Late Feasts


At the beginning of this yearly Holy Day cycle, (2016) some were wondering why the Passover seemed to come so late in the spring and that “wondering” comes again, for the fall Holy Days. This is common as many of the newer brethren in the COG seem to forget (or have not yet learned) why this happens and even many of the older brethren also often forget. These wonder why the Feasts of the LORD sometimes fall much later in the year than at other times. We need reminders about some things (all of these annual Holy days come on different Roman Gregorian calendar (previously the Julian) dates each year—but are always the same dates on the Hebrew calendar, with the exception of Pentecost) and the answer is rather simple, once we come to understand that the feasts are based on the Hebrew calendar dates. This calendar is not at all like the secular one being used today. God gave the Hebrew calendar to ancient Israel and HE, God set the “appointed times” of those annual festivals. (Actually they must have been set in the beginning, but there is no recognizable mention of it.) Let us note that quickly, as it is in Lev 23:1-2; “And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2 "Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: “The feasts of the LORD, (note they are NOT the feasts of Israel or even the JEWS) which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts.” Now skipping to V.4-6; “These are the feasts of the LORD, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at their appointed times.” (Those appointed times are determined on the Hebrew calendar, but are also acknowledged by the COG, as they fall on the Gregorian calendar in use today.)


V.5 On the fourteenth day of the first month at twilight is the LORD's Passover. 6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the LORD; seven days you must eat unleavened bread.” (NKJ) those are the beginning festivals and by going back to the book of Exodus and in ch.12:1-2, we find when the Holy Day season begins as it was set by the LORD or God of the Old Testament; “Now the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, 2 "This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you.” (NKJ) This coincides with spring in the USA. Ancient Israel and later Judah began using the Hebrew calendar two different ways; having a sacred year and a civil year, which the latter begins the year with the first day of the 7th month; but if you notice in the verse above, God only set one use of the calendar for Israel and it began in the spring. There is no verse anywhere in the Bible that tells Israel to begin the year with the 7th month, as that would split the Holy Day cycle; the spring festivals and Pentecost being in one year and all the fall festivals would be in the next. So somewhere along the line, the people came up with the method of a civil year and a sacred year, using the same calendar. However, this is nowhere commanded by God. Each yearly season of Holy Days is all in one year, being one complete cycle which begins in the spring, on the Roman calendar and runs through the fall to finish in the seventh month on the Hebrew one. That 7th month however is nowhere explained, as previously stated, to be the ending of a year.


Even in the modern day COG realm, some who have split off into various independent groups who may profess to keep the festivals, who actually no longer keep them at the same time of year. The reason is, they having devised their own calendars and rejected the added 13th months and any other postponements that ancient Israel used. Because these are also not in Scripture, some have determined to dismiss them and also determine the start of each month with a method ancient Israel could not possibly have used. (The “dark of the moon” and not the first visible crescent) Their festivals therefore, most of the time, do not agree with the times that God set them on the Hebrew calendar; thus they no longer keep God’s appointed times—but their own!


If you go to the back (bottom) of the article titled PARALLELS-Calendar you will find the dates for the annual festivals as they fall on the Roman calendar in use today. Most in the true & faithful COG go by the months & days found there for these festivals, which coincide with the Roman dates given. The Hebrew calendar for the Holy Days begins in the spring with the first month, as is clear from Scripture and the appointed days God set. That means that the secular calendar year, beginning with January has already come to late March-early April in most years—sometimes late April and that is because of the off-set on the Hebrew calendar, being also a shorter year than the Roman calendar displays. Because of this a thirteenth month is added at various intervals to the Hebrew year to keep it in line with the growing seasons. This has been done for thousands of years and Abraham kept the statutes or Holy Days, (Gen. 26:5) so he had to have known how to determine their times.


The fact of a 13th month having to be added to a specific Hebrew year will push the next Holy Day season out one whole month, seven times in a 19 year time cycle; thus coming later on the Roman calendar yearly dates, on those occasions. Each Hebrew year is approximately 11 days shorter and has to be eventually corrected with an extra month. There are only twice in the 19 year cycle that these Holy days fall the latest in the Gregorian year and that comes at the end of the two 8 year periods noted in the 19 year cycle, explained in the article mentioned above; the last of which ends the time cycle and pushes the end of the Holy Day season the furthest into the spring and fall of the Roman year. The 19 year cycle ended during this year and is why this year’s Holy Day season has been pushed so far into this secular calendar year. That is why the leap years are marked on the calendar in the back of the article at the end of the Holy Days of that Roman calendar year. This will happen again in 2024, which will be the calendar year Holy Day season that is affected by the first “8 year period” in this new time cycle. It will also end the fall season on the 24th day of OCT as it has done this year of 2016.

For more on this, be sure and carefully read the article mentioned above for a better understanding. When this Holy Day cycle is finished, (last or eighth day is over—2016) the next one will begin in the spring of 2017 with the first day of the “Sacred or Holy Day” calendar being on March 28th, a couple of weeks earlier in the year.


                                                                                                                            (Editor for TCOGMSO)

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