New Moons Part Four: An Offering to Jesus
The new moon observance is a time to give offerings to God. We’re not talking about bulls and goats; however, parallels can be made with the offerings Israel gave to Jesus. We give all our burdens to Jesus in a blessed, divine exchange.
While Jesus commanded offerings of Israel because they prefigured His work and sacrifice for us, He never majored on them. He wanted above all to see the believers show their seriousness in their covenant with Him by sacrificing all of themselves to Him (Ps. 50:5-23; 51:16-19). While some Christians believe the contrary, Jesus never changes. The kind of sacrifices we give to God has changed today, but Jesus' attitude toward sacrifices and offerings has never changed.
Moses did not command offerings. Jesus did. He spoke to Moses: "Command the sons of Israel and say to them, 'You shall be careful to present My offering, My food for My offerings by fire, of a soothing aroma to Me, at their appointed time…" (Num. 28:2).
Why do Christians have to condemn the concept of sacrifices? Why can't we look at the system of animal sacrifices with New Covenant eyes? We can learn much if we change our thinking.
Every day Israel offered two male lambs as a burnt offering, one in the morning and one at night, along with a grain and drink offering (Num. 28:3). Two more male lambs along with their accompanying offerings were added (v.9). We can see that the Sabbath was holy and special and special offerings were given on that day.
On the day of the new moon the offering was two bulls, one ram and seven male lambs (v. 11). Bulls symbolized in part the idea of oppression (Ps. 22:11-13). On the new moon we lay down to Jesus, who endured the demonic oppression of the "strong bulls of Bashan (Ps. 22:12) at His crucifixion, all that has oppressed us.
The ram pictures our strength and authority, probably a picture of giving ourselves totally to God. We give our whole selves to Jesus, including our mind to be renewed at this time of the new moon (Rom. 12:1-2).
The seven male lambs would indicate our complete and perfect surrender in innocence and humility to be like Jesus, the Lamb of God. Seven pictures completion and perfection, which the full observance of the new moons makes possible.
The cry of our heart at the new moon should be the prayer of the man after God's heart, the psalmist who loved all of God's statutes: "Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me" (Ps. 51:10). As the new moon approaches we need David's attitude: "Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way" (Ps. 139:23-24).
That attitude also permits us to examine the excuses religiosity has given us to avoid obeying all of God's laws and statutes of love. That includes the colossally cunning cover-up of the true meaning of Colossians 2:16-17.
As explained more fully in other writings, the Colossian controversy was not about whether to observe the Sabbath, the holy days and the new moons. It was about a radical sect of the Jews who denied Jesus. They refused to relieve themselves on the Sabbath day, but they also relieved themselves from acknowledging the importance of the most important One, Jesus. They wanted legalistic observance of the appointed times of God without the One who appointed them. They worshipped the Sabbath day but not the Divine Master who established it. Without Jesus, the Sabbath days, new moons and feast days mean nothing. They are indeed a shadow pointing to Jesus, but what can they mean if the body of the One to whom they point disappears?
Translators rendered the Greek words in Colossians 2:14-16 according to their traditional and false doctrines, not in truth. The feast days and new moons do indeed foreshadow and point to Jesus, but they are not a "mere" shadow as the NASB adds in italics. These radical Jewish ascetics were judging the Colossian believers for their eating and drinking (the radicals deprived themselves) and for their extremely "unascetic" observance of God's appointed times.
The very mention of the new moons in this context shows that these days were indeed a part of New Covenant practice and belief. Why would they not be? They are statutes of God observed by faithful men like David and prophesied to be kept by all, Jews and Gentiles, in the Millennium.
The Two Most Important New Moons
All the new moons are important. Two of them, however, stand out in significance for "the Israel of God" today, as they did for Israel of old.
Strong evidence points to the fact that Job made his righteous pronouncements and astounding end-time prophecies on the Day of Trumpets, the main new moon of the year. Before we look at what Job did and said on that day and see why I call him "a new moon kind of man," let's examine why the new moon of the seventh month is so important.
Trumpets is the day Jesus returns to reinstitute His government over the whole earth. As is the Sabbath, Trumpets is "Kingdom Day." It is the beginning of "Kingdom month," the seventh month of the holy year. It signals the release of Kingdom power in our lives, including the glory of God's Kingdom. That glory includes great financial wealth in overflow for the proclamation of the Kingdom and for blessing Kingdom members with the "commonwealth" in the literal sense, wealth in their personal finances so they can be Kingdom lights. God's perfect will is that we Kingdom people, members of His Family, be able to help the needy rather than be in need.
The first new moon of the year is God's new year. Satan starts his year in the dead of winter. God starts His new year when the news buds of spring flower the air with new life, new sounds, new sights and new scents. Newness abounds. Life begins afresh. And that's exactly what God wants for us in the new year.
In the world, people start the new year with resolutions they soon break. Why? First of all, they are not in sync with God in His timing and His Kingdom system of celebration. Second, they do not know how to ask Jesus to close the door on the old year. God has shown many of us believers how to do this. Without this key, no real newness can come in.
Jesus made this principle clear. He said, "Nor do people put new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the wineskins burst [as do most New Year's resolutions], and the wine pours out and the wineskins are ruined; but they put new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved" (Mat. 9:17).
Interestingly, the context here was fasting. God's kind of fasting is fasting for others to break yokes in their lives. Without those problems being solved and eventually turned over to Jesus, new growth is stymied.
Shut the Door on the Old Year
We cannot truly usher in the new year until we have had Jesus close the door on the old one. We must then ask Him to open the door to newness and growth in the coming year.
Jeremiah said it well: "Break up your fallow [or fresh] ground, And do not sow among thorns" (Jer. 4:3). The meaning of thorns includes demons that hold us back. If demons have legal right to us because of the sins of the old year or our past life, we will have difficulty in moving forward.
The prophet adds an important principle involving one of the covenants of God: "Circumcise yourselves to [Jesus] And remove the foreskins of your heart…" (Jer. 4:4). We see here that the Hebrew Scriptures are not purely physical, as some think. While physical circumcision was required under the Old Covenant, the prophets also taught the spiritual understanding of circumcision.
God's people could not enter the Promised Land, symbolizing the newness of our Kingdom blessings, until the new generation had all, that is, the men, been circumcised. As Joshua quotes Jesus, "Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you" (Josh. 5:9).
On the fatal 911 flight in 2001, men had gotten together in preparation for the attack on the hijackers. They recited God's Word, prayed, and then apparently Rod Beamer said, "Let's roll!"
We cannot truly "roll" in the new year until we have "rolled away" the old. Circumcision is a rolling away of a physical appendage that has been shown to be a cause of penal cancer unless it is frequently and properly cleaned. God foreknew the foreskin problem and had a solution already in hand.
As the new year approaches, our hearts need circumcision. We need to have Jesus roll away our "heart" problems of the year. That's why this new moon in the spring is so important. While it does not have the significance of the Kingdom new moon, since we are to seek the Kingdom always first, the spring new moon is powerful.
God set it as a special, annual time of new beginnings. He said, "This month shall be the beginning of months for you…" (Ex. 12:2). The Israelites were circumcised before the Passover so they could enter the land with the assurance of being the covenant people. If we are to reap the covenant blessings this year, we need also before Passover and the beginning of this new year to have our hearts circumcised. We need Jesus to roll away the reproach and shame of the sin, the pain, the hurts, the regrets and the mistakes of this past year.
"Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!" (Rom. 11:33). He knew His children would mess up. He gave up His Son Jesus so that the blood of Yeshua could wash away our sins and pains. And He knew we would regular washings, times to lay down our problems to Jesus and come away with a fresh feeling of newness and cleansing.
He said He would daily bear our burdens and make us new every day (II Cor. 4:16). Every Sabbath He gives us weekly renewal. Every new moon we receive His restoration. Every feast day we are strengthened and cleansed. And every spring new moon we are mad new for a brand new year. What a loving and wise God we have! (CONTINUED: Part Five: Job: "A New Moon Kind of Man"
Read More in this New Moon Series:
Part Four: An Offering to Jesus
Download the entire nine part series: Click HERE