Changing the Times and Law

 

As we start a new year, I believe it would be profitable for readers of this website to know how we, or our particular societies, have come to reckon our times – to use our present calendar.  This is especially significant in light of a prophecy written by an amazing Jewish lad who had survived captivity by the then Babylonian empire of his day, the prophet Daniel. He had been given a vision, by God, of four great “beasts that came up from the Great Sea [the Mediterranean], each different from the other” (Daniel 7:2, NKJV, throughout).  In Verse 7 Daniel describes a “fourth beast” as “dreadful and terrible, exceedingly strong.  It had huge iron teeth, it was devouring, breaking in pieces, and trampling the residue with his feet.”

As students of Bible prophecy understand, the four beasts in Daniel’s vision represented four empirical powers that would come on the whole earth one after the other. The first beast, a lion, represented the Babylonian empire of Nebuchadnezzar.  The second beast, a bear, symbolized the Medo-Persian empire.  The third beast, a goat, represented the Greco-Macedonian empire under Alexander the Great.  The fourth beast, different from the previous ones, looked like a monstrous beast of iron, symbolizing the mighty Roman empire. Verse 20 describes this beast as having “ten horns” [symbolic of kings], and “the other [or another] horn which came up…which spoke pompous words.”

Daniel went on to describe what this fourth beast would do: “He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change times and law, and the saints shall be given into his hand for a time, times and half a time” (Verse 25).  The latter part of this verse speaks about the persecution of the saints – the true people of God, true Christians – who were indeed persecuted and martyred by the Roman power, with the help of an apostate spiritual/religious leader in the space of three and a half years. Another such persecution will take place three and a half years before Christ returns to take control of all the kingdoms of the world, assisted by His glorified saints (Matthew 24:3, 21; compare with Revelation 11:15; 5:10; Daniel 7:27)

How times and law changed

In all of human history there have been two major changes in the reckoning of times [days, months, and years] from what God has revealed in His word, the Holy Bible, as preserved by His chosen people [the Jews] as “the oracles” (Romans 3:2).

The first world leader to set times differently from what God has revealed was the Roman emperor Julius Caesar, who devised what came to be known as the “Julian calendar.” [See: https://en.wikipedia.org>wiki/julian_calendar.]

Later, another world leader, this time a religious one, modified the Julian calendar for its supposed errors.  He was the Roman Catholic Pope Gregory.  He devised what has been called the “Gregorian calendar,” which has been used by most people in the world until today.  [See: https://en.wikipedia,org/wiki/Gregorian_calendar.]

Basic differences

Here are the basic differences between the times of the Gregorian calendar and God’s calendar [see: www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/the-jewish-calendar]:

  1. Day – Most people around the world today reckon their day from 12:00 midnight to midnight of the following day. In contrast, a day as set by the creation narrative of the Bible is reckoned from sunset to sunset of the next day (Genesis 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31).
  2. Name of days – The Bible simply names the days of the week [of seven days] by number – first, second, etc. (Genesis 1, as above). The Gregorian calendar, however, names the days of the week after some planets and pagan gods and goddesses. [See: https://www.quora.com/What’s-the-history-behind-how-days-of-the-week-and-months-got-their-names.]

Sunday – Domino [“Lord” for the sun-god], thus the Spanish  Domingo.

Monday – Moon goddess Luna, thus the Spanish Lunes.

Tuesday – Tiw, Norse god of war, equivalent to Mars, Roman god of war; thus the Spanish Martes.

Wednesday – Woden, Germanic god, equivalent to the Roman god Mercury; thus the Spanish Miercoles.

Thursday – Thor, Norse god of thunder, equivalent to the Roman god Zeus or Jove;  thus the Spanish Jueves.

Friday – Anglo-Saxon goddess Frigge, equivalent to the Roman Venus or Veneres; thus the Spanish Viernes.

Saturday – Saturn [hidden god, referring to Nimrod]. The Spanish retained the Biblical name of Sabbath, thus Sabado

3. Months – The Bible call months by the number, like days of the week – first, second, etc.  The main difference in the way the Bible defines a “month” from the Gregorian calendar, is that the Bible month follows the God-ordained role of the moon  and the sun to mark times, seasons, days – and certainly months (Genesis 1:14).  The Biblical month begins with the new moon, as that faint crescent appears in the sky. The first quarter moon means a full week has passed. A full moon means two weeks have passed, the third quarter moon  means a full three weeks have passed, and the fourth or last quarter moon completes a full month, until the next crescent moon appears for the next month, and so on.  The Gregorian calendar does not follow the Biblical system.  Thus, if you look at some such calendars that list the phases of the moon, they don’t correspond with the lunar cycles. The months of the Bible calendar were changed from the numerical system to names adapted from the Babylonian calendar when the Jews were in captivity in Babylon, but  original  names were based on the agricultural cycles in Israel, notably the month Abib, which means  “ripening barley” [see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aviv] Aviv also came to be known as Nisan (or Nissan) from the Babylonian or Akkadian calendar. Below is a comparison between the Bible months and the Gregorian months:

    • 1st -Abib or Nisan                     March-April
    • 2nd -Iyar                                     April-May
    • 3rd -Sivan                                   May June
    • 4th -Tammuz                             June-July
    • 5th -Av                                        July-August
    • 6th -Elul                                     August-September
    • 7th -Tishri                                  September-October
    • 8th -Heshvan                            October-November
    • 9th -Kislev                                 November-December
    • 10th -Tevet                                December-January
    • 11th -Shivat                               January-February
    • 12th -Adar                                 February-March
    • 13th -Adar II                             March-April

As can be seen above, each Jewish month straddles two months in the Gregorian calendar. Below are the origins of the months in the Gregorian calendar [see:  https://altalang.com/beyond_words/how-did-the-months-get-their-names]:

    • January – Januarius – from Janus, demigod of beginnings and endings
    • February – Februarius – from Febrium, acts of purification
    • March – Martius – from Mars, god of war
    • April – Aprilis –from Aphron,  Aphrodite, goddess of love
    • May – Maius – from Maia, a nymph, goddess of growth
    • June – Junius – from Junos, goddess of war
    • July – Julius – from Julius Caesar
    • August — Augustus — from Augustus Caesar
    • September – Septem – meaning seventh
    • October – Octo, meaning eighth
    • November – Novem, meaning ninth
    • December – Decem, meaning tenth

The last four months were so named, when the first two months were rearranged after December, with March now becoming the first month, and so on.  Interestingly, these last four months coincide with the Jewish months in their order.

Coming — a pure language!

As we can see, there is much confusion and complexity in the naming of days, months, and reckoning of the seasons in our man-made calendars.  Many names are derived from names of pagan gods and goddesses. Time is coming – when Jesus returns to earth to establish God’s everlasting kingdom here – that God will set up a common, pure language (purified of pagan, idolatrous meanings and origins), so that all people can be united in worshiping God  “in Spirit and in truth” (John 4:22).  Zephaniah 3:9 speaks about that wonderful day:  “Then I will restore to the peoples a pure language; that they all may call on the name of the LORD, to serve Him with one accord.

God’s law to be restored

This is to say that God’s law has been taken away!  By whom? The same religious-political world power that Daniel wrote about.  The Roman Catholic Pope has removed the second from God’s Ten Commandments that forbid the worship of and bowing down to graven images, which Catholics do, deny it though they may. To make up for the deficit, the Pope has divided the tenth commandment into two, the ninth now being, “You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife.,” and the tenth now being “You shall not covet your neighbor’s manservant or his female servant, nor his  cattle, nor his ass, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”

The original fourth commandment (now the Catholics’ third) omits reference to the seventh-day Sabbath and replaces it with “the Lord’s day” — meaning Sunday! The Pope the Roman emperor have also replaced God’s holy days with pagan festivals.  [See: https://www.herbert-armstrong.org/ click ENTER HERE, select “Books & Booklets,” and scroll down to the booklets titled “The Ten Commandments,” “Which Day Is the Christian Sabbath?” “The Mark of the Beast” and “Pagan Holidays or God’s Holy Days – Which?” and Happy New Year!]

Not only will God’s true calendar be restored by Christ.  He will also restore and enforce all the laws of God in both the Old and New Testaments of the Holy Bible. Isaiah 2:24 declares: “Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain [symbolic of kingdom] of the LORD’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains and shall be exalted above the hills.  And all nations shall flow to it.  Many people shall come and say, ‘Come, let us go to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob, He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.’ For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem, and He shall judge between nations, and rebuke many people.”  The result?  “They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks.  Nation shall not lift sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.” [Go back to the above-cited Armstrong link, and scroll down to the booklet titled “The Wonderful World Tomorrow – What it Will Be Like.”]

May God speed that day!

 

Pedro R. Meléndez, Jr.
24012024