Greetings to all in the body of Y'shua,
I hope this day meets you all well. I forwarded this email to one of the Brethren that resides here in Georgia - USA along with myself. He had some concerns, which I have copied below:
Thanks for the FWD. That was very interesting but it does raise some issues that i can think of. If Israel and the usa is 7 hours different then sabbath day and feast day will start at different times. Do we go with the start time that's in Israel for sabbath because when we finish sabbath it is still sabbath in Israel? For passover do we keep it the evening that's in Israel or in the USA? Even Pentecost and the given of the spirit in acts which i assumed was in the day because they accused them of being drunk would be early morning in the USA. We would have been sleeping during the giving of the spirit and missed out on such a great event.
In the millennium when Y'shua comes and takes over the rule of this earth everyone has to go up to jerusalem to worship. Yahweh solved that problem in an instant.
And it shall be that all who are left from all the gentiles which came up against Yerushalayim, shall go up from year to year to bow themselves to the Sovereign, Yahweh of hosts, and to observe the Festival of Booths.
17And it shall be, that if anyone of the clans of the earth does not come up to Yerushalayim to bow himself to the Sovereign, Yahweh of hosts, on them there is to be no rain.
18And if the clan of Mitsrayim does not come up and enter in, then there is no rain. On them is the plague with which Yahweh plagues the gentiles who do not come up to observe the Festival of Booths.
It seems every year we go through this which means there is a lot of confusion. so i guess Yahweh wants us to really work on it.
Feel free to forward this e-mail as i would like other opinions on it. We must all seek the truth.
As I've said before, I would not like to become involved in an argument over this matter which, in the long run, may prove to be absolutely meaningless and fruitless. But in the spirit of your observation that we must all seek the truth and in the hope that eventually we may all come closer to the truth of the Word, just the following.
It is a given fact of creation, and science based on that creation, that the 24 hour periods called days - including Shabbat days and feast days - will start and end at different times in different countries. There is no way that we can ignore this fact, and it will be foolish for the people of one country to try to adopt the parameters of day-time and night-time of another country. Therefore, the way to observe a Shabbat day or a Feast day in my country, would be to reckon it from evening to evening in my country. This may be a couple of hours different from the land of Israel, but if I based my choice on what day (of the week or the month or the year) to observe, on my knowledge of how it has been observed in the earliest Scriptural times, it will still be the same day. And, in fact, it will be much closer in real time (that is: in hours and minutes) to Israel than choosing the day before or the day after. To reason that one is free to choose the day before (or the day after), due to the fact that the days themselves do not start at the same time in countries that do not lie on the same longitude, is to fall in the same trap than those who argue that today we are free to ignore the majority of the Torah because certain parts of the Torah (for example: the parts dealing with the temple and sacrifices) cannot be kept anyway.
To me this matter is of great importance, because non-believers continually look at us, and do not take us seriously, because time and again they stumble upon the differences and the inconsistencies between groups who all claim to walk in the truth of the Word. Over the years I have noticed these inconsistencies myself and it grieves me that there is so little unity with regards to some of the most clear and important Scriptural principles. How can we be ready to give an answer to those asking about the ("unifying") expectation that is within us (1 Peter 3:15) if some of us (here, in South Africa) base our feast days upon the new moon sighting in the USA, some upon the new moon sighting in South Africa, some upon the new moon sighting in Israel and still others (the majority) upon a method of calculation which has been adopted by the Jews world-wide and is only rarely accurate as far as any new moon sighting is concerned?
I am aware of the fact that many of the groups are serious about starting the new year and the month of Aviv (or: Abib) in the "right" season by looking and enquiring about the state of the barley in the land of Israel. Some groups even send representatives to Israel each year to present them with a first hand report. To me, this is Scriptural and should be commended. Now, is it not inconsistent if groups like these, who base their calculations on the seasons of the land of Israel, completely ignore the new moons of Israel? If we in South Africa, who live in the southern hemisphere, do not consider the new moons of Israel to be decisive, why do we bother to start our festive cycle in a season that is completely opposite to our own climatic and agricultural conditions? In South Africa the barley ripens in the month of September or October. But we don't celebrate Pesach in September or October, simply because our guideline is the Word and our standard is Israel - the land that Yahweh has chosen forever as his delight and the inheritance of his chosen ones.
Greetings and shalom to you all.