Reckoning the New Moon
(Letting our Father Yahweh Choose)
Shalom brethren. The following is a synopsis of how and why our assembly reckons the seventh month from any sighting throughout the world. If you have any questions and or would like the references please feel free to contact us.
The seventh month is historically the most difficult of the moons to spot, primarily because nobody really knows where the moon will be visible first. We believe that this is in line with the fact that nobody knows when Yahshua will return, only the Father. We believe that Yahshua will return on the Day of Trumpets, as the moon cycles from the east to the west so will the son of man do likewise.
Only the Father knows where in the world the seventh month will be declared first, and like the Sabbath it will make its way around until it reaches that original (starting) point (similar to a human wave during a football game). Yahweh has indicated that He is not a respecter of persons which means that He chooses to whom He will grant the gift of first sighting.
The Sabbath follows its weekly cycle around the earth every seven days and it straddles the time zones, meaning that when the Sabbath ends in one area it is continued in another until it makes its way around the world. It does this every seven days. Similarly like the aforementioned wave in a football game, when the crescent moon is originally spotted in a place which Yahweh chooses; the day makes its way around the world until it reaches its original point.
The question about what we do if we did not have the ability to contact the brethren from other parts of the world is a mute point because Yahweh has provided the means.
The question about whether or not we should use Jerusalem as a starting point can be addressed by the fact that when Yahweh originally appointed the crescent to Moshe (Moses) He did it in Egypt. Egypt and Jerusalem have two different time periods, for example Egypt is seven hours from Central Illinois where Jerusalem is eight hours away. Which means that when the sun would have set and the crescent would have appeared in Egypt, it would have occurred at a slightly different time than in Jerusalem; using the verse which states that the “Law will come forth from Zion” to establish the new moon is not really valid because Yahweh also said that He would place His Name in Jerusalem. If we believe that Jerusalem is the only place where the new moon can be established than we must also believe that Yahweh has not placed his Name in any other area as well. This would have drastic consequences as we would all be required to keep the feast in Jerusalem and to live in Jerusalem so that His Name could be in us. Yahshua made it clear that there would be a time in which the believers would worship Yahweh in other areas and they would worship Him in spirit and truth (this will continue until his return and he establishes his kingdom).
Along those lines, the brethren that think or state that the new moon must be seen in their local, regional or hemispheric area are not recognizing that Yahweh established one day in which we are to recognize as his Feast of Trumpets! In addition there is only one moon out there in outer space! One day as we can gather from the Cycle of the Sabbath is that it goes around like a wave from one point to another (it does not skip a day). If Yahweh establishes the sighting where He pleases and we do not accept that sighting until the next night, we have now turned one day into two. Our Father does not do that with the Sabbath and He does not do that with the Feast Days! The point is that as long as we let Yahweh make the decision, we cannot be wrong. For whatever reason Yahweh chooses who will be seeing the crescent first. It is not always in the same area or the same people but rest assured that He is the one that allows the sighting. It goes without saying that Yahweh has given us some clues for which we can ascertain a criterion to insure that those that report the sightings are credible. For one thing there should be a minimum of two witnesses that report a sighting. These witnesses should be reputable and they should be known from someone within the body and they should be members of the body. In addition, the visual should be done with the naked eye or glasses; also these witnesses should have no problem being questioned or interviewed by any member of the body to insure that the sighting was accurate.
In truth, since Yahweh chooses whom will be sighting the crescent first, if it is not us, than He gives us plenty of time to verify the report so that we can blow the shofar at the appointed time, (the beginning of the Feast) sunset as He has commanded. If reputable brethren from other parts of the world, whom are known to be part of the body and whom have been known to give reputable reports, see the new moon and we become aware of their sighting, than we can accept it despite the fact that we may not see it. This practice was acceptable during the time of the temple and the priesthood. If the priesthood was not able to see the new moon, than the person who sighted it would be questioned and if the report was acceptable, the High priest would declare the month and the shofar would be blown throughout Israel.
We pray that this report has at least made you aware of how we reckon the Feast of Trumpets and other New Moons. Please let us know if you have any questions!