New Moon Observance

New Moon Observance

New Moon – Chodesh

By: Bruce D. Curtis, MA, M.Div. ©2017

“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 <YHWH>. (Isaiah 66:23)

Whither Hath Gone the Moon?

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           In Christendom’s “revival” and the rush to fulfill the commandments of the Lord, many Sabbatarians have engaged in faithful observation of the weekly Sabbath and the Feast Days which include seven annual High Sabbaths. Those who claim affiliation with Hebraic Roots groups consult the Rabbinate for their dates, and thereby salt their festival stew with leaven of the Pharisees – given that the Rabbis hail from the dominant party of Jerusalem at the time of Jesus, complete with leaven from Babylon. But where has the moon gone in all of this? Do even the rabbis have a clue as to the inner meaning of the New Moons? The header quote above places the new moon on equal or greater footing than the weekly Sabbath. If Sabbatarians want to keep faithful to their Lord they may need to look up at night and start keeping time with the great Divine Conductor.

With the eschatological proclamation in Isaiah 66, God’s people would exhibit a faithful manifestation of the word of the Lord, if Israel would put their heart into keeping all of His appointed times and seasons. To help the congregations in Christ, perhaps this would be a good time to journey into the new moon celebrations with a view to both the Lord’s purpose in ordaining these moedim and into just how proper observance for end time disciples might appear.

Of course a calendar is a necessity, to know times and seasons, especially for an agricultural society. And from a human logical viewpoint a lunar calendar would make sense because of germination and growth, and the convenient breakdown of seasons in sets of 30 day months. Yes, our word month is etymologically related to the word moon. But there is much more at work here, since we are dealing with the thoughts of God which are much higher than our thoughts as the heavens are above the earth (Isa 55:8-9). There is a parable or similitude at work here and without understanding that representation we will fail to know why God in His wisdom has commanded His people to keep the first of the month – the first visible sliver of the new moon – as a solemn day, a Sabbath, with a holy convocation, and the blowing of trumpets.

So we go back to the beginning, to Genesis, to find our foundation, the beginning of the parable, the elegant creation of heavens and earth and sun, moon, and stars as luminaries to be for signs and seasons, and to represent certain realities. There in Genesis 1 we discover that Moses engraved very profound mysteries of God so that until the Heavens and earth would pass away, every letter would cause illumination of the wisdom and knowledge of God.

That said, let us visit Moses’ original meaning in Gen 1:16 (in dialogue with Gen 1:5). It is essential to go back to the beginning, for here we find the words of God, which He spoke to Moses, the only prophet who knew God face to face. His work in Genesis has so much more treasure concealed in it still; yet, some mysteries have likely not been understood for over 3000 years, and some maybe never. It is there we find the mystery of the luminaries which God made on the fourth day.

The usual translation from Hellenistic influences is insufficient to yield the meaning embedded in the signs which Moses wrote, so the reader would do well to examine the deeper symbolic and spiritual meanings of the signs. Thus read, as by Fabre d’Olivet in his definitive book The Hebraic Tongue Restored, Genesis 1:16-18 unveils greater luminosity when examined according to the symbolic glyphs as Moses knew them.

And Elohim made (the potential existence of) that dyad of great luminous foci, the greater as symbolic representation of the day (universal manifestation), and the smaller as symbolic representation of the night (negative manifestation), and the stars (virtual forces of the universe). And Elohim placed them in the ethereal expanse of the Heavens to give (intelligible) Light upon the earth. And to act as symbolic types in the day and in the night, and to cause a movement of separation between the light and the darkness; and Elohim saw that it was good.

There is so much in this small section of Genesis that it cannot be fully treated here, but what is crucial for understanding the moon and its role in God’s creation is that it is a symbolical representation of the night, and this requires us to examine the word laila and what it means in Hebrew, which is not simply darkness, for it is the name which Elohim assigned to the darkness. Night is very much like its English cognates: not and naught! It is negation, or negative manifestation, also absence and emptiness, and it is used as symbol for the physical life, for this abyss, for death. As Homer Kizer called it, our space-time singularity is a “glorious death chamber.”

But the moon is not a singular body (it is part of a dyad), for if it were separate, Moses would have used the Hebrew word shnaim which is plural. Instead he used shnei, the dual form, which implies a unity of two, rather than separate existence. And here, I believe, lays a key into why God gave Israel a solar and lunar calendar. What d’Olivet writes about this linguistic icon is “[Moses] employs the word shnei, inflected by the designative pronoun eth, that same twain, that couple, that germination; thus uniting them under one single idea.” This very tellingly also embodies the reality of that dyad of the Most High and His Beloved which are unified in the linguistic determinative YHWH.

Sun and moon are part of one unity, they are united, working together to accomplish a single purpose. The story of this purpose is greater than having a calendar from God and following His appointed times. It pertains to God’s greater purpose which Moses reveals in verse 18.

That purpose is to act as symbolic types for the day and for the night, and “to cause a movement of separation between the light and the darkness.” Of course, God saw that it was good. This purpose is the sine qua non for understanding the larger story underneath all the parables and similitudes of scripture. It is truly the E=mc2 of Holy Writ, the equation that encapsulates the entire singularity of the cosmos, and the reason and end God saw for the physical creation. The physical creation came into being to separate light from darkness and remove darkness from God’s Presence forever.

And we are taken full circle back to Gen. 1:4 and the fractal expression which finds self-similarity in the entire history of Israel and the nations, and the life of the Church as well. “And Elohim made a division between the light and the darkness.”

This is the ultimate objective of the Most High and His Beloved. They are a unity that causes a movement to separate the light and the darkness, for we know that “God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.” (1 John 1:5)

To better understand the role of the lesser luminary, the moon, according to Psalm 136:9, which fixes the reference for the lesser luminary in the physical sense, it is essential that we go back once more to re-enforce the foundation of our structure by closer examination of the Hebrew for “rule” and for “darkness,” which is the reality that is being separated from the light. In the process, we must remember that sun and moon are one in symbolically representing the reality that causes a movement of separation between the light and the darkness.

Most bible translators who have rendered the Hebrew of Genesis into English or even into German have relied upon the Greek and have looked at le-memesheleth and following the Hellenists have written it as “rule over” or “govern,” following the idea that it stands for a prince, a judge, or a ruler. That verb has at its core the root shu which contains within itself every idea of parable, similitude and representation. Thus, it is no wonder that the verb much more often signifies “to be the model, the representative, the symbol of something; to speak in allegories; to present a similitude, an emblem, a figure.” (The Hebraic Tongue Restored, Cosmogony of Moses, p.47). In this way we must absolutely understand the moon as symbolic representation, and in the very iconographic coding of Moses no less! Hidden it has remained from the eyes of the adversary to be preserved for the end of days.

But what shall we say about darkness? If the moon is a similitude for darkness, what is the reality of darkness, which is also symbolic of the physical and symbolic of death?

In Hebrew, darkness is hoshech and a most important linguistic icon. After all, it appears in Genesis 1:2 and it is the 12th word in the bible. Biblical understanding is lost without a proper grasp of the spiritual reality that this “word” or “sign” represents. And for this examination, the fuller description of the word by d’Olivet himself is essential, for it really does capture the essence of the truly destructive character of the adversary’s quality, one which does indeed threaten the greater life of every man of woman born.

Hoshech, darkness . . . This word is composed of the two contracted roots hosh-ech. It is remarkable in its figurative and hieroglyphic sense. In its figurative sense, it is a compressing, hardening movement; in its hieroglyphic, it is a combat, a violent opposition between the contrary principles of heat and cold. The root hosh expresses a violent and disordered movement caused by an inner ardour which seeks to distend. The root ech depicts on the contrary, a sentiment of contraction and tightening which tends to centralize. In the composition of the word it is the compressive force which prevails and which enchains the inner ardour forced to devour itself. (Cosmogony of Moses, p. 31, emphasis added)

Is this not a great expression of the dragon, the old Devil, tail in mouth, devoured by His own fire which comes from within himself, his inner ardour consuming his own being? Listen to the finality of the words of Ezekiel, though their complete fulfillment still lays in our future

Because of the multitude of your iniquities

In the unrighteousness of your trade,

You profaned your sanctuaries,

Therefore, I have brought fire from out of you [your center];

It has consumed you,

And I have turned you to ashes on the earth,

In the eyes of all who see you. (Ezek 28:18)

The inner ardour of the adversary is finally forced to devour itself, like a fire from within. In the ultimate twist of irony, the lake of fire is the very expression of that inner compressive force which is taken out of the adversary in order to consume all darkness.

So, darkness will be separated and extinguished and it will be no more; the purpose of sun and moon will have been fulfilled as symbolic representations of that movement separating light and darkness. “And there shall no longer be any night.” (Rev. 22:5) There is, after all, no need for night, since death is conquered, namely “there shall no longer be any curse (death)” (Rev. 22:3).

“And YHWH will be king over all the earth; In that day, YHWH will be one, and His Name one.” (Zech 14:9) The dyad of Father and Son (YHWH) is unified and all those in their Presence with His name upon their foreheads, shall be one (Rev. 22:4). It will remain for another writing to plumb the depths of this dyadic reality of Father and Son, wherein the Son can be seen as the manifestation of the Father’s Name (John 17:6).

Thus, it is the violent and disordered movement, the inner ardour that is finally brought to a finish. Christ’s words in Matt. 11:12 – “From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force.” – are now superseded as the now of “Today” gives way to the “now” of Eternity found in Rev. 22.

How is the inner ardour brought to a finish? The adversary is consumed by a fire that God takes out of His midst (Ezekiel 28:18). But wait – Isn’t the adversary thrown into the lake of fire as seen in Revelation 20:10? That’s right. The only conclusion possible from these scriptures read in concert: The Lord will take the Lake of Fire out of the inner ardour of the adversary, the inner consuming caldron, the fiery furnace that burns inside of him, and will use it to utterly finish off all darkness, evil, and death. And with Death and Hades God will also annihilate all of the self-similar fractal representations of his nature that threatens the unity of God’s kingdom. The fiery furnace of Daniel and the three Hebrew men turns on the adversary’s cohorts; they are offered to pay for their own sins and all they have created, and they are completely burned up: hides, flesh, and refuse (Lev. 16:27).

As we look out at the landscape of our world, we behold an awesome proliferation of the fractal of the adversary, many “faithful” representations of the “son of lawlessness,” many hands against the throne (Exodus 17:6). Many voices of the violent seizing their position in the kingdom, claiming what can only be theirs by death and re-birth of Spirit. We see not only big names in the ministry, the “fat sheep” which are not truly shepherds, but rather devour the sheep; those who we can call “the eminent drunkards of Ephraim,” whose tables are covered with vomit (Isa. 28:1-8).

Sadly, we see even in the congregations of Christendom those who lay claim to what is not theirs, who would seize leadership when they are not chosen. The nature of the adversary is ubiquitous, especially in those who feel powerless and rather than clean the inside of the cup would exercise power wherever they will and over whomever they can. To them the pronouncement of the Logos thunders out: “Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matt. 4:17)

And that brings us back to our parable of the sun and the moon and the stars; the festivals, the Sabbaths and New Moons. We have laid a proper foundation on which to build a temple understanding into why Isaiah makes this particular pronouncement in the final chapter of his scroll, and why we have these holy days connected with symbolical representations for day and for night, the similitudes for a unified two who cause a movement to separate light from darkness.

And this movement encompasses the faithful disciples of Christ, who keep the festivals and Sabbaths and new moons, and by that movement are separated from the world as light is separated from darkness.

It is at this point that we do need to add one cautionary note. Symbols change over time and according to context. They are completely context dependent. As Homer Kizer liked to say, words do not come with little backpacks on them that contain their meaning. And so it is with the sun and the moon. They will have fluid representation, because they are symbols of realities that are the cause of a movement and the parable that illuminates it; they symbolize the reality that underlies the separation of light and darkness.

Yet, with all their fluidity and contextuality, these two symbols must always be grasped as a dyad, comprising a unity like the father and son, and also being instrumental in the movement of separating light from darkness. To that extent we may see in the dance of sun and moon the underlying reality of the Most High and His Beloved – the two as one who bring forth creation, redemption, and restoration.

We return to our calling to keep the statutes of the Lord forever, especially as everything the Lord does endures forever (Eccl. 3:14). Paul echoes this everlasting statute to the church in Colossae.

Therefore, do not let anyone judge you in eating and in drinking or with regard to a festival, a new moon or Sabbaths, which things are a shadow of things coming, now are then the body of Christ. Let no one give judgment against you, taking a stand on humility and worship of the angels, searching into what he has seen (in initiation), vainly being puffed up by his sensuous mind, and not holding fast to the head, from whom all the body, being supplied by means of ligaments and sinews, and being joined together, will grow with the growth of God. (Col. 2:16-19, translation by author)

It is one of the unfortunate turns in Church history, that this text became a tool of the antinomian faction, in its desire to bring in cheap grace and eliminate any obligations from their side of the ketubah, i.e. the marriage covenant. The proof that the Law was not written in their hearts lay in their rejection of the Law, and therefore the New Covenant was not with them – obedience to the gospel is sine qua non for that Covenant. The epistle to the Hebrews likewise stands as a witness against them for it reminded believers only that while the old covenant was obsolete, it was only “near” to passing away. Thus, what was written as a reminder not to be dissuaded from keeping the festivals became precisely a tool for doing just that – a fact that Peter prophetically voiced in his epistle where he stated that many twisted the words of Paul as they do the rest of the scriptures (2 Pe 3:16).

By re-translating this passage and reading it in its larger context which means putting the head and body together, we are shown that the new moons and Sabbaths are gatherings which show the body of Christ. Even beyond that, the subsequent verses lead the reader to understand that those who give judgment against those who keep the appointed times, moedim, of the Lord, are disconnected from the head, with said Sabbaths and festivals serving like ligaments and sinews to supply the linkage which will help disciples to grow with the growth that God intended. In short, for a Christian to fail to keep the new moons, Sabbaths, and feasts, is to outwardly demonstrate a failure to “hold fast” to the Head, the one who has appointed the worship days.

Could it be that mankind is simply much more at home with the traditions of men and angels rather than with the traditions of the Logos?  Well, that would be quite in keeping with the adversary’s goat-like nature, to try and climb up any other way than to follow the Shepherd through the sheep gate. Continuing on with the final verses of Colossians 2 we see that this is true. And it happened quickly in first century Christian congregations in Asia Minor as the initiates of the Greek mystery schools flooded into the Ekklesia and put out its light with the darkness of the Phrygian and Eleusinian mysteries.

If you died with Christ from the elements of the world, why as living in the world are you subject to decrees: Do not touch, nor taste, nor handle, which things are all for corruption in the using, according to the instructions and doctrines of men? Which things indeed have a reputation of wisdom in self-chosen worship and humility and asceticism, and are of no value against fleshly indulgence. (Col. 2:20-23)

The false asceticism of the mystery schools and today’s New Age religious practices bear witness to the hollowness of externalized material observances. These teachings and doctrines of men cannot deliver as Christ our Savior does and exemplifies in HIS festivals.

And here we are called to return to the prophetic aspect of the New Moons, what they look ahead toward, and what they speak of in our time. In the movement of Law from hand to heart, and in the shadow of the words of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew, it is really critical to end time disciples to recover the true meaning of festivals so as not to repeat the errors of historical Israel, circumcised of flesh. Otherwise, we run the risk of having God tell us that He takes no delight in our New Moons and Sabbaths.

What then are we commemorating of “things that are to come,” and things which point to the reality of Christ and His body? With a foundation in Genesis 1, one might expect the fulfillment to come in Revelation 21-22, and that is precisely the case. The final imagery in Revelation portrays the Heavenly City with no temple in it, for the Lord God, the Almighty, and the Lamb are its temple. Further

The city has no need of the sun or of the moon, to shine upon it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb. (Rev. 21:23)

The parallel structure of this verse in Revelation matches with the similitude mentioned in Genesis, and the Father-Son partnership comes to fruition that had been foreshadowed by the physical luminaries. This is a second witness, a confirmation of the parabolic nature of the greater and lesser luminary, and a key into the symbolic value they hold in the counting of days and seasons.

The following chapter in Revelation (ch.22) invites the reader into a magnificent vision of the Tree of Life on both sides of the River – a challenging image for 3D thinking. And it brings another conundrum

A tree of life producing twelve fruits, yielding its fruit according to each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. (Rev. 22:2)

Why should this be puzzling? It might confuse some since Heaven is often thought to be timeless and some have even propounded that there cannot be change there. But here in Revelation we see a heaven with seasons, which would be the primordial source and reality of our own earthly seasons. Season implies change by its very definition. So by looking at our own moon, with its 12 stations or 12 new moons each year, and then looking at the picture of Heaven with its 12 fruits, each in its month, we can see that there are months or ordinances of passage in Heaven and therefore we would gain understanding by looking at our terrestrial months as a shadow of that which is to come and as bearing a similitude of the heavenly reality.

What, then, is a month? The answer to this should well reveal to us why we celebrate the new moon as a Sabbath. As it is for a woman in her menstrual cycle [NB: menstrual is from Latin mensis for month] there is a renewal, in the case of the female, a renewal of preparation for pregnancy, a cleansing out of old blood and tissue.

For God’s people then the New Moon celebration needs to be a monthly renewal, a time of preparation to make ready for a birth within – and even for renewal of that spiritual life growing as the ‘inner man.’ Is it an accident that the Latin word for mind is mens, clearly related to mensis? This could bear on Paul’s meaning in his epistle to the Romans. As a Roman citizen, and sent to Judea to study with the top scholars at the time, wouldn’t Latin have been his first language? So as we listen to Romans 12:1-2 we might hear the resonance of that language in what he said

I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good, and acceptable and perfect.

By examining our spiritual worship, particularly the lunar Sabbaths, we understand that the reality, the substance of it is to be a living sacrifice, and that it is not a sacrifice of animals that honors the holy day. The renewing of the mind or mens, is then seen as a Sabbath function, part of our sanctification by the Lord who sanctifies us, and part of being re-fashioned apart from the world into sons of God. This is an acceptable sacrifice, the relinquishment of the old physical nature, which makes way for the renewed mind, that is, the mind of Christ. The moon as the similitude of the Logos, then, is renewed in us at the start of each month, and bears its seasonal fruit for each of the 12 seasons.

To summarize just how the New Moon observance is a “shadow of things to come,” we see how the eternal renewal pictured in the Eternity of Revelation of 22 is transposed into our temporal renewal each month. In short, as the lunar Sabbath takes us through 12 stations, each one a rest and renewal, we may grasp that the substance in Christ, is a production of each of 12 fruits of the Tree of Life, which Tree is Christ Himself. In that way, the 12 tribes of Israel may be better seen as 12 fruits of Christ, each exemplifying a distinctive dimension or quality of His Divine nature.

And what is required of disciples to enter into that Heavenly reality of the New Jerusalem? Who may ascend into the holy mountain?

Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord?

And who may stand in His holy place?

He who has clean hands and a pure heart,

Who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood,

Who has not sworn deceitfully. (Ps. 24:3-4)

So as the holy Law of God moves to the heart in the New Covenant, it becomes clear that the action of hands together with the purity of heart are what is required to enter the city by its gates.

With this understanding, keeping the New Moon festivals is about purifying the heart and taking stock of one’s actions, including internal read-outs of heart and mind. The taxonomy of animal sacrifice on the festival, that is 2 bulls, 1 ram, 7 lambs as burnt offerings, and the male goat as a sin offering, all pertain to the offering up of ourselves as a living sacrifice and the sacrifice of our animal nature to make way for the ‘new man’ we are within. The male goat as a sin offering is a type for the goat-shaped demons to which Israel offered sacrificed at various times, to wit

So they shall no more sacrifice their sacrifices to goat demons, after whom they whore. This shall be a statute forever for them throughout their generations. (Lev. 17:7)

The fundamental challenge facing Christianity today is the failure to recognize the distinction of nature between God and the adversary. That is, the Church has lost any understanding of the nature that must decrease and the nature that must increase; evil has become good and good has become evil. Anthropology, sociology, psychology, and a whole host of artificial constructs which are but delusions of men, have now sanctified an animal nature into mankind, so that modern civilization may revel in its animal nature, and reject any presumed angelic nature as a lovely myth of a bygone era. Now we can engineer a new nature using AI, robotics, and genomics, all to hydridize a better beast, stronger, more intelligent, and longer living, to be sure, but a beast nonetheless.

Against that societal programming out of the mind of the adversary stands the Logos, who speaks to us: “Abide in Me, and I will abide in you.” With Him stands the apostle Paul, reminding us to “put the old man to death daily.” These are luminous witnesses to our greater spiritual nature that is for those born of Spirit through the breath of Christ and the breath of the Father. And that is the essence of the New Moon festival, it is a beginning of the growing Light of Christ which begins as a sliver, and requires us to grow; and as we wax like the moon, so our light shines among men. At the peak of our moon, we fully reflect the Light of Christ, as He did during the Passover, when He became the Lamb sacrificed for our sins.

Closing, then on our observance of the festival, it is only by keeping it externally that we may also keep it in our heart. That means that we must hold the space in order for it to be effective, keeping it as a Sabbath, doing no laborious work, and praying and worshipping within so as to make it a holy day. It cannot be observed fully if we allow the world to hold sway over our lives and distract us from the inner temple work of our temple of the Holy Spirit.

As a shadow of things to come there are additional aspects of the moon as similitude of Christ, that hold significance for those who would follow Christ, and would understand the shape of future events until sun and moon are no more. As an interesting side note, it should not be lost on us that Christ is “the radiance of His [God’s] glory and the exact image of His nature,” (Heb. 1:3), and thus bears that relationship that the moon bears to the sun in terms of reflecting its light.

Yet, the moon will be changing appearance, as will the sun, during the days of the tribulation period. This will also correspond with the prophecy of Joel.

The sun will be turned into darkness,

And the moon into blood,

Before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. (Joel 2:3)

And I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the whole moon became like blood. (Rev. 6:12)

There is something astronomically unreal about this prophecy from Joel that aligns with the prophecy of John in Revelation. We know that the moon shines the reflected light of the sun, so how could the moon reflect red light if the sun were turned to darkness? We would have to be face to face with a supernatural occurrence, something inexplicable from natural considerations alone.

It would appear that seekers of truth are compelled to return to an understanding of sun and moon as created by God as a dyad, a pair which tell us a parable about the work of the Most High and His Beloved in the grand deliverance of light from darkness.

So the next questions flow quite naturally from this contemplation on the future event, namely when does this happen, and what does it signify? Well, the sun as an emblem or sign of God, and the moon as a similitude of Christ will be in a most wrathful state both just after the 5th seal is completed, during the time of the 6th seal, and as well at the time of pouring out the 5th bowl of wrath which darkens the kingdom of the beast (Rev. 9:10). What is common to both of these time periods is the displeasure, or wrath which is attributed to both the Lamb (Rev. 6:16) and to God (Rev. 11:18) which is associated with the time for the judgment of the dead.

In our language, we use the expression “his face was darkened” to communicate a mood that is gloomy, displeased, perhaps even fixed or determined on vengeance. Here in the tribulation period it is a time of vengeance, both with the 6th seal and with the bowls of wrath. It is the time for the vengeance of the Lord. The sun being darkened has withdrawn its light, which is to say that God is no longer shining upon His creation with pleasure.

And the Logos, the Living Word of God, is trampling out the vineyards. The time of the Harvest is come (Rev. 14:14-20) and His robes will be covered in blood.

Who is this who comes from Edom,

With garments of crimson colors from Bozrah,

This one Who is majestic in His apparel,

Marching in the greatness of His strength?

“It is I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save.”

Why is Your apparel red,

And your garments like the one who treads in the wine press?

“I have trodden the wine trough alone,

And from the peoples there was no man with Me.

I also trod them in My anger,

And trampled them in My wrath;

And their lifeblood is sprinkled on My garments,

And I defiled all my raiment.

For the day of vengeance was in My heart,

And my year of redemption has come. (cf. Isa. 63:1-4)

Finally, it can be understood that “great and awesome day of the Lord” (Joel 2:31), the day of vengeance and year of redemption (Isa. 63:4) pertain to the exercise of judgment and righteousness, the justice that will come down as all the nations are aligned against Jerusalem. Those who call upon the Name of YHWH will be saved as a remnant that is delivered in the day of distress. The moon turning to blood prefigures the covering of His garments in blood, His return on a white horse “clothed with a robe dipped in blood” (Rev. 19:13). These analogues, one for the House of God (Rev. 6) and one for the Nations (Rev. 19) serve to show just how the moon is a parable or similitude for Christ.

This is Yom Kipporim, The Day of Atonement where Christ is trampling the vineyard and the kings of the earth gather to do battle against Jerusalem to prevent God’s Kingdom from coming. And just as His garments become covered in blood, so does the moon turn to blood. Do not confuse this manifestation with the simple ruddy color of the so-called ‘blood moon.’ This is a supernatural apparition that reveals to the world the day of His wrath (Isa. 63:3). And all of the kings, commanders, and powerful ones of the earth will know it!

Now is revealed the prophetic dimension of the moon a shadow of the things to come, and the greater reality being Christ Himself, and His Elect, the body, Soma Christou.

So then let us not celebrate the New Moon Festival simply as shadow of things to come which we do not understand, and simply carry on some external or elemental thing which Paul has, in other places, discouraged. The moon has gone nowhere, though humanity has lost any deeper sense of why it is here. Its meaning bears upon our salvation. Let it neither be followed out of mere blind observation of external ordinances, nor danced around as a pagans would do.

Rather, let this Holy Day, ordained by God for every month, serve us to increase in us the knowledge of God and our Savior Jesus Christ, that it may help fulfill His promises in granting us life. We ought to celebrate it in full knowledge of what God has engraved in the similitude of sun and moon as a dyad working together to separate light and darkness, and in full knowledge of how these festivals help reveal to us greater knowledge of God. On this the New Moon celebration fits well within the understanding that the apostle Peter shared in terms of growing in the divine nature of Christ.

Grace and Peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, in order that by them you might become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. (2 Pe 1:2-4, emphasis added)

In commemoration of the lunar Sabbath, then, let us sound the trumpet, and sing psalm 81 which speaks of the New Moon and also “the full moon on our feast day,” established as a statute in Egypt, the time of the exodus, and for a testimony in Joseph. The full moon, too, shows Christ in His full glory and majesty, radiating the fullness of the Father, victorious in delivering His people as both the Lion of Judah and the Passover Lamb. He delivers His people from sin and death, and having given His own blood to redeem His first born, He then gives the lives of others in satisfaction for the sins of those who will not repent, but who will complete His day of vengeance and pay the price for the deliverance out of Assyria, kingdom of death.

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