The simplest and most direct statement that can be made on this subject is: “There is no command to keep new moons” like there is for the Sabbath and Holy Days (Leviticus 23). The confusion may come from the fact that offerings were made at the beginning of a month, which is the new moon (Numbers 28:11-15; 2 Chronicles 31:3; Ezra 3:5; Nehemiah 10:33). However the mere fact that an offering is given on a day does not make it a day to be observed for all time. Furthermore, sacrifices are no longer required due to the sacrifice of Christ (Hebrews 10:10, 12), making the need for these offerings obsolete.
The new moon was not a holy convocation or a appointed time for abstaining from work, rather it was a type of calendar keeping – a notification system for the Israelites. The priesthood would announce the new moon (beginning of a new month) with the blowing of the silver trumpets (chătsôtserâh, not to be confused with the shofar) since calendars were not accessible by the average ancient Israelites (Numbers 10:10). This helped them plan for the commanded festivals and holy days of Leviticus 23.
Eventually though, in the absence of directed scripture, God’s people would come together on this day to feast and celebrate it as a custom or tradition (1 Samuel 20:5-6, 18, 24; 2 Kings 4:23). The keeping of the new moon was later elevated in standing and was kept in a way similar to the Sabbath (Amos 8:5). At some point, the way in which they observed the day got out of hand and became an offense to God (Isaiah 1:13-14).
Now that being said, let’s address some of the other scriptures and passages that sometimes there are questions about….
Feast of Trumpets
Not all verses containing the term “new moon” relate to the monthly offering, but in several places it refers to this annual feast. It bears noting that this one holy day does fall on the new moon each year (Leviticus 23:24). In light of this, it is then necessary to evaluate the usage of new moon in various other scriptures.
Numbers 29:6 is one of these scriptures – it comes right on the heels of the new moon offerings (Numbers 28:11-15) and does not mention the term Feast of Trumpets – while at the same time referring to this day as a holy convocation. But when we realize that it is on the first day of the seventh month, the reader should then become aware that this is speaking of the yearly holy day (Leviticus 23:24).
Another such case is found in Psalm 81:3. This verse is speaking of a singular new moon and not all the new moons. The verse is referring to two respective feast days, the Feast of Trumpets and then the Feast of Tabernacles two weeks later (Leviticus 23:34) that falls on a full moon.
Some point to the fact that Colossians 2:16 enjoins new moons on Christians today, but this is not the case. The context of this epistle of Paul, was an admonition to beware of a certain element of people in the area that were trying to deceive the brethren (Colossians 2:4, 8). At this time, the temple was still standing and the unconverted Jews were still observing the sacrifices. To what degree the Colossians might have been participating in this is unknown. Though it was no longer necessary for a Christian (Hebrews 10:10, 12), it was not against the law to give an offering as Paul’s example demonstrates (Acts 21:26-27).
It should be further noted that Paul’s delineation of the days into three separate and distinct groups is similar to the way Solomon ande Hezekiah wrote in 2 Chronicles 2:4 and 2 Chronicles 31:3 respectively. It appears that the breakdown of offerings were by frequency: yearly, monthly, weekly, and daily in the Old Testament examples. This further shows that new moons are not given the same consideration as a sabbath or festival in terms of observance.
In the Millennium
The Bible does though refer to a time in the future, when once again the new moons will be observed Ezekiel 45:17, 46:1, 3, 6; Isaiah 66:20-23) along with sacrifices. While there is obviously no need for sacrifices after the ultimate sacrifice of Christ, we can assume that there are still principles that can be learned by the physical peoples that will be turning to God at that time. So, with this in mind, while new moons and animal sacrifices are currently no longer required, they have not been removed from the word of God and will be re-implemented during the 1000 year reign of Christ (Revelation 20;4, 6).
When the temple was being rebuilt during the time of Ezra, he cited the necessity to continue with the instructions concerning the burnt offerings (Ezra 3:5). He also implemented a temple tax to help pay for this and many other things in the temple (Nehemiah 10:32-33). The raising of money for the new moon offerings does not enjoin this monthly ceremony on us anymore than it requires us to pay for the provision of the “holy things.” In the end, to say that there is a causal relationship between money and the sanctification of a day is a logical fallacy that does not stand up to scrutiny.
The church has demonstrated a willingness to keep the days that God has prescribed for us to observe, but we do not find that the new moon celebration is one of those days commanded for us at present.