[ December Newsletter ]
 

Shalom faithful and dedicated brethren in Messiah,

We look forward every month to our visit with you and share the news of Yahweh’s Philadelphia Truth Congregation. Our Holy Father Yahweh is good to all who seek Him and keep the message of His truth close to their heart.

Once again, it is a pleasure to report the progress of this ministry. We thank you for the important part you play in promoting Yahweh’s Truth. It is truly marvelous to see the Holy Spirit of Yahweh motivating various members of the Body of the Messiah to work in unity for Yahweh’s honor and glory. This is what the Apostle Paul described 1 Corinthians 12 when he described the individual members of the body working together for a common purpose. “For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Messiah. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many.” (1 Corinthians 12:12-14; NASU)

We give Almighty Yahweh all honor and praise for those things He accomplishes through YPTC. Yahweh is one (Deuteronomy 6:4). He is one (united in purpose) with His Son Yahshua, and through Yahshua we are united with Yahweh (John 17:17-23). That union makes it possible for individuals, working together, to accomplish Yahweh’s will and purpose.

Kenya Report

For the full Kenya report and pictures, please visit the Kenya 2006 Mission Report Page.

Brethren, Yahweh continues to bless us all with these inspiring reports as His work in Kenya continues to grow. We continuously receive communications from all around the world as new groups and individuals seek information about our Father Yahweh and our Savior Yahshua. We have been blessed with a great deal of responsibility and we must maintain our dedication and determination to complete the tasks Yahweh has placed before us. Yahweh has indeed called all of us for a purpose and it is up to us to answer that call in these last days.

The Calendar Question

As the world draws near to the end of the secular year, it is time to obtain a calendar for the new year. Calendars play an important role in our day-to-day lives, especially as we make future plans. Yahweh’s sacred calendar is no different, and infinitely more important. By projecting future new moon dates it is possible to create a calendar that, as close as is humanly possible, shows Yahweh’s annual holy days. Because new moons must be sighted in order to be sanctified, a calendar serves the purpose of showing us when to look for the new moon. Once the new moon has been confirmed by witnesses, then it is just a matter of counting days to establish w hen Yahweh’s holy days take place. The most critical new moons are those for the first and seventh months since they regulate those convocations. As long as the new moon dates are found to be correct, then the calendar will be correct.

From month-to-month, Yahweh’s calendar is based upon a lunar cycle. A lunar month is 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes and 2.8 seconds long. Therefore, a scriptural month will be either 29 or 30 days long. If, for instance there are no sightings of the new moon at the end of the 29th day of the month, then that would mean you have a 30 day month. That is the reason why in 1 Samuel 20:5, David knew the next day was the new moon.

From year-to-year, Yahweh’s calendar is regulated by the cycle of the moon in conjunction with the solar year. A lunar year of 12 months is 354 days and a solar year is 365 ¼ days, making the annual lunar cycle 11 ¼ days shorter than the solar cycle. It is therefore necessary to adjust the lunar year by adding an extra month approximately every three years. This seasonal adjustment fulfills Deuteronomy 16 where it mentions that Passover occurs in the season of the year when Israel came out of Egypt. The growth stage of the Holy Land barley crop is the deciding factor which keeps the lunar year in sync with the seasonal solar year. The month of Abib begins with the verification of the new moon in which the barley is mature enough to offer the wave sheaf offering during the Days of Unleavened Bread. For this reason, YPTC has, for the last two years, sent representatives to Israel to participate in the annual Abib inspection tour conducted by a Karaite and scholar Nehemia Gordon. This year Yahweh willing we will again be sending representatives to Israel.

In order to produce an accurate calendar, it is necessary to consider all the astronomical information for new moons along with the seasonal evidence which regulates when the month of Abib begins. In this day and age, through the use of computers and sophisticated programs, common people are able to access knowledge which, in times past, only scholars and mathematicians were able to access. Our knowledge has been greatly increased (Daniel 12:4). This is truly a blessing from Yahweh because it gives us the ability to project the visible new moon sightings far into the future.

Using all these tools, YPTC publishes a yearly calendar for our members. This calendar will be used as the guide to unify us all as to when to look for the new moons. By integrating the scriptural calendar with the secular calendar, we can know when Yahweh’s Holy Days should be observed. The rest is up to Yahweh as these dates must be confirmed by witnesses who see the first visible crescent of light which occurs after the astronomical conjunction.

New Moon Controversy

The subject of confirming new moons can be quite controversial. The Feast of Trumpets observances in 2005 and 2006 were observed on different days by various feast day observers. This disagreement has to do with the criterion set by these different groups. Some groups will only accept and sanctify new moons seen in Israel. Others will accept only continental USA. There are those who will only accept witnesses who are members of their group. And there are those who will not accept the testimony of Moslems or others whose witness they consider to be unacceptable. And the list of differences goes on and on.

In YPTC, it is our position that we are living in the time of the dispersion of the 12 tribes of Israel. James addressed his epistle to “the twelve tribes who are dispersed abroad.” Furthermore, before Yahshua ascended into the heavens, He gave the apostles His plan to take the message of the coming Kingdom of Yahweh to the world. “He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.’” (Acts 1:7-8; NASU)

As spiritual Israel, we are presently living in the “time of the dispersion.” For this reason, we do not believe that the new moons should be set exclusively from Jerusalem. Right now, Jerusalem is the “Holy City” in name alone. In fact, it is occupied with literally dozens of different religions that are not teaching the Truth of Yahweh’s Word. These are the ones who will celebrate the death of the two witnesses as described in Revelation 11. Notice how Jerusalem is described in Revelation 11:8. “And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Master was impaled. (NASU) That city is Jerusalem.

Because we are in the era of the dispersion, and because Jerusalem is a hot bed for idolatrous religions of modern Babylon, we believe that new moon sightings should be acceptable from all locations on the earth. The members of YPTC are found as far east as Kenya, East Africa and as far west as the Pacific coast of California. We therefore designate new moon day by any credible witnesses found between those locations. If brethren see the new moon, we designate that whole day as new moon day, even if it was not seen in the USA. The same is true for the west coast of the USA. If the new moon is seen and verified there, then the entire day would be designated as new moon day. Even if no one east of the west coast saw it, we would still accept it as new moon day for all of our membership.

Then there is the question of who is acceptable as a witness. We always accept trustworthy witnesses who are in the truth, but we will also consider others regardless of race, nationality or religion and prayerfully judge based on perceived credibility. The Word of Yahweh teaches us that there is one law for the home born and the foreigner, Exodus 12:49. Yahweh is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34; Deut. 10:17). It should be noted that Moslems are avid new moon observers. This is a tremendously important part of their religious beliefs. They are extremely knowledgeable about new moon observations. Historically, they have developed the most accurate mathematical equations to project new moon sightings. The computer program used by YPTC is the work of Dr. Monzur Ahmed. He is a highly respected Moslem astronomer and professor at the University of Birmingham, England.

It is not our intention to criticize or berate those who go by different criterion for sanctifying new moons. We are merely stating our position on this important subject. Since we accept credible witnesses from East Africa to the California coast, we base the new moon dates on our calendar on the information for seven different locations around the world. At these locations we either have members or we know of other believers whose testimony can be trusted. After we examine the astronomical information, we determine which day will be the new moon. Primarily, we take into account seven different characteristics to make our decision. Some of the more important considerations are the moons: age, elongation, magnitude of light, width of the new moon and the amount of time between sun set and moon set. The final determination for verification and sanctification is that the moon is observed and confirmed by multiple witnesses who have seen the new crescent with the unaided naked eye.

The following information was determined by this method.

YPTC Projected Dates for 2007-2008 New Moons and Holy Days

New Moons

    Abib 1 (New Year Day)March 20, 2007
    2nd Scriptural MonthApril 19, 2007
    3rd Scriptural MonthMay 18, 2007
    4th Scriptural MonthJune 16, 2007
    5th Scriptural MonthJuly 16, 2007
    6th Scriptural Month*August 15, 2007
    7th Scriptural MonthSept. 13, 2007
    8th Scriptural MonthOctober 13, 2007
    9th Scriptural MonthNov. 12, 2007
    10th Scriptural MonthDec. 11, 2007
    11th Scriptural MonthJanuary 10, 2008
    12th Scriptural MonthFebruary 9, 2008
Yahweh’s Holy Days
    New Year DayMarch 20, 2007
    PassoverApril 2, 2007
    Feast of Unleavened Bread 1st High DayApril 3, 2007
    Feast of Unleavened Bread Last High DayApril 9, 2007
    Feast of Weeks (Pentecost)May 27, 2007
    Feast of Trumpets (Yom Teruah)Sept. 13, 2007
    Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur)Sept. 22, 2007
    Feast of Tabernacles 1st High DaySept. 27, 2007
    Last Great DayOctober 4, 2007
Days of Special Significance
    PurimMarch 4, 2007
    Shushan PurimMarch 5, 2007
    Day of Yahshua’s AscensionMay 17, 2007
    The 9th of Av (Tisha B’Av)July 24, 2007
    HanukkahDec. 6-13, 2007

The days shown above begin the evening of the previous day at sundown.

* Indicates that under ideal conditions, the new crescent could possibly be seen the day before in some areas.

We hope that this information is useful in helping others understand the method used by YPTC to arrive at these dates for the new moons and Yahweh’s holy days.

News, Notes, Notables

  • 10th month New Moon.
    The new crescent for the 10th month should be visible on the evening of December 21 just after sundown and be plainly visible throughout southern and western North America, central and southern Africa, and South America. We urge you to watch for this heavenly sign which Yahweh has provided to mark time and to please call in with your report. If you are unable to see the crescent, please call to detail your area conditions and to see if others were able to confirm the new moon. Call 888-FOR-YPTC. Or contact us online at YahsTruth.org.

  • Reprint of Psalms and Selected Scriptures.
    Our supply of Psalms and Selected Scriptures is nearly depleted. As you know, we published this collection of Bible verses to help rapidly unify YPTC services without undertaking the resources, time, and expense of producing an entirely new Bible version (yet). It has been very well received by the brethren and the public and we thank Yahweh for allowing YPTC to publish it. We plan to reprint it very soon, Yahweh willing, and ask that you contact us with any typos you may have found in the first edition. We intend to make corrections and print a second edition as soon as possible. Please do not delay so we may further perfect this project to Yahweh’s glory. Call 888-FOR-YPTC. Or contact us online at PaSS@YahsTruth.org.

  • Monthly Bible Study.
    A plan to implement a monthly Bible study program has been proposed and approved. Specific details are still being worked out but so far the program calls for a new subject to be introduced each month with participants having the opportunity to join in the study together. This will contribute to a unity of purpose and doctrine as we delve into various important and timely topics. Yahweh willing, it will encourage all of the brethren and assist us all in our Bible knowledge and improve our study habits. Our intention is to provide more detailed information on this project in the next newsletter.

  • Calendar and Information.
    Progress on the YPTC 2007-2008 calendar is progressing smoothly. We have finished gathering and researching the information needed to accurately determine the dates for the new moons and feast days and we are attempting to document possible viewing locations and contacts. As you all know, the data is based on projections and is therefore subject to monthly verification of the sighted new crescent. We are determined to establish as reliable a network of dedicated people as possible to help eliminate any disagreement among people of like precious faith. As many people are required to submit vacation requests for the year by January, we have therefore included the projected information for the 2007/2008 new moons and holy days in this issue of the newsletter. Yahweh willing, the printed and online calendars will be available shortly.

  • Hanukkah
    The annual Hanukkah observance will be from December 17 to the 23. During this time we reflect on the miraculous re-sanctification of the Temple and apply its lessons to ourselves as Yahweh’s spiritual temple on earth.

  • Kenya Trip a Major Success
    As you know from the report, Elder Karl Bloodworth made a trip to Kenya last month to visit with and encourage the brethren there. We are pleased to report that the trip was an inspiring success with over 30 new babes in Messiah added to Yahweh’s fold. Elder Bloodworth returned home safely and reported that the fields are ripe for the harvest in Kenya. There is much work to be done and the brothers and sisters there are laboring tirelessly to share the good news of the coming Kingdom of Yahweh with all would hear.

Monthly Prayer List

Each month we receive requests for prayer from individuals and families who petition for our Heavenly Father to intervene in their lives. In some cases physical problems prevail, in others individuals have personal or temporal needs. Some have lost loved ones and are in mourning. Whatever the circumstances, we know that we can only depend on Yahweh, our healer and provider.

You can submit your request for inclusion on the prayer list in several ways.

Write us at:
Yahweh’s Philadelphia Truth Congregation
P.O. Box 547, Loganville, GA 30052
Or Call us toll free at: 1-888-FOR-YPTC (1-888-367-9782)

’tis The Season to Flee From Idolatry

As we see the world around us continuing to sink deeper into wickedness, it is often difficult for us to maintain the high calling of our Father Yahweh. Nevertheless we are determined to stay the course and to keep our focus on the hope of salvation that our Savior Yahshua placed in our hearts.

The time span between the Holy and inspirational feasts of the seventh month and the spring feast days is made more difficult for us because of the worldly holidays of December. Everywhere we go, we are bombarded with “the sights and sounds of Christmas”. Nearly every television, radio, newspaper, and online commercial includes some reference to this annual celebration in a shameless bid to get into your wallet. At the same time, a plethora of programs and articles appear which clearly point to the pagan roots of this man-made holiday.

For the next week, we urge all to watch for references to the pagan history of the Christmas celebration, note where you saw or heard them and send the details to us. You may see articles pointing out the link between December 25 and the winter solstice, which is purely a pagan observance that was never authorized in the Word of Yahweh. You may encounter debates about whether or not the Messiah was born in the month of December. You might also come across discussions on the use of mistletoe, holly, evergreen trees, Yule logs, and other traditions. Many will actually show the link between these customs and various pagan religious rites. (Please read our article entitled, “Yahweh’s Truth about Winter Holidays”. It is available online along with our other publications. Or you may request a copy by mail by calling 1-888-FOR-YPTC.)

Please, send in all references you encounter. We’ll catalog and publish them to show the world that indeed knowledge is increased in these end times just as it says in Daniel 12:4, "But as for you, Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time; many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase." (NASU) Anyone truly seeking to know Yahweh’s Truth has ready access available. They need merely to look for, study, and accept the truth He has revealed.

“Seek Yahweh while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near.” (Isaiah 55:6; NASU)
The fact is, there is a time coming soon when Yahweh will put an end to His accessibility. Those who truly, honestly, wholeheartedly seek Him now WILL find Him... He promised! But the time is rapidly approaching when all sincere people will have turned to the truth and then He will cut Himself off from the hobbyists and procrastinators. 2,000 years ago Paul warned that this time of Yahweh’s patience would come to a close. He preached personal, individual repentance and urged his listeners to turn to Yahweh before the judgment begins for all mankind. "Being then the children of Yahweh, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man. Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, Yahweh is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead." (Acts 17:29-31; NASU)

It is at this time of the year that a sincere seeker can see a clear distinction between Yahweh and the idols of gold, silver, wood and stone. So much of this world is enthralled in “feel good” traditions which are at odds with the pure, unadulterated worship of Yahweh. It takes an exceptional strength of conviction for those who love the truth to avoid association with these pagan practices. We urge everyone to prayerfully seek and apply the power of Yahweh’s Holy Spirit to stay true to Him. Our words of encouragement are the same as Paul’s words in 1 Cor. 10:14, “Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.”

We love each one of you and appreciate your spiritual and temporal contributions to the work we all are accomplishing. We all share in the successes Yahweh has given and look forward to more and greater achievements and rewards in the future.

Until our next communication, may Almighty Yahweh bless each one richly in Yahshua’s Name.

Your brethren in Yahweh’s Truth

(The Sacred Names have been reinserted into the various quoted translations.)