In 1992 wife and I attended a deacon-elders meeting where a question was asked, “What do we know about the postponements?” Two men raised their hands, acknowledging they heard of it and the question was dropped!

            We gave no thought to the question it until about a month later, I received a call from a friend asking, “If I had looked into the postponements.” I said no! My friend said it has something to do with the Hebrew Calendar. I said I would look into it, so both Joyce and I did! It did not take long to see God’s word said nothing about postponing His appointed Sabbaths! So after studying into this subject “postponements and the Hebrew Calendar,” we were convinced postponing God's Holy Days was not biblical.

             Many who believe in keeping the Holy Days suggest that we should follow the man’s traditions rather than take a look at the obvious discrepancies found in the Hillel II, Hebrew Calendar.

            We are told from scripture, “What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add there to, nor diminish from it” (Deu 12: 32). We can find that said in several places in the Bible.

            Also in our study nothing was found referencing to use the crescent moon to begin God’s divine calendar month. The Israelites in Egypt were instructed and shown in Exo 12:, to stop honoring Egypt’s pagan crescent moon god “sin.” God said, “This new moon shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you” (Exo. 12.:2). Then the chapter goes on to give instructions on keeping the Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread

             Why was this instruction given to the Israelites? This instruction was given to Moses and Aaron from the Lord, because Israel had been observing Egypt’s crescent moon god sin, that they still use to this day!

            After we found error with the Hebrew Calendar, The Church of God, In Truth, repented of following it. We believe all God’s Sabbaths keepers are a sign of His people. Exodus 31:12 - 17 points that out. We believe God's Sabbaths are called: weekly Sabbaths and annual Sabbaths, and are to be kept at their appointed time. The Bible teaches none of God's Sabbaths or new moon can be postponed, or delayed to another time. God’s appointed Holy Day Sabbaths are more important than a preparation day.

            Postponing God's Holy Days are no different than what the Catholic Church did in the counsel of Niceia in 325 AD by changing the seventh day Sabbath to Sunday, thus postponing God's weekly Holy Sabbath day!

            It is this same kind of man made traditions we found in evidence when looking into the Hebrew Calendar. Arthur Spier, who is a noted authority of the Hebrew Calendar, wrote in his book called “The Comprehensive Hebrew Calendar," on page 15, "In more than 60% of all years Rosh Hashanah (called the Feast of Trumpets in the Churches of God ) does not occur on the day of the Molad (astronomical moon), but is postponed according to one of the dehioth (Rules), therefore the dehioth are actually not the exception to the rule, “but the rule." By using the molad (astronomical moon) or the beginning crescent moon as the first day of a month, postpones the true new moon and God’s annual Holy Days all of the time!!

            Reading Leviticus 23, where the commanded Holy convocations are: nothing is mentioned about postponing them. “And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, concerning the feasts of the Lord, which you shall proclaim to be Holy convocations, even these are My feasts” (Lev 23:1 - 2). Notice verse 24, “Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, in the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall you have a Sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an Holy convocation.” Reading through this chapter on Holy Days, we find no hint, to postpone any of them.

            Again in Numbers 29:1, we will find the Feast of Trumpets spoken of again. “And in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have an holy convocation; you shall do no servile work: it is a day of blowing the Trumpets unto you.”

            Leviticus and Numbers specifically states: that Trumpets is at an appointed set time. The Feast of Trumpets is on the first day of the 7th month. We need to know when that exact day is. Why? Because we are told to count 10 days from Trumpets to know when to keep the Day of Atonement. “On the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an Holy convocation unto you; and you shall afflict your souls” (Lev 23:27). And 15 days following Trumpets, we are told to keep the Feast of Tabernacles, all at their appointed time. “Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, the fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days unto the Lord” (Lev 23: 34). You can see the importance of knowing when the Feast of Trumpets starts, knowing it sets the following specific Holy Day Sabbaths in order.

            The Hebrew Calendar has a fixed counting of 177 days back from Rosh Hashanah to find when the first day of the year begins. You can see by postponing (trumpets) Rosh Hashanah 60% of the time you are postponing all of God's Holy Days 60% of the time! And if you continue to use the crescent moon to start the 14 day Passover count or use the crescent moon to begin the first day of 7th month for the Feast of Trumpets, you miss all of God’s Feast 100% of the time!

            I am only briefly mentioning to you some of the problems found with keeping the Hebrew Calendar. Now to briefly touch on the 19 year cycles. Within 19 years there are 7 leap years, a leap year is a year that has 13 months in it, a common year has 12 months in it. The Hebrew Calendar intercalates 4 years out of 7 leap years in a 19 year cycle. Intercalates, means to 1) insert between or among existing elements– 2) insert a day or month into a calender year. Three of the 7 leap years in a 19 year cycle are correctly astronomically observed, but 4 do not – they have been intercalated. They have been inserted, added by man, traditions of the postponement rules.

            Why am I bringing this to your attention? Because 2016 next year, is an intercalated leap year in the Hebrew Calendar. It is the 19th year in the 19 year time cycle in the Hebrew Calendar. This will cause all the Holy Days, God's appointed times to be kept one month late next year like it did in 1997– 2005 and 2008. This is the calendar most of the Churches of God follow!

             The Hebrew Calendar calculates time from an arbritary date! Arthur Spier wrote in his 1960 edition of the "Comprehensive Hebrew Calendar" book, on page 227, "It is evident that the advance of Nisan (abib) toward May, at a rate of 4 days in a thousand years, has postponed Pesah (Passover) already in the 8th and 19th year of the cycle more than a month from the astronomical spring equinox" "It will be the task of the Sanhedrin to make a decision as to when and how the sanctified calendar of Hillel II is to modified in accordance with the requirements of astronomy and the Torah!"

            Arthur Spier is a scholar with recognition, he is a teacher with authority of the Hebrew Calendar. He could see that the 8th and 19th intercalated leap years, would cause his holidays to be late by one month.

            In this issue of the Prove All Things magazine, I recommend you read “Why is Pesach [Passover ] so late this year 1997" by Saul Leeman. It is in a question / answer format to explain why the holy days as calculated in the Jewish /Hebrew calendar was one month late in 1997. The article goes on to explain why the holy days will again be one month late in 2005 as will as the year 2008. All three of these years 1997 == 2005 == and 2008. and again in 2016 are considered intercalated 13th month leap years, when they should not be!

            These months are called “Adar II” and was devised by Hillel II, for the convenience of his postponement rules as established in the Jewish/Hebrew calendar. Saul Leeman, wrote an article in the “Jewish Bible Quarterly” answers one of the questions by saying, “ Pesach [Passover] is late this year (April 22 ) because this is a leap year in the Jewish calendar with a thirteenth month is intercalated.” Added, inserted by man!

            Passover for 2016, according to the Hebrew calendar is after sunset of April 21st – so Passover for that year would be considered April 22, 2016. This date is the same date Mr. H.W. Armstrong in his1940 letter addressed Mr. Dodd. who wrote the book “True History of the True Church of God” by Dugger and Dodd. Mr. Armstrong wrote about the problem he had with Mr. Dodd’s letter to him, that was about the Passover date of April 22, 1940. In his 1940 letter Mr. Armstrong was following the rules of Hillel II Hebrew calendar. Mr. Dodd was trying to help him see that they were intercalated dates.

            Mr. Armstrong went on to say in his 1940 letter, There is no bible authority whatsoever for figuring the first Day of the first month from the new moon nearest the spring Equinox”. Mr. Armstrong later changed his thinking on that in a 1952 booklet titled “How Often Should We Partake of the Lords Supper.” He writes on page 7 and 8, “This date, 14th Abib, is calculated by the moon. The first day of the new year always begins with the day nearest the spring Equinox.”

            We have found it interesting that April 22,1940, is the same date as Passover will be on next year 2016, when April 22, is again a intercalated date by Hillel II. This is the date most Churches of God will keep if they follow the Jewish/Hebrew calendar!

            We can read of a similar scenario in the prophecy of Hosea, where the Lord withdrew His face from (Israel). Why did our Lord withdrew His attention from Israel? Because of their sinful practices mixing in with religions idolatry – idol worship, like we see today mixing God's clear written laws with mans traditional laws, Judaism’s oral laws as an example.

            The book of Hosea says, “And the pride of Israel doth testify to his face: therefore shall Israel and Ephraim fall in their iniquity: Judah also shall fall with them. They shall go with their flocks and with their herds to seek the Lord; but they shall not find Him; He has withdrawn Himself from them. They have dealt treacherously against the Lord: for they have begotten strange children now shall a month devour them with their portions (Inheritance #2506)” (Hos 5:5). Hos 5:10, “The princes of Judah were like them that remove the Boundary: therefore I will pour out My wrath upon them like water.”

            Is this talking about the boundary of the calendar? Verse 7, is talking about a calendar issue. Reading verse 7 and 10, out of the Amplified Bible. Verse 7, “They have dealt faithlessly and treacherously with the Lord their espoused husband for they have borne alien children. Now shall a single new moon--one month--devour them with their fields" (Inheritance) #2506. Verse 10, “The princes of Judah are like those who remove the Landmark (The barrier between right and wrong); I will pour out My wrath upon them like water.” The new moon in verse 7 is: Strong's # 2320, comes from the prim root # 2318. Strong's #2320 simply means, new moon; the new moon; or month, monthly. The root, Strong's # 2318, to be new; cause to rebuild; renew.

            Looking at these same Strong's numbers in: Gesenius-Hebrew-Caldee Lexicon and The New Brown-Driver-Briggs-Gesenius Hebrew English Lexicon, both of these lexicons support a better definition of Strong's # 2320. 1. conceal behind a curtain; 2. conceal; 3. confine; 4. conceal ones self; 5. remain behind. That’s a definition of a true new moon, a true beginning conjunction, a moon first in conjunction, when the last moons light no longer supports light from the sun.

            Now lets look at the root of Strong's # 2318. 1. renew; 2. repair; 3. go about; 4. around; 5. chamber; 6. tent; 7. make new. Those all identify a true beginning dark moon conjunction.

            Let's now look at a book called “The Code of Maimonides,” treatise 3, book 8, “Sanctification of the New Moon” by Solomon Gandz. Maimonides is considered one of the great scholars on the Hebrew Calendar. In this book: Maimonides states on page 26 and 27, “At the time when observation was basis for determining the recurrence of the new moon day, the court used to ascertain by calculation, and with great precision, according to the methods of the astronomers, the exact time of the true conjunction of the moon with the sun, in order to find out whether the moon could be visible on the night of the 30th day or not.”

            Quoting from another book called: “Understanding the Jewish Calendar" by Rabbi Nathan Bushwick, he states on page 71, “As the moon moves around the earth, there is one moment that it is exactly between the earth and the sun. At that moment the Earth faces the dark side of the moon. Already for about a day before this moment the moon has not been visible from any point on the earth and it will remain invisible for about a day more. This moment is called the molad, the birth of the new moon. We use the molad as the official beginning and end point of the Cycle of the moon.”

            Looking at two more sources, first “The Royal Observatory in Edinburgh, Scotland.” The dark moon happens before the astronomical new moon! The only reason they (the astronomers) use the astronomical new Moon (mean or middle conjunction) is to keep time uniformly regulated around the world. The new moon is defined as the time at which the sun and moon have the same celestial longitude. The celestial sphere on which this measurement is based is a theoretical sphere, centered on earth which we look through when we observe astronomical objects. The time of all lunar phases quoted by the astronomical community are therefore what an imaginary observer at the center of the earth would see.”

            Now take note, what the “Astronomical Institute of Utrecht University” wrote and told us. “The motion of the moon in the sky is subject to many Perturbations that cause the dates and times of the true or apparent conjunction to the sun and moon to deviate from simple arithmetical progression. Such a calculation is usually performed in two steps, first, the conjunction is calculated for The mean moon which is a FICTITIOUS MOON that has the same average motion as the true moon but that is not subject to any perturbations. If no accuracy is required and if you don’t mind an error of up to about a half a day, then you can omit the second step and use the times of the mean conjunction as estimates for time of the apparent conjunction.” God is a precise, organized and exact, He does not “estimate” when a true conjunction happens.        We have identified the true new moon, now lets think about the crescent moon. When reading God's word we find a word that is identified as a crescent moon. It is found in the book of Isaiah and Judges. It is Strong's Number 7720 in the King James Bible, meaning, 1). a crescent ornament; 2). a crescent like the moon. Lets look at the verses where they are used. Isa 3:18, “In that day the Lord will take away the finery: the jingling anklets, the scarves, and the crescents;” Next go to Judges 8 verse 21, The last sentence reads, “..... the crescent ornaments that were on their camels' necks. There is one more crescent to be looked at in Judges 8:26, “Now the weight of the gold earrings that he requested was one thousand seven hundred shekels of gold, besides the crescent ornaments, pendants, and purple robes which were on the kings of Midian, and besides the chains that were around their camels' necks.” Crescents in scripture is never found or used to identify a true new moon or a new month in scripture.

            Let me ask you, “Does God do things in harmony? Is God's creation in architectural harmony? Does God use the sun and the moon in harmony? The apostle Paul told the Corinthian church. “That God is not the author of confusion” (I Cor 14:33). I think we all believe that statement.

            In the book of Genesis we can read evidence of why God uses the dark moon to start a month. Gen 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” “And God said, let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And the evening and the morning were the first day” (Gen 1:3-5). We just read where light was created out of darkness. Let's continue reading with verse11, “And God said, let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the third day” (Gen. 1:11-13). With seeds, we can plant a garden and grow vegetables. Spread seed out, keep it wet and you can watch it develop into something bigger and stronger after its kind. Take an egg, keep it at a warm temperature under a hen for a period of time and you will watch baby chick peck its way out of darkness and grow to be a big chicken. Same goes for a turkey, ostrich, eagle. These all come alive in the dark, inside its shell. A human is developed the same way inside a mothers womb. You can feel your children move while they were still covered in the darkness of the womb.

            This same pattern happens when we are baptized. The Apostle Paul says, “Do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection” (Rom 6:3-5).

            We can see a pattern in God's thinking. God's creation is designed with harmony in mind. .We are reminded every day and month to come out of darkness unto the light. The sun and moon work together in harmony. See Genesis 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31. Evening and morning were the start of a new day. A day starts at evening, at sunset, when the sun sets over the horizon, a new day begins.       A month ends like a day ends, when the waning moons light disappears sets, no longer seen.

            The day of the true conjunction is the start of a new month. Encyclopedia Judacia says, “There is a true new moon before the astronomical new moon.”

            God's creation is created out of darkness. God follows the same pattern when creating life, be it humans, animals, food, or plant life. God's creation is created with kind after kind in mind. When the sun is not seen a new day starts, when the moon is not seen

a new month starts.

            If continuing to following the established traditions of Judaism in their calendar without Biblical proof, then we are blindly following those blind guides, the Pharisees. In Matthew 23:13-33, our Lord announced 7 woes upon the Pharisees! Not a very good report.

            Mr. H.W. Armstrong always preached, “Don’t believe me, believe your Bible.” Or dust off your Bible and read it. That is what those in the Church of God, In Truth have done. We have studied to prove all things right. We want these things to be corrected. If we find something wrong or false we will no longer follow that course of error by following the traditions of a man made calendar that postpones God’s Holy Days. We must follow what God show us out of His word.



                                                                                    James Russell