Questions & Answers
Good News Magazine
February 1982
Volume: Vol XXIX, No. 2
Issue: ISSN 0432-0816
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Questions & Answers
Good News Staff  

What is a new moon? How does God want us to regard new moons today?

   At creation week God made the day to consist of evening and morning (Gen. 1:5). He also created the Sabbath day to make the week complete (Gen. 2:2-3).
   The month, according to God's method of reckoning time, begins at the new moon (Gen. 1:14). We visually recognize the beginning of a new month by the first, thin crescent in the western sky just after sunset.
   God commanded observance of the weekly Sabbath, but not the new moon, as a day of worship.
   Later, when the Church was in the wilderness (Acts 7:38), God commanded observance of annual Holy Days according to His plan for adding members to His Family (Ex. 23:14-17). But He gave no instruction to worship on each new moon.
   When Israel sinned by grievously disobeying God's commands, the Eternal instituted the sacrificial system to remind Jacob's people of the consequences for sin and point to the human need of redemption (Jer. 7:21-28, Heb. 10:4-12).
   The sacrificial offerings were made evenings and mornings (daily), every Sabbath (weekly), on new moons (monthly) and on Holy Days (annually). This act of worship on new moons has no more bearing on God's Church today than Mosaic sacrifices do on any other day.
   The only biblical reason for special activity on new moons in Old Testament times was the Eternal's command to assemble when two trumpets were blown on a new moon during the wilderness wandering (Num. 10:1-10). These trumpets are not blown now.
   The Bible commands only one assembly for the Church on a new moon. That is on the Festival of Trumpets, the first day of the seventh month.
   Amos 8:5 refers to the House of Israel, who changed God's laws. Apparently these people had made it their practice to cease buying or seIling on a new moon.
   Certainly some sacrificing and new moon activities will occur in the Millennium (Ezek. 46:1-2). So will circumcision and the Levitical priesthood among Israelites (Ezek. 44:9- 11). After Christ's return everyone will daily, weekly, monthly and annually worship God (Isa. 66:23).
   The Worldwide Church of God takes note of the new moon just as God intends (Col. 2:16) - as the beginning of the month in His solar lunar calendar, so we can know when to keep His Holy Days.

Did Christ ever eat the meat of animals? Was He a vegetarian?

   We read in Luke 2:41-42 that it was the custom of Jesus' parents to go up to Jerusalem every year to eat the Passover. When Jesus was 12 the age a young Jew was considered a man - He went with them.
   Each family killed and ate a lamb at the Passover, so Jesus ate meat. Undoubtedly He continued to eat the Passover every year. We have specific mention that He ate the Passover at the end of his life (see Luke 22: 1, 7-8, 15 and parallel passages in Matthew, Mark and John).
   Had Jesus been a vegetarian, people - especially those faultfinders who were always standing around to catch Him - would have noticed and wondered. The subject would have come up in the Gospel accounts. Therefore it is obvious Jesus ate the same things other Jews ate, including animal flesh.
   If Jesus had been a vegetarian, He would have been known as an ascetic like John the Baptist (Luke 7:33). Instead, Jesus was called a glutton and a drunkard (verse 34) because He attended banquets and ate with Pharisees, tax collectors and other affluent people who certainly ate meat (verse 36).
   As Lord, Christ also visited Abraham, and we read that He ate flesh (Gen. 18: 1-8).
   As a man Christ associated with fishermen and helped them catch fish, and He ate fish Himself (John 21:9, 13).
   Peter, like Jesus, understood that some animals were created to be caught and killed to be used for man's benefit (II Pet. 2: 12).

In Isaiah 11: 12, the Bible uses the expression "the four corners of the earth." Didn't the Old Testament prophets understand that the earth was not flat?

   The men of God in ancient times possessed basic knowledge of God's vast creation. The expression "the four corners of the earth" is merely a figure of speech. Isaiah used the phrase to paint a word picture of how God will rescue His people from captivity and bring them back from the extremities of the earth to establish the Kingdom of God on this planet.
   The word translated "corners" can mean wings or skirts. On many occasions God pictures the earth as an extended garment over which He has an all-embracing power (e.g., Job 38:13).
   It is clear that men of God understood that this earth is an orb, not flat and four-cornered. Notice Isaiah 40:22: "It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in."
   While the Bible is not a textbook on science, it is the foundation of all truth and knowledge.

Can we look to Jesus too much, and make Him to be in our minds above God the Father? Or should we think of Jesus as being less than God the Father?

   If you worship Jesus, you almost automatically acknowledge the Father at the same time, and vice versa. When Jesus' disciples didn't quite understand Christ's relationship to His Father, He explained it this way: "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (John 14:6).
   Christ and the Father are one (John 10:30). And Christ Himself commands us to give God the Father the preeminence by praying to the Father (Matt. 6:9), even though we pray in Jesus' name (John 16:23).
   So we should worship both God the Father and Jesus Christ as members of the God Family - one as our Father and the other as our Savior and High Priest.

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Good News MagazineFebruary 1982Vol XXIX, No. 2ISSN 0432-0816