Explanation of this New Year’s moon sighting
The new moon was seen by only one person and that outside Jerusalem after sunset ending 6 April, however it was calculated to be easily visible and was seen by numerous witnesses east of Jerusalem.
See the third rule at our “Principles for the Biblical Calendar” article.
The moon’s illumination at Jerusalem was 1.3% at the moon’s meridian passing 13:35 on 6 Apr, later at nearly 8 pm when it was sighted the illumination was more than 2%. It was easily visible. The term “meridian refers to the moon being directly above the observation site.
The issue in this month’s instance, is that it was well established by calculation that the moon could be very easily seen, and it was seen by multiple witnesses east of the city as well as one witness a few miles outside the city.
Scroll down to the April 6 New Moon sightings list. Note particularly that the new moon was seen directly east of Jerusalem in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
The fact is that sighting by two witnesses at Jerusalem is essential when there is any ambiguity in the calculations; but when the calculations establish the new moon without question, then sightings from east of the city will confirm the calculations.
During the ancient Temple period the Sanhedrin would calculate the first visible light of the new moon at Jerusalem, and then at the appropriate time they would interview witnesses in Jerusalem to confirm their calculations.
Today, even though people go out to search for the new moon in Israel, it is often the case that there are no people searching for the new moon in Jerusalem, or searchers are not reporting in a timely manner due to Rabbinic restrictions. See this article on today’s rivalry between the Sanhedrin and the Rabbinate.
What if in some months there is no one even looking from Jerusalem: Shall we say that there is no new month just because a sighting was not reported at Jerusalem, when by both calculation and observation outside the city it is obviously the new moon?
We must do the very best we can in our circumstances and if there is no doubt of the visibility by calculation and it is seen east of the city then the new moon should be declared: but if there is any doubt about the calculated potential visibility and the moon is not sighted east of the city then the new moon should NOT be declared.
It is not always possible to have timely reports of observation directly from Jerusalem and at times it is necessary to invoke rule three of the Calendar principles article. This is a difficult issue and I welcome any input which would help, but as of now I am convinced that April 7, 2019 is the new moon day.
I look forward to the day when Christ comes and provides us clear instructions.
“Over the years I have come to the following conclusions.
1) God set the sun and moon in motion and commanded that the light be used to establish days, months and years (Gen 1:14). Throughout history until the modern Rabbins decided to change God’s Calendar away from the first visible light to the darkness of molads: The months for Israel ALWAYS began with the first visible light of the new moon. Again See the Biblical Calendar articles for the history and further details.
2) If the light of the new moon is calculated to be visible, and it is observed; then the new month should be consecrated.
3) If the new moon is calculated to be visible and it is NOT seen at Jerusalem due to a lack of witnesses in that city, cloud cover or other adverse conditions; but it is seen in the land or within a short distance east of the land by at least two witnesses; it is evident that the moon could have been seen at Jerusalem based on the two local observation witnesses and calculation and the new month should be consecrated.
4) If the moon is calculated to be visible at the end of 29 days and it is NOT seen by witnesses [subject to statement #3] then it should NOT be consecrated, and should be delayed to the next day.
5) If the moon is calculated to be visible at the end of 30 days it should be consecrated regardless of whether it is seen or not; since the moon cycle is 29 1/2 days and no month may be longer than 30 days.
6) Since binoculars and telescopes are a modern invention, and since locating the moon is an integral part of sighting the moon; The first visible light of the new moon must be both located and seen by unaided normal eyesight [corrective lenses to 20/20 are permitted]. “
In 2019, 7 April is the first day of the Biblical New Year!
Passover will be on Saturday 20 April. The first High of the Feast of Unleavened is 21 April with the last High Day on 27 April and Pentecost will be on June 9.
Since the first High Day falls on a Sunday this year, it will be necessary to properly prepare for a weekly Sabbath followed by a Holy Day.
At the Biblical Studies site a study of the Way to Salvation and the Spring Festivals began on 31 March.
There will be “A Night to be Much Observed” presentation on 20 April so it will be available for that evening beginning the first High Day. On Sunday the Wave Offering will be observed with special posts.
This year’s special Feast presentation will be a study through the Epistle to the Romans.
The Sunday Resurrection of Christ
Herbert wrote copying an older article by someone else, that “The Resurrection Was Not on Sunday” and from the Roman calendar midnight to midnight day reckoning, this is true.
The Wave Sheaf was commanded to be cut and offered on the first day of the week which is Sunday; and the sheaf was actually cut on Sunday immediately AFTER sunset when the Sabbath had ended. It was then prepared and offered immediately after the Morning Daily Sacrifice.
In fact according to God’s Calendar system, Jesus Christ was resurrected on Sunday, immediately after sunset ended the weekly Sabbath! Herbert’s article has confused people regarding the resurrection of Christ and the Wave Sheaf Sunday.
The Middle East
The Israeli election was a tie between the anti peace Netanyahu Likud and the peace seeking Blue and White joint list with doubts that either Likud or the Blue and White will be able to put together enough Knesset seats to form a governing coalition. There are several possibilities which will become clearer over the coming weeks.
The most likely possibility is that a new round of elections will have to be be called. See today’s news here for more.
Calm has been restored in Gaza for the moment as Israel waits for the Russian backed Syria/Hezbollah operation to get underway in Idlib in late April or in May, before invading the strip.
Israel wants to have time to focus on the strip while Syria/Hezbollah are occupied in Idlib before having to engage Hezbollah, Syria and Iran as well as Gaza. A false flag chemical attack by the Idlib terrorists is expected to lead to a US strike on the Syrian air defenses opening the way to an Israeli victory, while American coalition will bring down the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.
After that, new governments will have to be formed before the Trump Peace Initiative can begin.
Reports indicate that the Trump Peace Initiative will be sponsored by the US, Egypt, Jordan, the Arab states and other key nations. The plan will include many billions promised by Arab nations with other international incentives and will amount to an international deal being virtually dictated to Israel and the Palestinians.
Among several possible different scenarios: Watch for a likely second election in Israel, an Israeli invasion of Gaza followed by an escalation of the war to include Hezbollah, Syria and Iran: Then new regional governments together, with the Trump Peace Plan; resulting in a Middle East peace agreement as per 1 Thess 5:3.
On the fast track, the tribulation could very well begin in December this year; however it is also possible that the situation will take through 2020 to mature with the tribulation possibly beginning at the end of 2020.
The situation is chaotic and there is no way to predict a definite scenario or to put any firm date on this, I can only say that it is very very close at hand.
News of the Assemblies
UCG: UCG has made the big mistake of confusing an appearance of peace achieved through tolerance of diversity, as being organizational unity.
In fact they do have a list of Fundamental Beliefs, but the beliefs on the list are interpreted by many in radically different ways.
UCG has spent the past ten years promoting the evil Corinthian tolerance of sin and diversity as an expression of love. By tolerating doctrinal diversity UCG has become deeply divided on doctrinal issues with people doing whatever they think is right, nevertheless a few are turning to embrace godliness and to live by every Word of God.
COGWA: Most of the loyalists to 1980 Armstrong teachings broke away from UCG to form COGWA. Jim Franks has done a good job in carefully building an organization and maintaining a semblance of fiscal responsibility, but they adamantly reject any zeal for living by every Word of God and insist on maintaining traditions which are manifestly false. With the opening of their new offices and studio and an appearance of financial prosperity, COGWA will become more and more appealing to Armstrong oriented persons as time passes.
LCG: Since the passing of Rod Meredith, Gerald Weston has been surrounding himself with people deemed fanatically loyal to himself and his doctrine and methods. Gerald is moving men with reputations for domineering like McNair and his associates into high positions. Today LCG is deeply split into four factions;
- Those core company loyalists who actually believe that membership in LCG will save them, will accept and do anything to maintain a good standing in the organization.
- A large faction of loyalists to the Armstrong positions of about 1980 are now being tempted to look at COGWA as a viable alternative. As time passes and the bully boy clique in the LCG leadership grows, this faction will look on COGWA as increasingly more attractive.
- Another large faction is tired of the heavy handed approach and is attracted to the UCG “love, love” tolerance approach.
- The forth faction, is the small number of people who are beginning to turn to godliness, and with others throughout all of the assemblies is studying the material at our sites and proving these things from the scriptures.
It will be interesting to see if Gerald can hold LCG together as he continues to surround himself with more and more authoritarian flatterers.
With the tribulation now rapidly approaching and these Assemblies rejecting any zeal for godliness as corporate practice, I am working just as hard as I can to provide continually updated studies on solid sound doctrine from the Word of God: Since the first of 2019 I have posted an average of two updated articles each day. The four Gospels have been completely updated and are available for free download at our Literature page.
Each month more and more brethren are seeing the writing on the wall and turning to a zeal to learn and to live by every Word of God, and visits to the Bible Studies site are increasing.
This work is often in hand to mouth mode because the vast majority of our visitors tithe to other groups and do not send us any help even though they benefit considerably. It has been a very difficult winter and your prayers and financial support are urgently needed. May is the time for renewing our dedicated server and besides other expenses my computer is nearing the end of its life.
Present plans include the Spring Festivals material and the book of Acts with the Epistles scheduled through the summer.
All of the material posted this year is being reviewed and updated.
May God Bless all those who turn to him with a whole heart.
Numbers 6:22 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 6:23 Speak unto Aaron and unto his sons, saying, On this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel, saying unto them,
6:24 The Lord bless thee, and keep thee:
6:25 The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:
6:26 The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.
6:27 And they shall put my name upon the children of Israel, and I will bless them.