God’s Calendar

What’s today’s date? What do you have going on for the rest of this week? Did you have to think about two different calendars? A family calendar and a work calendar? Does your fiscal year start at a different point than the new year? What’s with all the questions? I wanted to prepare your mind for what comes next; God’s calendar doesn’t look like ours, it has different months, and the months have twenty-nine or thirty days, unlike the calendar we are used to; it also has holidays you may not be familiar with or celebrate.

This is what God’s calendar looks like:

Exodus 12:1-3 NLT “While the Israelites were still in the land of Egypt, the Lord gave the following instructions to Moses and Aaron: 2 “From now on, this month will be the first month of the year for you. 3 Announce to the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each family must choose a lamb or a young goat for a sacrifice, one animal for each household.”

God’s calendar begins in our month of March or April, and they celebrate what we call New Year’s in the seventh month, which is September or October. So what’s up with the difference? Why can’t God just operate on our calendar? I’m pretty sure God’s calendar came first. As believers, we want to be in God’s timing; we obviously can’t throw out our calendars; just as you operate on a yearly and fiscal calendar, you can use the natural calendar and God’s.

God’s calendar gets us out of the natural realm and into God’s way of thinking and doing; it gives life a new order and rhythm. In Exodus 34, Leviticus 23, and Deuteronomy 16, God outlines three feasts for Israel to attend. These are the feasts of the Lord, they were given to the Jewish people, but they are God’s feasts; they are His way of operating.

If you’re wondering, do I have to do this, the answer is no. However, I submit that the right question is, as a Christian, can I celebrate the feast of the Lord, and the answer is yes.

The first set of feasts is Passover, Unleavened Bread, FirstFruits, and fifty days later is Pentecost. Jesus died at Passover and rose on FirstFruits, and He sent the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, Acts 2:1-4.

Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 5:7-8 NLT “Get rid of the old “yeast” by removing this wicked person from among you. Then you will be like a fresh batch of dough made without yeast, which is what you really are. Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed for us. 8 So let us celebrate the festival, not with the old bread of wickedness and evil, but with the new bread of sincerity and truth.”

Jesus is the fulfillment of Passover, and therefore as Christians, we can celebrate the feast in its fullness. Just as Jesus fulfilled the spring feasts, He will fulfill the fall feasts of Trumpets, Atonement, and Tabernacles; this is the second coming.

I’m sure you’re thinking, but what about Paul saying, don’t let a man judge you concerning feasts and new moon celebrations? As I said earlier, you don’t have to do this; however, there is a blessing in it. Now, that is not to imply a curse if you don’t. God wants to be close with his people; that’s why He instituted these feasts, to begin with, to call His children to a celebration.

Look at this prophecy concerning the Millenium in Zechariah 14:16-21 NLT “In the end, the enemies of Jerusalem who survive the plague will go up to Jerusalem each year to worship the King, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, and to celebrate the Festival of Shelters. 17 Any nation in the world that refuses to come to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, will have no rain. 18 If the people of Egypt refuse to attend the festival, the Lord will punish them with the same plague that he sends on the other nations who refuse to go. 19 Egypt and the other nations will all be punished if they don’t go to celebrate the Festival of Shelters.
20 On that day even the harness bells of the horses will be inscribed with these words: Holy to the Lord. And the cooking pots in the Temple of the Lord will be as sacred as the basins used beside the altar. 21 In fact, every cooking pot in Jerusalem and Judah will be holy to the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. All who come to worship will be free to use any of these pots to boil their sacrifices. And on that day there will no longer be traders in the Temple of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.”

Isn’t it interesting that the nations must go to Jerusalem for the feast? What about the end of Isaiah’s prophecy where he speaks of the new heaven and the new earth?

Isaiah 66:20-23 NLT “They will bring the remnant of your people back from every nation. They will bring them to my holy mountain in Jerusalem as an offering to the Lord. They will ride on horses, in chariots and wagons, and on mules and camels,” says the Lord. 21 “And I will appoint some of them to be my priests and Levites. I, the Lord, have spoken! 22 “As surely as my new heavens and earth will remain, so will you always be my people, with a name that will never disappear,” says the Lord. 23 “All humanity will come to worship me from week to week and from month to month.”

from week to week and from month to month is translated as from one New Moon to another, and from one Shabbat to another…” If these things were done away with when the Church was established, why is God reinstituting them? Could it be they were never meant to go away? Could it be that the rhythm of a weekly sabbath and yearly feasts are a blessing from God that we have missed out on in the Church?

I’m going to make a statement that will be hard to deal with; it was hard for me to grapple with when the Lord first showed it to me through some books I read. The question is, did God change His calendar, or did “church fathers”? Did God replace Passover with Easter, or did man? Did God change the Sabbath to Sunday, or did man? Was it God’s original intent for the giving of the Spirit to overshadow the giving of the commands? Without Chanukah, there would be no Christmas. Without Purim, there would be no Passover fulfillment. God doesn’t change. Jesus accomplished the purpose of the sacrificial system, yes, but He is also the celebration point for God’s calendar.

God’s calendar isn’t just for the Jews; it’s for those of us who have been grafted into the olive tree of Israel. These celebrations are a celebration, and they bring a blessing. Each month has specific benefits and warnings, and it is to our advantage to know them. Each month I post about this on Instagram. God has rhythm, and we can enter it when we walk in His time according to His calendar.

Again, this isn’t a legalistic thing or a you have to thing; it’s an opportunity God gives us three times each year to course-correct if we need to (how many times did Israel need to?), and it’s a time to grow in our relationship with the Lord in a unique way. So why pass up such an invitation from the Lord?

Hebrew calendar resources:

Print or order a Jewish calendar from the TLV Bible Society

A Time to Advance – Understanding the Significance of the Hebrew Tribes and Months: Pierce and Heidler

Teachings on individual feasts can be found here

feast calendar printable photo in the post

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