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The aim of this booklet is threefold:

  1. To make the reader aware that Jehovah (Yahweh) the Almighty God of Israel uses His own calendar as the basis of His 'diary' to organise His work on earth; and that He has already appointed certain days, seasons and years in it during which He will perform His mightiest deeds in the Programme of Salvation.
  2. That the Almighty is about to draw universal attention to those appointed times by displaying signs in the sun, moon and stars.
  3. That the nation of Israel is still the chosen people of God; and that believing Gentiles, by virtue of their faith in Jesus Christ (Yeshua the Messiah) are grafted into the 'Olive of Israel' and are, thereafter, expected to express their faith in the LORD God of Israel by keeping His commandments.

The reader is advised to carefully preserve this booklet, for it contains rare information concerning the appointed days on which divinely predicted signs in the sun, moon and stars are expected; signs which will not only confirm the Holy Bible as the Word of God, but will cause all humanity to prepare for the Day of Judgement. With these opening thoughts in mind let us proceed.

The Need for a Calendar
Pause a while and consider the civil calendar hanging on your living room or office wall and ask yourself these questions. Why is it there? What is its true purpose? Where and how did the calendar originate? Is a calendar essential?

Your response would probably go something like this. The calendar is there to help me, my family and my fellow-workers keep track of time. Its purpose is to keep us in touch with appointments and events at home, in the office and abroad. No, I have little knowledge of where and how it originated.

Before answering the next question, Is it essential? try to imagine a world without a calendar; a world without pre-numbered days, months and years. Could society operate in a world without a calendar? I suppose it could - after a fashion; but it would be a crippled society at best. Why? Because planning further than a few days ahead would not be possible. All official, social, religious and sporting appointments would be extremely difficult to make; for no one would know on which day to meet. The entire legal profession, with its millions of carefully dated documents, would also be thrown into a state of total chaos. The activities of travel agents, airlines, hospital/dental surgeries and countless business organisations and clubs would slow to a snail's pace; for no one would be able to organise events more than a few days ahead. Without a calendar there would be no diaries, no long-term business, social or personal planning. Without question, a world without a calendar would be a world of frustrating confusion. Yes, you may be sure that a calendar of some sort is absolutely essential.

Currently there are several calendars in use throughout the world. Most are religious calendars used mainly to identify the dates of religious festivals celebrated by the faithful of the world's many religions. Amongst these is the sacred calendar of the God of Israel, the calendar this booklet is about. The sacred calendar is based on the movements of the sun and the moon. It is also linked directly to many Bible prophecies which describe world-encompassing events shortly to take place. Bible prophecy clearly tells us that there is coming a 'great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.' After the tribulation there will be 'signs in the heavens.'

Matt.24:29   Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken.

Knowledge of the sacred calendar will stand you in good stead when those signs in the heavens appear. But more of this later.

The Gregorian Calendar
Besides the various religious calendars being used by mankind, there is the popular civil or Gregorian calendar. This is the calendar that hangs on the wall of almost every office in the civilised world. The Gregorian calendar takes its name from Pope Gregory X111, who reformed the Roman calendar in the year 1582. Before that time the civil calendar was called the Julian calendar, after the Roman Emperor Julius Caesar who had also made some alterations to the calendar in the year 46 BC. One of Caesar's amendments was to pattern the civil calendar on the calendar of ancient Egypt, which was at that time the only calendar in which the lengths of the months and years were fixed by definite rules. In other words, the civil calendar which hangs upon your office wall is similar in structure to the calendar that was used in ancient Egypt. Like its Egyptian ancestor, the civil calendar is governed by the sun alone, and its months (January to December) are in no way influenced by the moon. In the civil calendar a new moon can occur on any day in the month; days begin in the middle of the night (0.00 hour) and years (in the northern hemisphere) begin in the middle of winter on the 1st January.

The Sacred Calendar
By comparison the sacred calendar is strikingly different. In it the days begin and end at sunset, months begin at the sighting of a new moon and the years begin in Israel's spring, when nature awakens from its winter sleep. Not surprisingly, therefore, many creatures from tiny birds keeping to their 14, 21 or 28 day cycles, right through to the complex human body, are designed to keep in step with the weekly and monthly periods of the Creator's calendar.

Interesting though these points may be, they are, nevertheless, of small account when compared with these two all-encompassing facts:

The Most High not only reveals His plans to His servants the prophets, but, like every good managing director, His plans are carried out on schedule - at appointed times. And those appointed times are all linked to the sacred calendar, which has been in existence since the creation of the world. We read of the sacred calendar's use in the account of Noah's flood which was over 800 years before Israel came out of Egypt.

Gen.7:11 In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.
Gen.8:4 And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat.
Gen.8:13 And it came to pass in the six hundredth and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried up from off the earth: and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and, behold, the face of the ground was dry.
Here we can see that the sacred calendar was in use many hundreds of years before the first Jew (Judah) was born. The sacred calendar is in fact the oldest calendar known to man; and, if we may put it thus, is the only one that is linked to the diary of the LORD God of Israel. Stewarton Bible School (SBS) therefore, considers it an inestimable privilege to tell you about it; to briefly explain its structure and above all to help you keep your weekly and annual appointments with the Creator of the mighty universe. With these thoughts in mind let us begin by defining some of the basic terms used in this booklet.


In the sacred calendar a 24 hour day is the period of time between one sunset and the next. According to the Scriptures, days begin and end at sunset and are divided into two parts, evening and morning.

Evening: when the sun is down.
Mark 1:32 : And at even, when the sun did set…For further proof that days start and end at evening, sunset, at the going down of the sun, see Joshua 8:29, Joshua 10:26-27, 1 Kings 22:35-36, 2 Chron.18:34, 2 Samuel 3:35

Morning: when the sun is up.
Thus in Genesis chapter 1 we read how "the evening and the morning were the first day," "the evening and the morning were the second day," "the evening and the morning were the third day" and so on.


A month in the sacred calendar is measured by the moon. A month is the period of time between one new moon and the next. A month begins when the new moon is sighted with the naked eye. The moon orbits the earth in about 29.5 days. Months in the sacred calendar may, therefore, be either 29 or 30 days in length: they cannot be 28 or 31 days in length. Note that the new moon mentioned here is not the astronomical new moon (conjunction), which is invisible; but the visible new moon as it is first sighted with the naked eye by an observer at Jerusalem. This point is explained further in Part Two, Question 1.

Months in the sacred calendar are usually, though not always, referred to in Scripture by their numbers, not by their names: i.e. 1st month, 2nd month, 3rd month, 7th month etc. Unlike most weekdays, however, months in the sacred calendar do have proper names, most of which are found in the Bible. The names of months are given below:

No. Name Bible Reference Comment
1 Abib / Nisan Exo. 12:2, 13:4, Esther 3:7 Sprouting/Budding
2 Zif 1 Kings 6:1 Blossom month
3 Sivan Esther 8:9 Third month
4 Tamuz Jeremiah 39:2 Name not in Bible
5 Ab Numbers 33:38, Zech.7:3 Name not in Bible
6 Elul Nehemiah 6:15 The gleaning month
7 Ethanim / Tishri 1 Kings 8:2 Perennial/seventh
8 Bul 1 Kings 6:38 Rain/Eighth
9 Chisleu Nehemiah 1:1, Zech.7:1 The Hunter/ninth
10 Tebeth Esther 2:16 Winter/tenth
11 Sebat Zech. 1:7 Eleventh
12 Adar Esther 8:12 Fire/twelfth

When a 13th month is periodically added to keep the sacred Feasts 'in their seasons,' (agricultural seasons) then the 12th month is called Adar 1 and the 13th month is called Veadar or Adar 2. In the literature published by Stewarton Bible School we usually refer to months by number. We do this for two reasons:


A year in the sacred calendar begins in Israel's spring (March/April) and is the time between one spring season and the next. When the sacred calendar is printed in advance the new moon nearest the spring equinox is chosen to begin the year; that is, the new moon which normally coincides with the natural conditions in Israel which the ancient Sanhedrin looked for when they selected Abib's new moon. See the answer to Question 2 at the back of this booklet concerning the choice of Abib's new moon.

Most years in the sacred calendar consist of 12 months, each of 29 or 30 days. Thus, assuming six months at 29 days and six months at 30 days, a normal year would contain about 354 days. This figure is about 11.25 days short of a 365.25 day solar year, which is the time the earth takes to complete one orbit of the sun. In order to ensure that the Feasts of the Most High occur at their appointed seasons (Passover in the Spring, First Fruits in the summer and Tabernacles in the Autumn) it is necessary for this 11 day annual loss to be made good every two or three years. This is done by intercalating (adding) an extra month after the twelfth month to make the calendar harmonise with the solar year and the agricultural seasons. This extra month (Adar 2) results in a leap year - which has 13 months. See Part 2, Question 5 for further details about leap years.

To summarise the foregoing we may say that in the sacred calendar:

Note: In the popular Jewish calendar the year begins in autumn with the month of Ethanim (Tishri). Strictly, this is the start of the agricultural year. The religious year begins in the spring with the Passover month of Abib (Nisan).

Exo.12:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying,2 This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.
Exo.13:4 This day came ye out in the month Abib.
Exo. 34:18 The feast of unleavened bread shalt thou keep. Seven days thou shalt eat unleavened bread, as I commanded thee, in the time of the month Abib: for in the month Abib thou camest out from Egypt.

In ancient times, years were usually numbered from important events such as a ruler's birth, coronation or death. Examples are:

Gen. 7: 11 In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.
Isa.6:1 In the year that king Uzziah died…
Luke 3:1 Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee…


The week is another important cycle operating within the sacred calendar. It was designed by the Most High to regulate the physical, mental and spiritual welfare of the human race. Peoples of all religions have a seven day week; a fact which is strong proof that all nations came from a common ancestor who received the seven-day week from the Creator. At first glance the week appears to have no connection whatsoever with the movements of the earth, the moon and the sun. The week, however, forms the basis of an important spiritual cycle of sevens, which we refer to as the Sabbatical cycle. The sabbatical cycle figures extensively in Bible prophecy. The Sabbatical/Jubilee cycles mentioned in Leviticus chapter 25 are briefly described later in this booklet.

In the sacred calendar the days of the week are not named but numbered: first day, second day, third day etc. The main exception being the seventh day of the week, which is called the Sabbath. In the Roman civil calendar, the one currently used by virtually all the world, the days of the week are named after various pagan or planetary gods:

When conversing with the peoples of this world, it is necessary to use these popular names (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday etc.), else few would know what we were talking about if only the Biblical numbering system were used. But it should be remembered that these popular weekday names have pagan roots and are not found in the Bible.


In the Scriptures the seventh day of the week is called the Sabbath. The word Sabbath is synonymous with rest, repose, restoration, refreshment, calm, tranquillity, freedom, peace, harmony, holiness and sanctification. It is, therefore, a fitting sign of the Creator's character and aims. The divine record of the creation is brief; but it leaves one in no doubt that the Creator rested on, blessed and sanctified the seventh day of the week at the creation of the world. Notice what His Word says on this matter in:

Genesis 2: 1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2: And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. 3: And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

Many people will be surprised to learn that the true Sabbath day is not Sunday but Saturday. Sunday is the first day of the week. Saturday is the seventh and in Scripture is called the Sabbath of the LORD. In other words Saturday is the true LORD'S's Day. The Sabbath starts at sunset on Friday evening and ends 24 hours later at sunset on Saturday evening. Lev 23:32 "From evening unto evening shall you celebrate your Sabbath." The Sabbath commandment is part of the Ten Commandments, which were written with the finger of God!

Exo.24:12 And the LORD said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them.
Exo.31:18 And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God. (See also Deut.9:10)
The 4th Commandment
Exo.20:8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9: Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 10: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: 11: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
You may read the Bible from cover to cover and you will not find a single verse which cancels or amends the Sabbath commandment. That is a fact. You will, instead, find many texts which call for the observance of Sabbath, the seventh day of the week, commonly called Saturday.

Yahweh's Sabbath Day
In view of the above facts, it is a mistake to refer to the Sabbath as the Jewish Sabbath; or that it is only to be observed by Jews. The Sabbath is Yahweh's Sabbath; or, as the Scriptures put it: the Sabbath of the LORD thy God! To be sure it is kept by Israel and the Jews; but it is not for Israel alone, any more than the Ten Commandments are for the Jews alone. According to the fourth commandment, even 'strangers' (Gentiles) are expected to keep the Sabbath day. If they obey this royal command, Gentiles will also be greatly blessed. Notice the word 'stranger' in the following texts:

Exo.20:8-10 Remember the Sabbath day to keep it it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
Isa.56:6: Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant; 7: Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer…
Yes, the Sabbath belongs to the LORD and, like all the other nine commandments, He made it to be remembered and kept holy by all nations. In obedience to this commandment the seventh day Sabbath was kept by all the great and holy personalities mentioned in the Bible:

Neither is there any evidence in the New Testament to suggest that the Saviour or his Apostles changed the Ten Commandments and transferred the sanctity of the Sabbath from the seventh to the first day of the week. Instead, Jesus kept his Father's commandments (John 15:10). If he hadn't done so he would have been classified as 'a sinner.' But we read that the Saviour kept the Sabbath day as it was meant to be kept, much to the annoyance of the Scribes and Pharisees who had burdened the day with many petty, man-made restrictions. These the Master brushed aside. Commenting on the eternal nature of his Father's law the Saviour said these words:

Matt. 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18: For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
Moreover the Master advised his followers, who were mostly Jews at that time, to pray to God that He might allow them to keep the Sabbath at the destruction of Jerusalem: which was to take place in AD70, some 40 years after the resurrection.

But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter,
neither on the sabbath day.

Pause and consider this text and see how pointless it would have been for the Saviour to have given this advice to his predominantly Jewish followers if the Sabbath commandment was going to be abolished at Calvary. The truth is, the Saviour had absolutely no intention whatsoever of doing away with or changing the Sabbath commandment. He had an extremely high regard for his Father's law; which he was instrumental in giving to Israel in the first place. (James 4:12) In short, the true Sabbath day is still the seventh day of the week, the day commonly known as Saturday!

This unequivocal fact means that those who break the Sabbath commandment are guilty of sin, whether they realise it or not; for '…sin is the transgression of the law.' (1 John 3:4) For further proof of this astonishing fact, see SBS article Is Sunday the Christian Sabbath?


Hanging from the Sabbath commandment in the law of the Almighty are the seven annual Sabbaths of Jehovah the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel. Unlike the popular holidays of Christmas, Easter, Hallowe'en etc., which have absolutely no scriptural backing whatsoever, the Feasts of the Almighty are the sacred memorials of the Creator's mightiest acts in the Plan of Salvation; each and every one of them being an appointed anniversary of a distinct, decisive achievement in His plan. Yahweh's Feasts are the high days in His Diary. He looks forward to them in much the same way as we would some special anniversary or event. At this moment in time, most of them point to realities that are still future. But all through eternity the redeemed host will look back at these days and will then - year by year - commemorate the mighty deeds the Most High and His Son performed on them for the salvation of the human race. "What" you may well ask, "are the Almighty's Annual Sabbaths?" There are six Feast days and one Fast day. I list them:

  1. The First Day of Unleavened Bread which falls on 15th day of Abib, the first month in the sacred calendar.
  2. The Last Day of Unleavened Bread which falls on 21st day of Abib.
  3. The Feast of First Fruits (Pentecost) which occurs 50 days after the Passover Sabbath.
  4. The Feast of Trumpets which falls on the 1st Ethanim (the 7th month)
  5. The Fast of Atonement which falls on the 10th Ethanim.
  6. The Feast of Tabernacles which falls on the 15th Ethanim.
  7. The Last Great Day which falls on the 22nd Ethanim.

These are the seven annual memorial Sabbaths of the Almighty; which all peoples, Jew and Gentile alike, are commanded to observe. These days do not belong to any particular race or religion. They are not Jewish festivals. They are the Almighty's 'appointment times' and all nations are required to keep them. The Most High refers to them as 'My Feasts, My Sabbaths.'

Lev.23:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 2: Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts.

For further information about these divinely appointed memorial Sabbaths of the Most High see the SBS booklet entitled: The Feast Days of the God of Israel.


The sun, moon and stars were originally created by the Almighty to draw universal attention to the spectacular deeds He planned to perform on the appointed Feast days, seasons and sabbatical years in the sacred calendar. This astonishing fact is mentioned in the very first chapter of the Bible. Genesis 1:14 which says:

And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven
to divide the day from the night;
and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:

According to Strong's Bible Dictionary

In other words: the sun and moon were set in the heavens to signal the appointed sacred seasons, the set feasts, when Israel was to gather in worship at the Creator's tent of meeting. To be sure the sun and the moon determine the literal days, nights, seasons and years and they directly influence the climate. But the language of Genesis 1:14 goes far beyond these natural events. It tells of the spiritual reasons why the sun and moon were created. They were created I repeat:

Several Bible prophecies confirm the message of Genesis 1:14 by telling us that just before Jesus Christ returns to earth there will be 'signs in the sun and the moon.' Consider these verses:

Joel 2:10 The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining.
Joel 2:30-31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come. 32: And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered
Amos 8:9 And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD GOD, that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the clear day:
Matt.24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
Rev.6:12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; 13: And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind....
Rev.8:12 And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.

These predicted signs in the heavens are scheduled to happen shortly before Yeshua the Messiah returns to earth; and happen they will. When they occur they will provide unmistakable evidence that one of the Almighty's appointed seasons has begun and that the end of this age has arrived. World shattering events will occur at that time and all mankind will then become aware of the LORD'S requirements and His anger at the refusal of many to obey His law.

Rev.6:16: And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: 17: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

If you believe the message of Genesis 1:14 then at each sacred festival you should be on the watch for celestial signs in the sun, moon and stars. Failure to keep the Almighty's appointments could mean that when those signs occur - as they surely will - the spiritual significance of the feasts and the prophecies to which they relate will be lost to you. To be sure you will marvel at those celestial signs, all humanity will, but you will not realise their spiritual significance and will be completely oblivious to what they mean and, more importantly, what you are expected to do.

Astrology is the study of the supposed influence of the stars on human affairs. A horoscope is an astrologer's forecast of future events, based on the position of stars and peoples' birthdays. The study of astrology and the daily reading of horoscopes is strongly condemned in the Scriptures. (Deut.4:19, 2 Kings 23:5) The signs in the sun, moon and stars mentioned in this booklet have nothing to do with the study of astrology or the reading of horoscopes. The celestial signs prophesied in the Scriptures will occur at the Almighty's appointed time. When they appear, it will be too late to rush about improving your understanding of God's Word. That must be done now, before it is too late. If on the other hand you are a believer, then do not be terrified when those signs appear, because they spell out good news to the obedient.

Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen,
and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven;
for the heathen are dismayed at them

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Author: David B Loughran
Stewarton Bible School, Stewarton, Scotland
Updated: August 1998