“…can ye not discern the signs of the times?” (Matthew 16:3)
The sad fact is that most Christians cannot “discern the signs of the times” any better than could most religious leaders of Messiah’s day. These “signs” -- referred to in Genesis 1:14 -- were established by the Creator during the creation week itself, and are only discernable if one follows the Creator’s chronology rather than the system we use today. That is why mainstream Christians of today are observing warmed-over pagan festivals (e.g., Tammuz’s birthday on December 25, his mother’s Babylonian fertility festival on “Ishtar” Sunday, the Wicca festival of the night of October 31, and the god Eros’ day on Valentine’s Day).
Even a small amount of independent research on the part of the reader will demonstrate that our modern calendar is not based so much on science, as we have been taught, but rather on a system of sun-worship by those that went thousands of years before us. The name of our calendar -- the Gregorian Calendar -- will give the reader his/her first clue.
In a nutshell, our “modern” calendar was decreed by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582. His calendar was a modification of the Julian Calendar of Julius Caesar (45 BCE), which was in turn a modification of the earlier calendar of the Egyptians. The Egyptians were sun-worshippers and their major events -- unlike the chronology of the Bible -- were commemorated on the same solar day every year. Their calendar was undoubtedly a derivative of the earlier sun-worship system of the Babylonians. And, in fact, remnants of sun worship systems and temples are visible around the world today. These include ruins from Stonehenge in Great Britain, to the temples of Egypt, to the Temples of Central and South America, etc.
This “derivative of a derivative of a derivative” chronology system doesn’t even make too much sense, when one removes the blinders of societal influence. For example, how does one know when the day changes under our “modern” chronological system? Well, you have to wake up in the middle of the night to see if the “big hand” and the “little hand” are on 12-midnight. Under the Almighty’s reckoning of time, you don’t even need a watch. You simply have to wait until the “big yellow clock” drops below the horizon. Biblically, the day changes at sundown (Genesis 1:5, 1:8, etc).
[Note: The remnants of this Biblical truth exist even in the pagan festivals of today, showing that all descendants of Noah used to start their day at sundown. For example, “Christmas” starts on “Christmas Eve.” The Catholic “All Hallows’ Day starts the evening before on “Halloween.” And, of course, we all celebrate the beginning of the pagan “New Year” on “New Year’s Eve.”]
Under our “modern system”, how does one know when the month changes? Well, you have to go to the store, buy a calendar, and see when the “1” comes for each month. Under the Creator’s system, you only have to look into the western sky about 30 minutes after sunset to observe the first crescent of the New Moon. In the Bible, we are commanded to,
“Observe the month [in Hebrew “Chodesh” meaning “new moon”] of Abib (Deuteronomy 16:1)
The Almighty’s months change with the appearance of His “new moon” every month and He even put an astronomical body in the sky to demonstrate when this occurs.
“Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day” (Psalm 81:3)
Under our “modern system”, how does one know when the year changes? Again, look at the calendar to see when the “1” for January falls. Of course, you will have to overcome your five senses and your “common sense” because the bleak, gray, dead of winter you find yourself in surely doesn’t appear to be a “New Year.” Under the Creator’s system, of course, you won’t have that problem. His “New Year” begins in the Springtime, when the days are pleasantly warm, when the flowers are blooming and the birds are singing. He commanded His people,
This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.
The month was the month in which the Passover comes and is known as the month of “Aviv” (meaning “Spring); it falls on the Gregorian calendar during late March/early April. Again, with the warming weather, blooming flowers, and singing birds, it makes sense to your “common sense” that this is in fact the “New Year.”
[Note: The remnants of this Biblical truth still exist in our “modern” sun-worship calendar. For example, the “Sept” in “September” means “seven” because it was originally recognized as being the seventh month of the year. Similarly, the “Octo” (“eight”), “Nov” (nine), and “Dec” (ten) prefixes of the following three months indicate that they used to be the 8th, 9th, and 10th months after the Biblical “New Year.”]
Modern Christians think that they are following the Creator of the Bible, but in many ways they are misguided. The religious system they have inherited has come to them from Rome, from Egypt, and from Babylon before that. Consequently, and sadly, their worship days are observed on the same days that the Romans, Egyptians, Babylonians and other pagans worshipped. The real Creator admonished His people,
When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. (Deuteronomy 18:9)
To follow pagan practices and claim that “we have won the pagan days for the LORD” is not Scriptural. He commanded His people,
That they teach you not to do after all their abominations, which they have done unto their gods; so should ye sin against the LORD your God. (Deuteronomy 20:18).
Thus saith the YHWH, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers that it move not. (Jeremiah 10:2-4)
The true followers of the Creator of the universe follow His calendar and worship Him on His festivals. He lists His Holy Days in Leviticus 23, stating three times that these are His Feast Days (Leviticus 23: 2, 4, 44). A close examination of the New Testament clearly shows that the Messiah observed these Feasts, Paul -- the Apostle to the Gentiles -- observed them, and believing Gentiles likewise observed them.
[Note: A “Christmas Tree” is mentioned nowhere in the New Testament; but this sure resembles what is done in Christian homes today—especially given that we “bow down” in front of them (in ignorance or not) to get our presents!]
He said also unto me, Turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations that they do. Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the LORD'S house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz. (Ezekiel 8:13-14)
[Note: Many researchers believe that this is the origin of the Christian “40 days of Lent” where historically, the Babylonian pagan Tammuz was mourned for 40 days. Incidentally, this 40 days of weeping for Tammuz as followed by the sunrise service of “Ishtar”, as we see below.]
And he brought me into the inner court of the LORD'S house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the LORD, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east. (Ezekiel 8:16)
For a full study on these Feasts of the Most High, please consult the “Downloads” page and read the “Holy Days or Holidays?” series of studies. Shalom.