Be Ye Separate

The first day of the seventh month of the Hebrew calendar is the Feast of Trumpets, and it will occur on Monday, October 3rd. This day has become known as the “Jewish New Year” or Rosh Hashanah. The instructions from the Lord regarding this feast, or appointed time, are sparse, but describe it only as a day of blowing of trumpets, not celebrating a new year;

“and in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, ye shall have an holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work: it is a day of blowing the trumpets unto you.” (Numbers 29:1)

I point this out because nowhere in Scripture are we told that the Feast of Trumpets is the Hebrew New Year. In fact, the Lord specifically told Moses when the Hebrew year begins;

“this month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.” (Exodus 12:2)

The month the Lord was referring to was the same month in which Passover occurs, usually March or April. The entirety of chapter twelve of Exodus is about Passover, the first of the Spring Feasts.

But when the Jews were in Babylon during the Captivity, they found that the Babylonians celebrated a new year on the first day of the seventh month of the Hebrew calendar. Apparently, the Jews in Babylon merged the Babylonian New Year with the Lord’s Feast of Trumpets and the result was Rosh Hashanah, the “head of the year,” or New Year. But Rosh Hashanah is not found in the Bible.

It appears that Rosh Hashanah is the result of the Jews trying to be like the Babylonians, despite the Lord having separated them as a special people. The desire to be like everyone else can explain the pagan reproductive festival called Easter which is celebrated with fertility symbols; rabbits, eggs and chicks. As the Church is guilty of melding this pagan festival into the celebration of Resurrection Sunday, we cannot point too many fingers at the Jews of Babylon.

As evidenced above, this is not a new problem. The Apostle Paul instructed the Corinthians not to follow the ways of “everyone else.”

“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,” (Second Corinthians 6:17)

May the Church examine whether the whole Gospel is preached, not just the pleasant non-convicting portions.

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;” (Second Timothy 4:3)

May the Church regularly examine its dress, festivals, music, traditions and programs. If there is no difference between the activities in the Church and those of the World, then the Church must separate itself from the World in those behaviors. May we not commit the error of trying to be like everyone else.

May all be done to the glory, honor and praise of the Lord God and his Messiah! Amen.

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