The aim of this sermon is threefold:
The reader is advised to carefully preserve the Sacred Calendar of the God of Israel booklet, for it contains rare information concerning the appointed days on which divinely predicted signs in the sun, moon and stars are expected; signs which will not only confirm the Holy Bible as the Word of God, but will cause all humanity to prepare for the Day of Judgment. With these opening thoughts in mind let us proceed.
The Need for a Calendar
Pause a while and consider the civil calendar hanging on your living room or office wall and ask yourself these questions. Why is it there? What is its true purpose? Where and how did the calendar originate? Is a calendar essential?
Your response would probably go something like this. The calendar
is there to help me, my family and my fellow-workers keep track
of time. Its purpose is to keep us in touch with appointments
and events at home, in the office and abroad. No, I have little
knowledge of where and how it originated.
Before answering the next question, Is it essential? try to imagine a world without a calendar; a world without pre-numbered days, months and years. Could society operate in a world without a calendar? I suppose it could - after a fashion; but it would be a crippled society at best. Why? Because planning further than a few days ahead would not be possible. All official, social, religious and sporting appointments would be extremely difficult to make; for no one would know on which day to meet. The entire legal profession, with its millions of carefully dated documents, would also be thrown into a state of total chaos. The activities of travel agents, airlines, hospital/dental surgeries and countless business organizations and clubs would slow to a snail's pace; for no one would be able to organize events more than a few days ahead. Without a calendar there would be no diaries, no long-term business, social or personal planning. Without question, a world without a calendar would be a world of frustrating confusion. Yes, you may be sure that a calendar of some sort is absolutely essential.
Currently there are several calendars in use throughout the world. Most are religious calendars used mainly to identify the dates of religious festivals celebrated by the faithful of the world's many religions. Amongst these is the Sacred Calendar of the God of Israel, the calendar this message is about. The sacred calendar is based on the movements of the sun and the moon. It is also linked directly to many Bible prophecies which describe world-encompassing events shortly to take place. Bible prophecy clearly tells us that there is coming a 'great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.' After the tribulation there will be 'signs in the heavens.'
|Matt.24:29||Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun
be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,
and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers
of the heavens shall be shaken. |
Knowledge of the sacred calendar will stand you in good stead
when those signs in the heavens appear. But more of this
The Gregorian Calendar
Besides the various religious calendars being used by mankind, there is the popular civil or Gregorian calendar. This is the calendar that hangs on the wall of almost every office in the civilized world. The Gregorian calendar takes its name from Pope Gregory X111, who reformed the Roman calendar in the year 1582. Before that time the civil calendar was called the Julian calendar, after the Roman Emperor Julius Caesar who had also made some alterations to the calendar in the year 46 BC. One of Caesar's amendments was to pattern the civil calendar on the calendar of ancient Egypt, which was at that time the only calendar in which the lengths of the months and years were fixed by definite rules. In other words, the civil calendar which hangs upon your office wall is similar in structure to the calendar that was used in ancient Egypt. Like its Egyptian ancestor, the civil calendar is governed by the sun alone, and its months ( January to December ) are in no way influenced by the moon. In the civil calendar a new moon can occur on any day in the month; days begin in the middle of the night ( 0.00 hour ) and years ( in the northern hemisphere ) begin in the middle of winter on the 1st January.
The Sacred Calendar
By comparison the sacred calendar is strikingly different. In it the days begin and end at sunset, months begin at the sighting of a new moon and the years begin in Israel's spring, when nature awakens from its winter sleep. Not surprisingly, therefore, many creatures from tiny birds keeping to their 14, 21 or 28 day cycles, right through to the complex human body, are designed to keep in step with the weekly and monthly periods of the Creator's calendar.
Interesting though these points may be, they are, nevertheless, of small account when compared with these two all-encompassing facts:
The Most High not only reveals His plans to His servants the prophets, but, like every good managing director, His plans are carried out on schedule - at appointed times. And those appointed times are all linked to the sacred calendar, which has been in existence since the creation of the world. We read of the sacred calendar's use in the account of Noah's flood which was over 800 years before Israel came out of Egypt.
|Gen.7:11||In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the
second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day
were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows
of heaven were opened. |
|Gen.8:4||And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat.|
|Gen.8:13||And it came to pass in the six hundredth and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried up from off the earth: and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and, behold, the face of the ground was dry.|
In the sacred calendar a 24 hour day is the period of time between one sunset and the next. According to the Scriptures, days begin and end at sunset and are divided into two parts, evening and morning.
Evening: when the sun is down.
Mark 1:32 : And at even, when the sun did set For further proof that days start and end at evening, sunset, at the going down of the sun, see:
Joshua 8:29, Joshua 10:26-27, 1 Kings 22:35-36, 2 Chron.18:34, 2 Samuel 3:35
Morning: when the sun is up.
Thus in Genesis chapter 1 we read how "the evening and the morning were the first day," "the evening and the morning were the second day," "the evening and the morning were the third day" and so on.
A month in the sacred calendar is measured by the moon. A month
is the period of time between one new moon and the next. A month
begins when the new moon is sighted with the naked eye. The
moon orbits the earth in about 29.5 days. Months in the sacred
calendar may, therefore, be either 29 or 30 days in length: they
cannot be 28 or 31 days in length. Note that the new moon mentioned
here is not the astronomical new moon ( conjunction ),
which is invisible; but the visible new moon as it is first
sighted with the naked eye by an observer at Jerusalem. This
point is explained further in Part Two,
Months in the sacred calendar are usually, though not always,
referred to in Scripture by their numbers, not by their names:
i.e. 1st month, 2nd month, 3rd month, 7th month etc.
Unlike most weekdays, however, months in the sacred calendar
do have proper names, most of which are found in the Bible.
The names of months are given below:
|MONTHS IN THE SACRED CALENDAR|
|1||Abib / Nisan||Exo. 12:2, 13:4, Esther 3:7||Sprouting/Budding|
|2||Zif||1 Kings 6:1||Blossom month|
|3||Sivan||Esther 8:9||Third month|
|4||Tamuz||Jeremiah 39:2||Name not in Bible|
|5||Ab||Numbers 33:38, Zech.7:3||Name not in Bible|
|6||Elul||Nehemiah 6:15||The gleaning month|
|7||Ethanim / Tishri||1 Kings 8:2||Perennial/seventh|
|8||Bul||1 Kings 6:38||Rain/Eighth|
|9||Chisleu||Nehemiah 1:1, Zech.7:1||The Hunter/ninth|
When a 13th month is periodically added to keep the sacred Feasts 'in their seasons,' ( agricultural seasons ) then the 12th month is called Adar 1 and the 13th month is called Veadar or Adar 2. In the literature published by AVITW we usually refer to months by number. We do this for two reasons:
A year in the sacred calendar begins in Israel's spring ( March/April )
and is the time between one spring season and the next. When
the sacred calendar is printed in advance the new moon nearest
the spring equinox is chosen to begin the year; that is,
the new moon which normally coincides with the natural
conditions in Israel which the ancient Sanhedrin looked for when
they selected Abib's new moon. See the answer to
at the back of the Sacred Calendar of the God of Israel
booklet concerning the choice of Abib's new moon.
Most years in the sacred calendar consist of 12 months, each
of 29 or 30 days. Thus, assuming six months at 29 days and six
months at 30 days, a normal year would contain about 354 days.
This figure is about 11.25 days short of a 365.25 day solar year,
which is the time the earth takes to complete one orbit of the
sun. In order to ensure that the Feasts of the Most High
occur at their appointed seasons ( Passover in
the Spring, First Fruits in the summer and Tabernacles in
the Autumn ) it is necessary for this 11 day annual loss to
be made good every two or three years. This is done by intercalating
( adding ) an extra month after the twelfth month to make the
calendar harmonize with the solar year and the agricultural seasons.
This extra month ( Adar 2 ) results in a leap year - which has
13 months. See Part 2, Question 5
for further details about leap years.
To summarize the foregoing we may say that in the sacred calendar:
Note: In the popular Jewish calendar the year begins in autumn with the month of Ethanim ( Tishri ). Strictly, this is the start of the agricultural year. The religious year begins in the spring with the Passover month of Abib ( Nisan ).
|Exo.12:1|| And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land
of Egypt, saying,2 This month shall be unto you the
beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to
|Exo.13:4||This day came ye out in the month Abib.|
|Exo. 34:18|| The feast of unleavened bread shalt thou keep.
Seven days thou shalt eat unleavened bread, as I commanded thee,
in the time of the month Abib: for in the month Abib thou
camest out from Egypt. |
In ancient times, years were usually numbered from important events such as a ruler's birth, coronation or death. Examples are:
|Gen. 7: 11||In the six hundredth year of Noah's life,
in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same
day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the
windows of heaven were opened.|
|Isa.6:1||In the year that king Uzziah died|
|Luke 3:1|| Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius
Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod
being tetrarch of Galilee
The week is another important cycle operating within the sacred
calendar. It was designed by the Most High to regulate the
physical, mental and spiritual welfare of the human race. Peoples
of all religions have a seven day week; a fact which is strong
proof that all nations came from a common ancestor who received
the seven-day week from the Creator. At first glance the week
appears to have no connection whatsoever with the movements of
the earth, the moon and the sun. The week, however, forms the
basis of an important spiritual cycle of sevens, which
we refer to as the Sabbatical cycle. The sabbatical
cycle figures extensively in Bible prophecy. The
Sabbatical/Jubile cycles mentioned in Leviticus
chapter 25 are briefly described in the Sacred Calendar of the
God of Israel booklet.
In the sacred calendar the days of the week are not named but numbered: first day, second day, third day etc. The main exception being the seventh day of the week, which is called the Sabbath. In the Roman civil calendar, the one currently used by virtually all the world, the days of the week are named after various pagan or planetary gods:
When conversing with the peoples of this world, it is necessary
to use these popular names ( Sunday, Monday, Tuesday etc. ), else
few would know what we were talking about if only the Biblical
numbering system were used. But it should be remembered that these
popular weekday names have pagan roots and are not found in the
In the Scriptures the seventh day of the week is called the Sabbath. The word Sabbath is synonymous with rest, repose, restoration, refreshment, calm, tranquillity, freedom, peace, harmony, holiness and sanctification. It is, therefore, a fitting sign of the Creator's character and aims. The divine record of the creation is brief; but it leaves one in no doubt that the Creator rested on, blessed and sanctified the seventh day of the week at the creation of the world. Notice what His Word says on this matter in:
|Genesis 2:||1: Thus the heavens and the earth were finished,
and all the host of them. |
2: And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
3: And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
Many people will be surprised to learn that the true Sabbath day is not Sunday but Saturday. Sunday is the first day of the week. Saturday is the seventh and in Scripture is called the Sabbath of the LORD. In other words Saturday is the true LORD's Day. The Sabbath starts at sunset on Friday evening and ends 24 hours later at sunset on Saturday evening. Lev 23:32 "From evening unto evening shall you celebrate your Sabbath." The Sabbath commandment is part of the Ten Commandments, which were written with the finger of God!
|Exo.24:12||And the LORD said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount,
and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone,
and a law, and commandments which I have written; that
thou mayest teach them. |
|Exo.31:18|| And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end
of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony,
tables of stone, written with the finger of God. ( See
also Deut.9:10 )|
|Exo.20:||8: Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. |
9: Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
10: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
11: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
Yahweh's Sabbath Day
In view of the above facts, it is a mistake to refer to the Sabbath as the Jewish Sabbath; or that it is only to be observed by Jews. The Sabbath is Yahweh's Sabbath; or, as the Scriptures put it: the Sabbath of the LORD thy God! To be sure it is kept by Israel and the Jews; but it is not for Israel alone, any more than the Ten Commandments are for the Jews alone. According to the fourth commandment, even 'strangers' ( Gentiles ) are expected to keep the Sabbath day. If they obey this royal command, Gentiles will also be greatly blessed. Notice the word 'stranger' in the following texts:
|Exo.20:8-10|| Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy...in it
thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter,
thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy
stranger that is within thy gates: |
|Isa.56:||6: Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves
to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to
be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting
it, and taketh hold of my covenant; |
7: Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer
Neither is there any evidence in the New Testament to suggest that the Saviour or his Apostles changed the Ten Commandments and transferred the sanctity of the Sabbath from the seventh to the first day of the week. Instead, Jesus kept his Father's commandments ( John 15:10 ). If he hadn't done so he would have been classified as 'a sinner.' But we read that the Saviour kept the Sabbath day as it was meant to be kept, much to the annoyance of the Scribes and Pharisees who had burdened the day with many petty, man-made restrictions. These the Master brushed aside. Commenting on the eternal nature of his Father's law the Saviour said these words:
|Matt. 5:17||Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18: For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.|
Moreover the Master advised his followers, who were mostly Jews at that time, to pray to God that He might allow them to keep the Sabbath at the destruction of Jerusalem: which was to take place in AD70, some 40 years after the resurrection.
Pause and consider this text and see how pointless it would
have been for the Saviour to have given this advice to his
predominantly Jewish followers if the Sabbath commandment was
going to be abolished at Calvary. The truth is, the Saviour had
absolutely no intention whatsoever of doing away with or changing
the Sabbath commandment. He had an extremely high regard for
his Father's law; which he was instrumental in giving to Israel
in the first place. ( James 4:12 ) In short, the true Sabbath
day is still the seventh day of the week, the day commonly
known as Saturday!
This unequivocal fact means that those who break the Sabbath
commandment are guilty of sin, whether they realize it or not;
sin is the transgression of the law.' ( 1
John 3:4 ) For further proof of this astonishing fact, see AVITW
article Is Sunday the Christian Sabbath?
THE FEAST DAYS
Hanging from the Sabbath commandment in the law of the Almighty are the seven annual Sabbaths of Jehovah the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel. Unlike the popular holidays of Christmas, Easter, Hallowe'en etc., which have absolutely no scriptural backing whatsoever, the Feasts of the Almighty are the sacred memorials of the Creator's mightiest acts in the Plan of Salvation; each and every one of them being an appointed anniversary of a distinct, decisive achievement in His plan. Yahweh's Feasts are the high days in His Diary. He looks forward to them in much the same way as we would some special anniversary or event. At this moment in time, most of them point to realities that are still future. But all through eternity the redeemed host will look back at these days and will then - year by year - commemorate the mighty deeds the Most High and His Son performed on them for the salvation of the human race. "What" you may well ask, "are the Almighty's Annual Sabbaths?" There are six Feast days and one Fast day. I list them:
These are the seven annual memorial Sabbaths of the Almighty; which all peoples, Jew and Gentile alike, are commanded to observe. These days do not belong to any particular race or religion. They are not Jewish festivals. They are the Almighty's 'appointment times' and all nations are required to keep them. The Most High refers to them as 'My Feasts, My Sabbaths.'
|Lev.23:||1: And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, |
2: Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts.
For further information about these divinely appointed memorial
Sabbaths of the Most High see the AVITW booklet entitled: The
Days of the God of Israel.
SIGNS IN THE SUN, MOON & STARS
The sun, moon and stars were originally created by the Almighty to draw universal attention to the spectacular deeds He planned to perform on the appointed Feast days, seasons and sabbatical years in the sacred calendar. This astonishing fact is mentioned in the very first chapter of the Bible. Genesis 1:14 which says:
According to Strong's Bible Dictionary
In other words: the sun and moon were set in the heavens to signal the appointed sacred seasons, the set feasts, when Israel was to gather in worship at the Creator's tent of meeting. To be sure the sun and the moon determine the literal days, nights, seasons and years and they directly influence the climate. But the language of Genesis 1:14 goes far beyond these natural events. It tells of the spiritual reasons why the sun and moon were created. They were created I repeat:
Several Bible prophecies confirm the message of Genesis 1:14 by telling us that just before Jesus Christ returns to earth there will be 'signs in the sun and the moon.' Consider these verses:
|Joel 2:10|| The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and
the stars shall withdraw their shining.|
|Joel 2:30-31||The sun shall be turned into darkness, and
the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day
of the LORD come. 32: And it shall come to pass, that whosoever
shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered|
|Amos 8:9|| And it shall come to pass in that day, saith
the LORD GOD, that I will cause the sun to go down at noon,
and I will darken the earth in the clear day: |
|Matt.24:29|| Immediately after the tribulation of those days
shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her
light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers
of the heavens shall be shaken: |
|Rev.6:|| 12: And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal,
and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black
as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; |
13: And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind....
|Rev.8:12||And the fourth angel sounded, and the third
part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the
moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third
part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part
of it, and the night likewise. |
These predicted signs in the heavens are scheduled to happen shortly before Yeshua the Messiah returns to earth; and happen they will. When they occur they will provide unmistakable evidence that one of the Almighty's appointed seasons has begun and that the end of this age has arrived. World shattering events will occur at that time and all mankind will then become aware of the LORD'S requirements and His anger at the refusal of many to obey His law.
|Rev.6:||16: And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on
us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne,
and from the wrath of the Lamb: |
17: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
If you believe the message of Genesis 1:14 then at each sacred
festival you should be on the watch for celestial signs in the
sun, moon and stars. Failure to keep the Almighty's appointments
could mean that when those signs occur - as they surely will
- the spiritual significance of the feasts and the prophecies
to which they relate will be lost to you. To be sure you will
marvel at those celestial signs, all humanity will, but you will
not realize their spiritual significance and will be
completely oblivious to what they mean and, more importantly,
what you are expected to do.
Astrology is the study of the supposed influence of the stars on human affairs. A horoscope is an astrologer's forecast of future events, based on the position of stars and peoples' birthdays. The study of astrology and the daily reading of horoscopes is strongly condemned in the Scriptures. ( Deut.4:19, 2 Kings 23:5 ) The signs in the sun, moon and stars mentioned in the Sacred Calendar of the God of Israel bookle have nothing to do with the study of astrology or the reading of horoscopes. The celestial signs prophesied in the Scriptures will occur at the Almighty's appointed time. When they appear, it will be too late to rush about improving your understanding of God's Word. That must be done now, before it is too late. If on the other hand you are a believer, then do not be terrified when those signs appear, because they spell out good news to the obedient.