). It is a master timekeeper of sorts. While the sun and stars also share in this responsibility, the moon beckons us to watch it a little more closely. As the nearest heavenly body to earth, the moon has mesmerized mankind since time immemorial. Sadly, many have fallen victim to the idolization of these heavenly bodies. They have failed to realize that these luminaries serve us, we are not meant to serve them.

The moon’s closeness and the fact that it governs our moedim make it quite mysterious. This becomes even more mystical when we consider that the brightest light in the night sky has no light of its own – it can only reflect the light of the sun. We will come back to this concept in a later post.

Since women’s bodies follow a lunar cycle (menses), the Sages have long concluded that women are uniquely associated with not only the moon and YHWH’s Festivals, but with time itself.[4] Let’s review what we’ve covered so far. As you read through my enumerations, ask yourself if any of these remind you of the role of women.

The moon:

  1. Sets boundaries for our months.
  2. Keeps or guards the moedim.
  3. Warns of things to come.
  4. Reflects the light of the sun.

I hope some of these facts caused you to think of the neqevah (female) and the ezer kenegdo from the Biblical Role of Women Part I and Part II. Or perhaps even the prophetic nature of women from Part V. One of the more obvious links between women and the moon is seen in the various PHASES in which both continually go through.

The regular arrival of the new moon and its growth to fullness, followed by its soon disappearance has long been a visible symbol of life, death, and rebirth. With every new moon, we see the necessity of being renewed (born again). This rhythmic clock sets our calendars with each cycle marked as a new month (moonth).

Like clockwork, women also go through phases each month. Similar to the moon, a woman’s phases are directly linked to life, death, and rebirth. Each month a woman’s womb prepares its “soil” for life and then sheds it (death) if no viable seed is planted — only to renew itself once again. This cycle repeats again and again. When a woman’s body is in the shedding stage of menses, blood appears. When the moon gives us a warning of judgment (death), it appears red. It’s not a coincidence that we call this a blood moon.

Not surprisingly, there are four primary phases of the moon with more elaborate depictions showing eight (a factor of 4). You can watch a quick video about these phases here.  Due to the length, we will examine each of the four primary moon phases and their relationship to the feast days and women’s cycles in Part II.


[1] Obviously, this isn’t always the case. However, in most of the families I have met, this is true. Whether she was home schooling the children and discovered these truths through in-depth Biblical and historical studies or by the gentle prompting of the Holy Spirit, it is usually the wife that first “sees” God’s calendar as relevant for the family.

[2] The Hebrew calendar does take the solar cycle into account to maintain the seasons. For an interesting article about this, click here.

[3] See Lev. 23

[4] These two articles speak to women and the moon. Women of the Wall and Aish. Women being associated with time in general is a two-fold concept. The first is simply what we’ve been discussing. Women are tied to time because YHWH made their bodies to mimic His time clock. Secondly, the rabbis ruled that women are exempt from certain TIME related mitzvot. We will explore this idea in a later post.

Categories: Moedim, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

April Fool

april 1

Have you ever been at the butt end of an April fool’s joke? Why do people play jokes on each other on April 1st anyway? Where did this weird tradition originate? Interestingly, according to most resources, this strange practice originates with a calendar issue![1] Those returning to the Hebraic Roots of our faith are VERY aware of the multitude of calendar problems, issues, and debates.

Our current western calendar is called the Gregorian calendar. It was introduced in the year 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII, as a refinement to the previous Julian calendar by Julius Caesar in 46 BC. The Julian calendar was also a reform, but of the old Roman calendar. The reason for a revision of the Julian calendar had to do the dating of Easter:

“The motivation for the reform was to bring the date for the celebration of Easter to the time of the year in which the First Council of Nicaea had agreed upon in 325. Because the celebration of Easter was tied to the spring equinox, the Roman Catholic Church considered this steady drift in the date of Easter undesirable. The reform was adopted initially by the Catholic countries of Europe. Protestants and Eastern Orthodox countries continued to use the traditional Julian calendar and adopted the Gregorian reform after a time, for the sake of convenience in international trade. The last European country to adopt the reform was Greece, in 1923.”[2]

That’s right! Like it or not, our current western calendar is focused on Easter and its proper dating. But before we explore why that may be a problem, let’s look at what the original April fool really was.

When the Catholic Church decided to reform the Julian calendar, the ancient world didn’t have moment to moment communication like we have today. Even restructuring of major endeavors like a new calendar took time to spread and reach the various parts of the world. Although the differences between the Julian and Gregorian calendars were minor at 0.002%,[3] there was one observable major difference. That discrepancy was when the New Year began.

During the Middle Ages, under the influence of the Christian Church, many Western European countries moved the start of the year to one of several important Christian festivals—25 December (the Nativity of Jesus), 25 March (Annunciation), or Easter (France),[23] while the Byzantine Empire began its year on 1 September and Russia did so on 1 March until 1492 when the year was moved to 1 September.[4]

Thus, depending on where you lived during the middle ages, the New Year would be celebrated at different times. At this point in history, the calendar wasn’t nearly as uniform as it is today in the western world. Since Rome was the center for the Universal Church at the time of the calendar reform of 1582, mostWestern European countries changed the start of the year to January 1st before they adopted the Gregorian calendar.

What was the date of the New Year prior to this reform? Well, it varied from country to country. But most celebrated the New Year in accordance with Easter or the vernal equinox. When the calendar reform of 1582 took place, the New Year was set for January 1st — like it is today. However, there were many people still observing the New Year around April 1st. Those who had already adjusted to the calendar reform called those “less enlightened” April fools!

If you were a farmer detached from the mainstream city living, you may have been an April fool too. Although this accounting of April Fool’s Day is completely plausible, its historicity is still debatable. Many believe that April Fool’s Day has a much more ancient root in the old Roman celebration of Hilaria, which was a festival borrowed from the Greeks.

You can probably guess the English derivatives of this word, like hilarious. This festival was centered on goddess worship with games, amusements, and masquerades. I personally feel that while April Fool’s may have originated with these pagan activities, it evolved and took on new hilarity when the calendar reformed.

 

YHWH’s Calendar

What I find very fascinating is that the Gregorian calendar was initiated to keep the dating of Easter in accord with the First Council of Nicaea in A.D. 325. There were in fact several main Christian dogmas established at this early council, and if you haven’t studied this point in history I highly urge you to do so. It is impossible to understand Christian doctrine without first investigating these early centuries.

Many beliefs and traditions of the “Church” can be traced back to Rome, Greece, and Babylon, and not the Bible or Israel. It is quite amazing that these early “Christians” were compelled to align their calendar with a pagan fertility goddess (Easter/Ishtar/Astarte/Ashtoreth). Now, I know most Christians don’t associate the resurrection of Jesus with a fertility goddess, but the symbols reveal the root. Egg laying bunnies and colored Easter egg hunts are not found in Scripture but in traditions associated with this fertility goddess. Even the traditional Easter ham (a mockery of the Passover Lamb) can be traced back to Tammuz.[5]

Conversely, the Hebrew calendar in effect today was established after the destruction of the Temple in order to keep the Feasts of YHWH in their proper season according to Passover. Jews in the early centuries were being heavily persecuted under Constantius and needed a solid and unified calendar to keep the people unified in exile. The current Hebrew calendar is attributed most often to Hillel II.[6]

The western Roman calendars are solar whereas the Hebrew calendar is lunar and solar. The latter is more aligned with the purpose of the sun, moon, and stars given in Genesis chapter one. But I digress. This article isn’t meant to be a detailed history of calendars or a long treatise on developing a “correct” calendar. What I find very disturbing is that there are so many varying “biblical” calendars that have been developed in the past decade.

There are many self-proclaimed calendar authorities out there that only promulgate strife and division in the Body. I urge you to use caution when they pontificate how accurate and right their calculations are. As for me and my family, we will stick with Judah. Judah holds the scepter, so right or wrong, they have been given authority in certain areas by the CREATOR that we simply shouldn’t try to usurp. The multitude of various new (corrected) calendars has done nothing to bring Unity to the Body. Instead, it has brought only division and confusion; of which, I know YHWH is not the author.

Speaking more broadly, our calendar is vitally important. Our days, months, and years are tracked by the calendar we keep. But even more significant, our holidays (Holy Days) are carefully marked on our calendars. In a nutshell, our lives revolve around a calendar! Our Creator is well aware of this cycle and He cares deeply about how we walk, live, worship, and play. This is why He graciously details the appropriate “sanctuaries in time” that He desires to meet with us. (Lev. 23)

We can and should worship the Creator every day; however, that does not replace His appointed times. YHWH’s moedim (feast days/ appointed times), are first given to us in seed form in Genesis:

Gen. 1:14-19 Then God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years; (15) and let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so. (16) God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night; He made the stars also. (17) God placed them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, (18) and to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good. (19) There was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.(NASB)

We could learn much by dissecting these few verses, but our focus will remain on the moedim. In this section of Scripture, the moedim are translated as “seasons”. One of the reasons for the natural “lights” in the sky is to give us a CALENDAR. Within that calendar there will be moedim (seasons/feast days/appointed times). The purpose of these appointments is to govern our lives and separate the light from the darkness. The early Patriarchs and Matriarchs followed this cycle, but the form was hidden like a seed in the earth. If you look closely, you will see the pattern and evidence even though it is immature.

Later the seed of the moedim begins to sprout in Scripture and we can discern the green sprout and its leaves more clearly. This happens in Exodus as the nation of Israel bursts forth from the death and slavery of Egypt and Pharaoh. The sprout begins to grow into a young sapling in the wilderness and later with the Judges, Kings, and Prophets. But the sapling is still immature. Sometimes the people tend to the sapling, sometimes they forget. The evidence of the moedim however, is undeniable.

The enemy knows the importance of our lives being focused on the Creator’s calendar too. This is why his utmost desire is to rule or sit in the governing seat of authority over our appointed times. This is evidenced prophetically with the king of Babylon in Isaiah.

Is. 14:12-14 “How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, You who have weakened the nations! (13) “But you said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, And I will sit on the mount of assembly In the recesses of the north. (14) ‘I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’

Again, there is a lot of symbolism to explore in these verses, but we will stick with one area: the moedim. The underlined verse, “I will sit on the mount of the assembly” has some interesting Hebrew words behind this English translation. The word “assembly” is actually MOED! What is the “mount” of the moed or moedim? Where are we told to gather thrice in a year? The Temple Mount. The enemy desires to place his throne at the center of the worship of YHWH. (BTW, what’s sitting on the Temple Mount right now?)

The mount of the assembly is not just a place of worship; it is a sanctuary of time. It is the place of the divine appointments. Time and space are involved in the worship of YHWH. Time is marked by our calendars. Thus, the enemy desires to sit in authority over YOUR calendar! This perverts our worship of YHWH. Control someone’s calendar and you control their life! From the early centuries of Christianity, the true calendar of YHWH has been governed by an unholy spirit — the king of Babylon. Why else would our western calendars be initiated by the “holy day” of Easter? Easter’s roots can be traced back to Babylon and Nimrod, not the Bible or Israel. This is why it is intriguing that our current Gregorian calendar was designed around Easter. Is it any wonder why John the Revelator MARVELED at the whore of Babylon in Revelation 17 and 18?

Wow, these are strong words. I’m sorry, but it is on my heart today. I am not condemning those that ignorantly keep another calendar, nor am I suggesting that these precious souls are doomed. However, why we do what we do and how we do it does matter. I believe YHWH is shaking His people awake. His desire is for us to “Repent”! The seed of the moedim has been growing to maturity and we’ve been so focused on another tree that we’ve missed its beauty, protection, and fruit.

If you are newer to the Father’s calendar, the tree, its smell, and its fruit may seem “strange” at first. You may even long for the familiar taste of the “other” tree. It will hurt and you will grieve when you chop down the imposter because of its familiarity. But soon, you will realize the healing that is found in the fruit of YHWH’s moedim. Your vision, walk, and resolve will be sharper, straighter, and stronger.

Have we been April fools? If so, wake up! Take a stand this year to keep the Creator’s calendar as best you can. Instead of marveling at the immense treasures of Babylon, marvel at the graciousness, love, and majesty found in the Feasts of YHWH.

 

feasts 2

 

You can learn about the moedim and the king of Babylon by studying The Creation Gospel by Dr. Hollisa Alewine.

 

[1] This is not a definitive answer, however. The most widely accepted tradition is that April Fool’s Day began with a change from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar. Other sources aren’t so sure and believe them to be more ancient. For the sake of other points in this article, I will assume the majority is right and that this was in fact a calendar change issue. That does not imply that I think I know the whole truth of the matter. J

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gregorian_calendar

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[5] I recommend two books by Richard Rives for a thorough investigation of this history. His book Too Long in the Sun and Time is the Ally of Deceit are great resources. The latter book also has a full DVD series that accompanies it. http://www.toolong.com/cart/proddetail.php?prod=046.5 Richard’s website is: http://www.toolong.com/

[6] http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/3920-calendar-history-of

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~ My So-Called Glamorous Life

Awakened 2 Torah

It's time to leave Egypt and follow Yahweh!

The Well Trodden Road

following the Way back home

Move Your "..BUT God .."

CLIMBING TO THE HEIGHTS OF GOD'S LOVE

Ohana Home Education

"Ohana means family. Family means no-one gets left behind, or forgotten."

Sewn olivette

Elevating Daily Life

Helena

The Protocol of Truth

Missing Pieces

Discover the missing pieces in your walk with Yeshua / Jesus

Wilderness Report

by Cathy Helms

Wholeness 4 Love

Life is for Living & LOVE is a choice!

natsab

Here I stand.

Rus Alan

Kingdom Minded living with issues related to discipleship, the Holy Spirit, and power.

Tannachton Farm

Faith, Family, Farm

GRACE in TORAH

Leaving Egypt is only the beginning of our journey...

The Lamb's Servant

Discerning Truth from Tradition | Our Hebrew Roots | Getting Back to Torah

Sharing God's Love

My passion is writing to share God's love with everyone who believes in HIm.

Daughters of Torah

Revealing our identity to the nations

SnarkyCrunch

Tree-hugging, Hippy-go-lucky, Dread-head, Jewish Mamma

Sanctuary Gardener

A Yankee grows in the South ~ Homesteading, gardening, & harvest recipes

little tent on the prairie

Restoring life through simple living

Coffee Shop Rabbi

Basic Judaism spoken here.

madebymamaleh

Creating a modern Jewish home one project at a time

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