“The Torah of his Elohim is in his heart; his footsteps do not falter.” Psalms 37:31
This Op will be a pretty in-depth one. Normally I like to keep my Op’s as short as possible but yet still convey what I believe HaShem is leading me to say. In this Op, however, we are going to dip our toes into the deep end of the pool, per se. Why is this so? Because I can sense the absolute urgency from HaShem that events are happening in the world around us and its time we all, myself included, truly decide to whom we will serve.
While the world spins around us like a category five hurricane in its chaos, confusion and the up’s and down’s, I can see it on the faces of those I pass by at the grocery store their worry, doubt, concern, confusion, etc. The question on most everyone’s mind is ‘What will tomorrow bring?’ Yet the earth and all of HaShem’s creation keep’s on spinning day to day according to what He has ordained by His Word!
This all said, I thought it prudent to address this issue of ‘Times and Seasons’ and examine this among other related topics to hopefully show the depth of what HaShem has given to us to learn and be strengthened as we await the end of the exile and for the arrival of His Agent i.e. Moshiach Yeshua! As I stated in the opening, be prepared because this one will be pretty in-depth.
But before we jump into this, always consider the following unchanging truths of HaShem:
– HaShem never changes per Num 23:19/Mal 3:6/Hebrews 13:8/James 1:17
– His Word is firmly established per Psalm 119:89
– He reveals the end out of the beginning per Is 46:10
– He does nothing without first revealing it to His prophets per Amos 3:7
– He says there is nothing new under the sun per Ecclesiastes 1:9
– He says His Torah is eternal per Proverbs 3:19 and Psalm 119:160
– He says His Torah is perfect and restores the soul per Psalm 19:7
– He says His Torah makes the simple one wise per Psalm 19:7
– He says His Torah Is freedom and liberty per Psalm Ps 119:45 and James 1:25
– He says His Torah is the only good doctrine there is Proverbs 4:2
– He says His Torah will add length of days and years of life and peace per Proverbs 3:2
– He says all of the ways of His Torah are ways of pleasantness and peace per Proverbs 3:17
– He says His Torah is for our good and well-being per Deuteronomy 6:24
– He says His Torah is health for our lives per Proverbs 3:8
– He says His Torah is life to our soul and a graceful ornament for our neck per Prov 3:22
– He says His Torah is better than pearls and all desires cannot compare to it per Prov 8:11
– He says those who walk with His Torah are praiseworthy per Psalms 119:1
– He says observing His Torah is how we purify our path per Psalms 119:9
– He says His Torah is better than thousands in gold and silver per Psalms 119:72
– He says His Torah brings abundant peace to those who love Him and His Torah per Psalms 119:165
– He says there is one Torah for all per Exodus 12:49/Leviticus 24:22
– He says those who hate His Torah love death per Proverbs 8:36
Paul says in I Thessalonians 5:1-2 the following “Now, brothers, as to the times and the seasons, you do not need to be written to. For you yourselves know very well that the Day of HaShem comes as a thief in the night.”
These two verses are very well known within the Christian world. I have heard countless pastors teach on these verses over the years and they reach the usual Christian Replacement Theology conclusions, which I will not repeat here. But, in my opinion, what we need to do is to examine these verses from the Jewish perspective and see just how much the narrative will change when we do so!
Remember Paul was an Orthodox Torah observant Jew who acknowledge Yeshua as being the Messiah of HaShem! I won’t cover it here as I have done so many other times, but we can prove with 100% accuracy per Paul’s own letters the man never stopped keeping and walking in the Torah or the Halakah (Oral Torah) his entire life! Therefore if we want to understand his letters, then we need to understand the world from which he lived in, which is vastly different from Replacement Theology Christendom! After all Yeshua Himself reiterated that ‘Salvation is of the Jews’ per John 4:22, meaning only Orthodox Jews have the correct understanding and teaching of the Torah which HaShem gave! I digress.
So what do the words ‘Times’ and ‘Seasons’ mean from the Jewish perspective? Well, we will need to bring these words back to their Hebrew meaning, as I am one who believes without any doubt the Apostolic Writings were originally written in Hebrew. I also am one who believes there is way too much emphasis on the Greek language, but that is another Op in itself some day.
The word ‘Times’ is the Hebrew word ‘Moedim’ which means “A fixed time or season, specifically a festival, an APPOINTMENT.” In other words, this word is pointing directly at the annual Feasts of HaShem as He states in Vayikra (Leviticus) 23 i.e. Pesach (Passover), Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits, Shavuot (Erroneously called Pentecost), Rosh HaShanah (Feast of Trumpets), Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) and Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles). These annual Feasts of HaShem are in fact the ‘annual appointments‘ in which we as His people will keep these appointments in order to meet with our Great King! He also says these Feasts are all eternal and will never pass away nor can they be changed! Now if there was a Temple in Jerusalem today, we would be required to show up on three of these Feasts i.e. Pesach, Shavuot and Sukkot in order to bring our korbonot (Offerings) before HaShem!
The word ‘Seasons’ is the Hebrew word ‘Zemanim’ which means “Time set aside for a special occasion, specific times of the day, designate for a purpose.” An example would be the monthly Rosh Chodesh acknowledgement i.e. the New Moon which HaShem commands us to remember each month.
So with this said, consider Paul was talking to the Thessalonian believers in Yeshua, they were obviously Torah observant, kept the Feasts of HaShem i.e. the Moedim, to include other set apart times such as Rosh Chodesh (New Moon) i.e. the Zemanim and then he tells them because they know and keep these, there is no need for him to teach them about prophetic events! Point is, another proof text that Paul himself never stopped keeping Torah while being a believer in Yeshua, but also the fact keeping and knowing the Moedim and Zemanim of HaShem is what reveals how the prophetic events in the End of Days will unfold!! Can you see already how much is being lost when Replacement Theology teaches its all done away with?
On a side note, this is why when in the Tanakh (Old Testament), specifically Daniel 7:25, when describing the False Messiah, HaShem identifies this man for he will be the one who will change the times and the seasons. Now which religious figure head, according to the doctrine, teaches the Torah of HaShem along with all the Feasts of HaShem have been done away with and replaced? Which figure head teaches the Feasts of HaShem are now replaced by Christmas and Easter and Shabbat is now replaced either by Sunday or can be any day of the week we choose? There is only one figure head who has taught this i.e. the Replacement Theology Jesus Christ. I digress as this Op is not about the False Messiah. Moving on.
The Calendars of HaShem are vital we learn and adopt into our lives because it is the calendars of the Kingdom of HaShem. Now I know in the Hebrew Roots/Messianic world, of which I am not a part of either, there are many different calendars as well as many opinions which unfortunately tend to end with many disagreements and arguments. This being said, the biblical months we find in His Word are as follows:
How do we understand His calendars? Well there are two main calendar systems HaShem uses in His Word i.e. the Civil Calendar and the Religious Calendar. The Civil Calendar begins with the month of Tishrei and it remains like this from Genesis 1 through Exodus 11. Then HaShem switches the calendar and in Exodus 12 the month of Nissan becomes the first month since it is the month the Exodus from Egypt occurs and it remains this way through Revelation 22.
The Mishnah for Rosh HaShanah says “There are FOUR New Year days (In the calendar of HaShem): On the first of Nissan is the new year for the reckoning of the reigns of Jewish Kings and for establishing the order of the annual Feasts (Moedim). On the first of Elul is the new year for the bikkurim (Tithe) of animals. The first of Tishrei is the new year for reckoning the years, for the Sabbatical years and for the Jubilee years, for the planting of trees and for the vegetables. On the first of Shevat is the new year for the tree.”
Then it goes on to further state “At FOUR junctures of the year the world is judged: On Pesach (Passover) for the grain (HaShem will at this time determine if the harvest will be meager or plentiful); on Shavuot for the fruit of the tree (HaShem will at this time determine if the harvest of the fruit will be meager or plentiful); on Rosh HaShanah all who walk the earth pass before Hm like young sheep (At this time everyone’s names are sealed in either the Book of Life or the Book of Death or remain in the Book of the Intermediary as they still haven’t made their choice on who to serve), and on the Festival i.e. Sukkot when they are judged for the water (HaShem will determine how much rain the world will receive for that year).” Can you see we are going into the deep end of the pool per se? I hope you are still with me because we have yet to get into the main topic of this Op yet.
This all said, now we can jump into the main points of this Op which is to discuss Rosh Chodesh Nissan i.e. the New Moon of the biblical month of Nissan which begins as I write this, tonight, sundown on 25 March 2020. In order to fully grasp the significance of this month, we need to explore what the month of Nissan is all about! Get ready to be astounded and hopefully inspired!!
From the book ‘The Wisdom in the Hebrew Months, the Months, the Tribes, and the Names of HaShem’ by Zvi Ryzman says regarding the month of Nissan “The name combination for the month of Nissan comes from the verse ‘The heavens will be glad and the earth will rejoice’ quoting Tehillim (Psalms) 96:11.”
Now I will be referencing book #2 from a book series titled “The Book of Our Heritage, the Jewish Year and its Days of Significance” by Rabbi Eliyahu Kitov. In this excerpt on page 472-473 Rabbi Kitov says “The month of Nisan has three names: HaChodesh Ha-Rishon (The first of months); Chodesh Ha-Aviv (The month of Aviv); and Nisan. The Torah refers to Nisan as the first month since the redemption from Egypt it is always counted that way. It is also referred to the month of spring, for it is then that new life and vegetation are given to the world.”
“The name Nisan is of Babylonian origin, and it came into use after the Babylonian exile. The word Nisan also connotes spring, for (Shir HaShirim -Song of Solomon 2:12) says ‘The buds have appeared in the land.’ The later Sages interpreted the word aviv as an acronym: Aviv can be separated into ‘Av’, meaning ‘Father or head’, and the (Hebrew) letters Yud and Beit have a numerical value of twelve, corresponding to the twelve months, that is to say, the head of all the months of the year.”
Going back a few pages, on page 466 Rabbi Kitov says “Israel, who is considered the terumah (Gift) of the Holy One, blessed is He, was in a ritually impure land (Egypt). HaShem therefore said: ‘How can I redeem them? To leave them there is impossible! I shall therefore descend and save them.’ And when He brought them out, He called Aharon and figuratively purified Himself, as the verse in Vayikra (Leviticus) 16:33 states: ‘And he shall atone for the place of holiness.'”
“‘This month shall be for you.’ This phrase can be understood in these ways: ‘For you – your very own; for you – for your redemption; for you – it has been given over to you.'”
Rabbi Kitov goes on, on page 467 “One who experiences redemption has emerged from darkness into light. One who has never suffered the oppression of bondage, will not appreciate redemption. The very essence of redemption is the freedom which has its source in the bondage itself. Had Israel not been enslaved, they would never have experienced true freedom. Once they were enslaved, that enslavement gave rise to their redemption. From the midst of that darkness and from nowhere else, light burst forth. Our Sages taught: Israel said to HaShem, ‘Master of the Universe, when will You redeem us?’ HaShem answered: ‘When you descend to the lowest level, at that moment I shall redeem you.'”
It is interesting with regards to HaShem calculation of time and when He determines certain events must come about. Rabbi Kitov explains “The Rabbis explained the verse in Shir HaShirim (Song of Solomon) 2:8 in terms of HaShem’s calculation of time: ‘The voice of my beloved, behold, He is coming; He skips over the mountains….’ Rabbi Yehoshua explained: ‘The voice of my beloved’ this refers to Moshe. When he told Israel they would be redeemed that month (Nissan), they said to him, ‘Moshe, our teacher, how can we be redeemed? Did the Holy One, blessed is He, not say to Avraham, ‘And they shall be afflicted for four hundred years?’ We have been here (In Egypt) for only two hundred and ten!’ He responded: ‘Since HaShem desires that you be redeemed, He pays no heed to YOUR CALCULATIONS. Rather, He ‘skips over the mountains’. He skips over the fixed time, the calculations, and the leap years, and in this month (Nissan) you shall be redeemed.”
Can you see the month of Nissan is ALL about redemption? Nissan is ALL about being a constant reminder of the redemption of Israel from Egyptian oppression and enslavement!! Why are we to remember this event? Because HaShem reveals the end from the beginning and how He redeemed Israel in the beginning is how He will do so in the end!! Obviously not with the exact same people involved such as Moshe but certainly with Yeshua (Who is in the likeness of Moshe, otherwise Yeshua cannot be Messiah!) per what we read in Devarim (Deuteronomy) 18:1 which says “A prophet from your midst, from your brethren, like me (Moshe), shall HaShem, your Elohim, establish for you, to him shall you hearken”.
An excerpt from the book ‘The Hebrew Months in the Shemoneh Esrei’ by Zvi Ryzman, quotes Rabbi Yehoshua who says “The world was created in Nissan; the Patriarchs were born in Nissan; the nation of Israel was redeemed in Nissan; and in the future, they will be redeemed in Nissan.”
So the question was asked, if the world was created in Nissan, why do we celebrate the New Year on the first of Tishrei i.e. Rosh HaShanah? The answer is found in ‘The Wisdom in the Hebrew Months, the Months, the Tribes, and the Names of HaShem’ by Zvi Ryzman which says “There are two ways that HaShem regulates the world i.e. the Law of Nature and Divine Providence. The natural system operates according to the rules of the physical Creation, while Providence operates according to the Torah and Israel’s fulfillment of its commandments. We fulfill the Torah through body and soul. The soul involves the use of thought and intelligence, for, indeed, there are mitzvos (Commandments) that are fulfilled not through physical acts, but through intelligent faith and intent. Israel marks the new year not in Nissan, when the physical act of creation took place, but in Tishrei, to make it clear that the key to existence is HaShem’s Providence. And that is why HaShem established Rosh HaShanah, the Day of Judgment, in Tishrei…” Are you still with me? Have I bored you to death yet? One more little bit and then I will wrap this up.
Now with regards to actually acknowledging Rosh Chodesh each month, it is a commandment in the Torah! Bamidbar (Numbers) 28:11-15 says “On your New Moons (Rosh Chodesh), you shall bring an Olah Korbonot (Burnt Offering) to HaShem: Two young bulls, one ram, seven male lambs in their first year, unblemished. And three tenth ephah of fine flour for a meal offering mixed with oil, for each bull; and two tenth ephah of fine flour mixed with oil, for the one ram; and a tenth ephah of fine flour for a meal offering, mixed with oil for each lamb, an Olah Korbonot, a satisfying aroma, a fire offering to HaShem. And their libations a half hin for each bull, a third hin for the ram, a quarter hin for each lamb, of wine. This is the Olah Korbonot for each month in its own month for the months of the year. And one male of the goats for a Chatat (Sin) Korbonot to HaShem. In addition to the continual (Tamid) Olah Korbonot shall it be made and its libation.”
So yes, it is a commandment that we do acknowledge the beginning of each month! Now obviously there is no Temple in Jerusalem nor do we live in the Land, therefore sadly, we cannot keep this commandment in its entirety as HaShem directs us!!! But there is hope because in Yechezkel (Ezekiel) 46 which discusses the rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem in the End of Days, in verse three it says “The people of the land shall prostrate themselves before HaShem at the entrance of that gate on the Sabbaths and on the New Moons (Rosh Chodesh).” This means when the Temple is rebuilt, ALL of the Torah is fully reinstated along with ALL the korbonot (Offerings)!! Baruch HaShem! May it be so very soon in our days!
So why am I posting this Op you may be asking? Because as I stated earlier in this Op, the calendars are VERY important to HaShem as they set the Moedim and Zemanim for His Kingdom and if we are members of His Kingdom, then we MUST learn everything we can here and now!! It goes hand in hand with what HaShem commands in Yechezkel (Ezekiel) 43:10-11 regarding His command that we are to study and learn every single millimeter of His Temple to include the gates, the courtyards, the avodah (Temple Services), everything! Why? Because it teaches us about HaShem, it teaches us about what is true kedushah (Holiness), and it teaches us the protocols of the King!
Let me ask you this hypothetical question: If Yeshua showed up right now, today and you were in His presence, would you know the proper protocol for just being in His presence? Would you know how to address Him if He talked to you? Would you know how to react when He left the room? The Temple will teach us those protocols!!
Here is another hypothetical question to ponder: If Yeshua showed up right now, today, where would He spend Shabbat? In a Christian church on Sunday? In a Messianic/Hebrew Roots congregation on Saturday or in an Orthodox Jewish synagogue on Saturday? In my opinion, per what we read in the Apostolic Writings in its proper context, He would spend Shabbat eating a meal on Friday night sitting around the table with other Torah observant people, lighting candles and then going to the Orthodox synagogue for the Torah readings on Saturday morning.
I know this is hard hitting but like I said in the beginning, I can feel the urgency and the message to all of us, myself included, is HaShem saying, now its time to get very serious and fully make up our minds as to whom we will serve. If HaShem is the true Elohim, then serve Him. If the Replacement Theology Jesus Christ is the one, then serve him, but we have to make up our minds for time is VERY, VERY short, perhaps far shorter than we even realize.
I will end this Op with this statement I read from someone else a few days ago which caught my eye as I would agree with it, ‘Messiah Yeshua is an Orthodox Jew. He was not a Christian (in the Replacement Theology sense) and He did not come to start a new religion.’ Very powerful statement in my opinion, which I hope will stir the interest and desire for HaShem and His Ways!
So let’s start off with acknowledging Rosh Chodesh Nissan tonight, the month of Redemption and see what HaShem may be telling us! May it be very soon in our days!!
- The Stone Edition Chumash published by Artscroll
- The Scriptures by the Institute for Scripture Research
- The Book of Our Heritage the Jewish Year and its Days of Significance by Eliyahu Kitov published by Feldheim Publishers
- The Hebrew Months in the Shemoneh Esrei by Zvi Ryzman published by Artscroll