2024: Why we are Keeping the Feasts a Month Earlier than Some.

The most common reason why people choose to keep the feasts a month later is because the modern day Jews are observing it a month later.

Newcomers to this walk are sometimes not aware that modern Jews admittedly do not follow the same calendar they were observing in the first century. The ancient calendar involved looking for the first visible crescent to determine a new month and utilizing barley reports to determine a new year rather than the more modern 19 year repeating cycle.

Some are just weary and tired of the division over the calendar and/or believe that the true calendar simply can’t be found in scripture. Thus, they feel it’s best to just “go with the Jews.” They see that Yahushua said the Scribes and Pharisees “sit in Moshe’s seat” and they find that to be persuasive enough the Jewish calendar today.

But the unbelieving Jews are not sitting in Moshe’s seat today, and they are not even following the calendar the Scribes and Pharisees were following in the first century. The ones sitting in Moshe’s seat today are disciples of Yahushua who recognize Yahushua’s authority over heaven and earth.

While we want to show love to the Jewish people, we also can’t forget that Yahushua warned us about the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees. Surely we should not blindly follow their willingness to change the holy days to a different time.

Still, if the Pharisees and Sadducees really were in Moshe’s seat today, why would one follow a different calendar than actual Scribes and Pharisees were following in the first century? Would we indeed follow their transition to different holy days while speaking against Constantine’s movement toward a different weekly Sabbath?

The modern Jewish calendar includes “postponements.” If the Day of Atonement happens to land on the day before or day after the Sabbath, they will postpone the Day of Atonement, Feast of Trumpets and Feast of Tabernacles so that it occurs on another day. Why? Mere convenience. This is not unlike the Catholics who decided to move another holy day, the weekly Sabbath, to the day after the Sabbath.

I disagree with anyone who thinks they can willfully choose which days are holy days. Yahweh decides that for us and we are commanded to keep those days holy. Sadly, it is the habit of organized religion to get so caught up into themselves, they forget that their loyalty is supposed to be to Yahweh rather than men. We don’t get to make up the rules.

We cannot forget that Yahushua said concerning them:

Therefore, it’s very important that we don’t fall into vain worship. We will do that if we are loyal to men rather than to Yahweh.

If someone believes differently than I do regarding Yahweh’s calendar, I don’t make a big fuss over it. But if someone says, “I’ll follow the Jewish calendar just to show solidarity with the Jews,” that’s really no different than saying “I’ll show solidarity with traditional Christians by celebrating the Sabbath on Sunday.”

Traditional Christianity and traditional Judaism are two sides of the same coin in many ways. In this case, both involve the willful moving around of holy days rather than yielding ourselves to the days that Yahweh made holy.

If we are going to provoke the Jews to jealousy, let it be because we keep the Torah in a way that even they know was the way they used to do it.

Yahweh’s calendar is not complicated.

From my perspective, His calendar has to be in the Torah. Why? Because He commanded Israel to not add or take away from the Torah. If we have to go outside of scripture to find His calendar, something is amiss.

Some choose to use the new moon closest to the equinox to determine a new year, so this year they are keeping the feasts a month later. But there is no scripture that says to look for an equinox. The word “equinox” is not even in the bible. Thus, we would need to add to the Torah in order to follow that method of determining a new year.

There is also no scripture giving us the very complex mathematical formula to find the conjunction. So for me, that eliminates those two options because I would have to again go outside of scripture to find His calendar.

For the new moon, it’s simple: If the moon disappears for a night or two and then it reappears, it’s renewed. Any shepherd boy can know when His calendar changes months. Very simple. No complicated mathematical formulas, just observation. History tells us this is how the first century Jews were doing it, and Yahushua died on the day they observed Passover (John 18:28). That’s impossible with a conjunction determining the new moon.

For the new year, the Torah simply says:

Notice that in the Hebrew Yahweh is not giving the first month of the year a name. It’s saying to “shamar” the new moon (chodesh) of “THE Aviv.” Other named months do not have “the” in front of it. This is significant.

The word Shamar (translated “Observe”) is sometimes used to describe watching. For instance:

So while I don’t judge those who do it differently based on their sincere loyalty to Yahweh, we do what Deuteronomy 16:1 said to do: Watch for the chodesh (new moon) in which there is Aviv (harvestable) barley in Israel to keep the Passover.

This is the clearest indication from scripture as to when we should keep Passover. And since Passover is always in the first month of the year, it’s telling us how we can determine a new year, and it will never fall out of season.

Most other calendars are attempts to keep up with the seasons, but the crops are always the most reliable indicator. Other calendars are various attempts to match up with what the crops do.

After 12 months, if there is a new moon in which the barley is not in “Aviv” state (ripe enough to eat), we wait until we “observe the new moon of The Aviv” as scripture says.

This year, the day of 3/12/24 on the Roman calendar was the day of the new moon. Reports from Israel confirmed that there were fields of barley in “Aviv” state:

These pictures were taken by believers in Yahushua who were looking for Aviv barley in the month called “March.” The golden color is an indication that the barley is at least in the beginning stages of ripening. Even if you can’t eat it off the stalk, if it can be parched in fire in this stage to dry out the kernels for consumption. Thus it is in the Aviv state:

The interesting thing is that Barley is one of the most drought tolerant plants on the earth. Even if cultivated barley were not available, Israel is one of the only places on earth that it grows in the wild.

Most importantly, I know of no other scripture in the bible that tells us how to determine a new year. In order to come up with another option, I feel that I would need to add to the Torah. Since He said not to add to it, there must be a way of finding His calendar in the Torah itself.

For some, it may seem strange or unusual to use Israel’s barley harvest as the marker for the new year. But Yahweh said Israel is:

The Hebrew word translated “cares” has to do with inquiring. Each year His eyes are on the land to see if the new year is ready and He ultimately sets the time. Being made in His image, at least once a year our eyes will be on the land also, inquiring as to the new year and being reminded that this is our future homeland and place of hope. The Torah has and will again go forth from this place when we reign with Yahushua for a thousand years.

To me, this adds to the evidence for the Aviv to determine the beginning of the year and the end of a year. Equinox isn’t in scripture, a 19 year cycle isn’t in scripture. But this is.

The scripture in Genesis 1:14 tells us the sun, moon and stars set the appointed times. The sun ripens the barley, the moon phase tells us when the month is, the stars will be in the same approximate location each year the barley is ripe as a heavenly witness to go along with the earthly witness, keeping each year from having less than 12 months.

In the end, if it turns out that I misunderstood something about the calendar, I would rather it be because I misunderstood the torah, not because I added something to it. I would also rather it be because I misunderstood the Torah rather than just going along with men who willingly change the holy days out of mere convenience.

After all, no one has the authority to change times and laws. It is Yahweh’s enemies who do that in Daniel 7:25. That applies to the Sabbath or any other day He says is holy.

We must always choose the option that is closest to scripture as possible. If that means we have to be different than most others, we don’t have to arrogantly stand over them in judgment. Instead, we can humbly choose to follow what we believe He is telling us to the best of our understanding and share with those who ask why.

A full study on Yahweh’s calendar can be found a https://www.eliyah.com/calendar/

May Yahweh bring us all to loyalty and unity….with Him. If we all seek to do that, Yahweh will honor our loyalty and then He hopefully will give us the true unity we seek.

That said, we welcome anyone of any calendar persuasion to join us for the Feast of Tabernacles in Steelville, Missouri. There will be no judgment, for we accept all believers of good will that want to come and worship Yahweh with us. At our feast, I have not seen a single argument over the calendar in 15 years.

I once even attended a feast where they kept the Jewish calendar.and was even invited to share two messages. But for us, we will keep holy the days that we believe Yahweh Himself declared to be holy. Thus, we are keeping the feast a month earlier than most.