FUTURE OBSERVANCE OF THE NEW MOON
With the destruction of the temple in 70 A.D., all worship that required the priesthood and sacrifices was suspended. After the return of Jesus Christ, the sacrificial worship system will be instituted with its attending priesthood as noted in Isaiah chapter 66, Ezekiel chapters 40 through 48, and Zechariah 14:16-20. The Bible gives few details regarding the future worship system with its offerings and sacrifices; however, it does show that they will be officiated over by the sons of Zadok, and that some of the sacrifices are similar to the ones that were offered under the first covenant with national Israel.
Although there is very little said about the observance of the New Moon after Christ's return, there are two prophesies that show its observance will be an intrinsic part of the worship of God for the Israelites and humanity as a whole in the future.
"For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, says the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain. And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, says the Lord" (Isa.66:22-23 KJV).
The promise to national Israel of successive generations is set within the prophecies concerning the end of human rule upon the earth when the sacrificial system and the priesthood will be established again.
From this and other prophecies, it is clear that, after the return of Jesus Christ, the first day of each sacred month will be a day on which people are required to assemble at the temple to worship and commune with God.
Chapters 40 through 48 of Ezekiel concern the time after the return of Christ when national Israel will be established as the world's leading nation and the descendants of Zadok will officiate as the priesthood in the temple of God. Specific portions of chapters 45 and 46 are about offerings and sacrifices that will be made at the temple on the beginning of the sacred month.
Ezekiel 45:16-18 KJV
It can be seen from the following verses that the Kingdom of God will rule on earth, offerings will be made on the festivals, the beginning of the sacred year will be observed, and purification sacrifices will be made for the people and the temple: "All the people of the land shall give this oblation for the prince in Israel" (v16).
Physical humans will bring offerings and perform sacrifices. The phrase 'all the people of the land' specifically refers to the Israelites, because it is the Israelites to whom this prophecy is directed.
"And it shall be the prince's part to give burnt offerings, and meat offerings, and drink offerings, in the feasts, and in the new moons, and in the Sabbaths, in all solemnities [i.e., appointed feasts/place] of the house of Israel: he shall prepare the sin offering, and the meat offering, and the burnt offering, and the peace offerings, to make reconciliation for the house of Israel" (v17).
Offerings and sacrifices will be made on the annual festivals, the New Moons, and the Sabbaths. Verse 18 shows that, on the first day of the sacred year (i.e., the first new moon of the new year), an offering will be made for the purification of the temple:
"Thus says the Lord God; In the first month, in the first day of the month, you shall take a young bullock without blemish, and cleanse the sanctuary:" (v18).
Ezekiel 46:1-3 6 KJV
"Thus says the Lord God; The gate of the inner court that looks toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the Sabbath it shall be opened, and in the day of the new moon it shall be opened" (v1).
Here, we see a clear distinction made between normal work days and the first day of each sacred month. The inner gate of the temple's inner court will be closed on all normal work days but it will be opened on the Sabbath and the day of the New Moon.
The phrase 'in the day of the new moon' refers to the whole day from evening to evening, which means that the whole day is to be observed in a special way.
In the future, the first day of the lunar month will be a day of worship, and it seems to be ranked along with the Sabbath in importance as a day of worship and access to God's presence within the temple:
"And the prince shall enter by the way of the porch of that gate without, and shall stand by the post of the gate, and the priests shall prepare his burnt offering and his peace offerings, and he shall worship at the threshold of the gate: then he shall go forth; but the gate shall not be shut until the evening" (v2).
Notice that a prince will come to this gate to worship while the priests offer sacrifices and peace offerings to God.
"Likewise the people of the land shall worship at the door of this gate before the Lord in the Sabbaths and in the new moons" (v3).
Verse 3 clearly shows that, after the return of Christ, the first day of each lunar month will be a special day of worship. Just as in Isaiah's prophecy concerning the worship of God after the return of Christ, future physical Israelites will be commanded to worship before God on the Sabbath and each New Moon.
"And in the day of the new moon it shall be a young bullock without blemish, and six lambs, and a ram: they shall be without blemish" (v6).
Verse 6 shows that, after the return of Christ, the special sacrifices offered on the first day of each lunar month will be similar to the ones that were offered under the first covenant with national Israel.
The prophecies of Isaiah and Ezekiel clearly show that, when the government of God rules the earth, there will be special assemblies and worship services on both the Sabbath and the first day of each sacred month. These prophecies also show that God's presence will be in the temple to commune with his people on the first day of each lunar month.
The prophesies of both Isaiah and Ezekiel show beyond a doubt that, after the return of Christ, the observance of the first day of each lunar month will continue to be a special day of worship for the people of God.
By B. L. Cocherell, file b5w16