conjunction vs crescent moon

No Moon vs. New Moon – the Conjunction vs. the Visible Crescent

No Moon vs. New Moon – the Conjunction vs. the Visible Crescent

Does Yahweh set His months and Feasts by the total blackness of the moon? Is that what “lights in the heavens” means?

There is a belief that the biblical month should be set by what is called the conjunction rather than by observation of the lunar crescent. The conjunction is a term that describes the exact alignment of the sun, the moon, and the earth. This alignment creates complete darkness before the moon starts to be visible or waxing. It is called Syzygy in astronomy, from the ancient Greek meaning “yoked together.”

In modern astronomy the term “new moon” entered popular usage to describe this time of total darkness, but this term was never associated with darkness in history. The Oxford English Dictionary defines the new moon as “the first visible crescent of the Moon, after conjunction with the sun.”

This conjunction or darkness is not synonymous with or related in any way to the new moon in Scripture. In fact, how can it even designate a new “moon” if the moon is completely hidden by darkness? To be accurate you would call it a “no moon.” In the Hebrew this darkness (void of any celestial light) is called: chashak חָשַׁךְ and means darkness or obscurity in relation to celestial lights. Notice how Ecclesiastes 12:2 uses it: “…before the sun and the light and the moon and the stars grow dark [chashak], and the clouds return after the rain.”

In stark contrast the Torah confirms the exact opposite of darkness as it relates to setting Yahweh’s Holy Days, which is expected, being that “Elohim is light and in Him there is no darkness,” 1John 1:5.


Lights in the Sky

Genesis 1:14 uses “lights” to set the appointed times of Yahweh. “And Elohim said, ‘Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred days and years.” Some translations, like the KJV, use the word “seasons.” This is imprecise according to the Hebrew. The Hebrew word here is moed מוֹעֵד and means an appointed time, place or meeting. This means Yahweh’s Sabbath and yearly festivals. The light here in Genesis 1 is maor מָאוֹר and Brown Driver Briggs defines it as: “light, light-bearer, luminary, lamp, of sun and moon.”

Genesis 1:14 provides the purpose of these lights:

1) to separate the day from the night

2) to set the appointed times

3) to set the year

Continuing “…and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth. And it was so. Elohim made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day [sun] and the lesser light to govern the night [moon].”

The year is set at the new moon of the Aviv harvest. Notice: “Observe the month [chodesh חֹדֶשׁ new moon] of Aviv and celebrate the Passover of Yahweh your Elohim, because in the month of Aviv he brought you out of Egypt by night,” Deuteronomy 16:1. As Genesis 1:14 clearly says this maor מָאוֹר “light” sets the year.

Exodus 12:1 asserts the Aviv new moon is the first of the year, shanah: “Yahweh said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt, ‘This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year.’ So if we must use light to set Yahweh’s Festivals and years, how then can the darkness of the conjunction work in any way in Yahweh’s calendar?

In fact, this time of dark conjunction can last up to 3.5 days depending on its ecliptic latitude. Modern science calls this an astronomical dark moon. To calculate this “middle darkness” in relation to your position on planet earth without the aid of a telescope would take the mathematic genius of Albert Einstein. To compute this “dark moon” you would need to know the pole orientation in relation to the moon and earth’s orbit based on your geographical location. This is called in astronomy “The apparent place” or the position in space as seen by an observer. Because of physical and geometrical complexities it may differ from the “true” or “geometric” position. This would present an insurmountable technical challenge for the ancient Israelite like David out herding his sheep.


Not Rocket Science

So ask yourself, is this how Yahweh would establish his months? Does it need to be so hard that only the U.S. Naval Observatory can figure it out? Ezekiel 46:6 instructs: “On the day of the new moon he is to offer a young bull, six lambs and a ram, all without defect.” Which day would you choose for the new moon if depending on your geographic location you had a choice of up to three and a half nights of darkness to select from?

Yahweh is an Elohim of light not darkness. Unbelievers, wickedness, and darkness are synonymous. “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” 2Corinthians 6:14.

The Apostle Paul journeyed as far as Macedonia for over two years. How would he have calculated this dark moon for the Festival of Yom Teruah or Trumpets? Yahweh makes it easy when all Paul needed to do was witness the first thin crescent of the new moon.

Notice what Yahweh said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites: ‘On the first day of the seventh month you are to have a day of sabbath rest, a sacred assembly commemorated with trumpet blasts. Do no regular work, but present a food offering to Yahweh.’” Leviticus 23:24. The moon sets the month and on this Feast day we are commanded to keep it on the first day of the seventh month.


Simply See It or Not See It

Did Yahweh intend for us to be astronomers using complex mathematic formulas to be able to know when this exact middle-darkness occurs in relation to our geographical location? Of course not. This is a man-made idea that complicates, perverts and adds to the Word. Yahweh’s visible crescent is beautiful in its simplicity requiring uncomplicated sight confirmation.

The new moon is to be “observed” every month. Deuteronomy 16:1: “Observe the month (new moon) of Aviv and celebrate the Passover of Yahweh your Elohim, because in the month of Aviv he brought you out of Egypt by night.” The Hebrew word for observe is shamar שָׁמַר a verb which denotes an action and has the synonymous meaning of keeping, watching and preserving.

This word is a proper noun for “watchmen,” according to Brown Driver Briggs Gesenius. The Holladay Concise Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon defines shamar as “watching in the sense of looking.” Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words includes the definitions “mark, watchman, wait, watch, look narrowly.” The command is to look for, wait for, watch and mark the new moon. It could be translated, “Look carefully for the new moon of Aviv and perform the Pesach in this month…”

Those who hold to dark moon idea try to remove any semblance of “watching,” which is one of the fundamental meanings of this Hebrew word shamar. If we are commanded to “watch for” rather than calculate, then this doctrine falls apart at the seams. Watching for something that isn’t there is senseless.

The argument is that this Hebrew word simply has the meaning of “do.” If this is the case then why is the Hebrew word asah עָשָׂה (do), which is also translated as observe in scripture, not used here in Deuteronomy16?

Shamar has a much more encompassing meaning of observation along with keeping and doing. Exodus 31:16 shows both these words in context in relation to the Sabbath “Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep (shamar) the sabbath, to observe (asah, do) the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.” The Sabbath is kept by watching and observing the sunset and sunrise (the greater light, Genesis 1:14). The true faith is an active faith based on observation on the lights Yahweh made for us. 


Ancient Jewish Philosopher Philo Attests to Crescent After Conjunction 

philo philosopher Many historic sources back up how ancient Israel observed the new moon. A Jewish philosopher named Philo of Alexandria (20BCE-50CE) lived during the time of the Messiah. He was Greek-speaking and documented this interesting observation of how the festivals were kept. Amazingly, he even makes a distinction between the conjunction (dark moon) and the new moon!

(The Special Laws) XI. (41)  “The first matter to be considered is that of the Festivals. Now there are ten festivals in number, as the law sets them down. The first is that which any one will perhaps be astonished to hear called a festival. This festival is every day. The second festival is the seventh day, which the Hebrews in their native language call the sabbath. The third is that which comes after the conjunction, which happens on the day of the new moon in each month. The fourth is that of the passover which is called the passover.

“The fifth is the first fruits of the corn—the sacred sheaf. The sixth is the feast of unleavened bread, after which that festival is celebrated, which is really the seventh day of seventh days. The eighth is the festival of the sacred moon, or the feast of trumpets. The ninth is the fast.

“The tenth is the feast of tabernacles, which is the last of all the annual festivals, ending so as to make the perfect number of ten…..XXVI. (140)  Following the order which we have adopted, we proceed to speak of the third festival, that of the new moon. First of all, because it is the beginning of the month, and the beginning, whether of number or of time, is honourable. Secondly, because at this time there is nothing in the whole of heaven destitute of light. Thirdly, because at that period the more powerful and important body gives a portion of necessary assistance to the less important and weaker body; for, at the time of the new moon, the sun begins to illuminate the moon with a light which is visible to the outward senses, and then she displays her own beauty to the beholders. And this is, as it seems, an evident lesson of kindness and humanity to men, to teach them that they should never grudge to impart their own good things to others, but, imitating the heavenly bodies, should drive envy away and banish it from the Soul.”

See reference


Ancient New Moon Validations

GamalielThe Mishnah is a collection of Jewish oral traditions written between 20 BCE and 220 CE. It details how the new moon was judged by eye witness observation and how their testimony was scrutinized by the Beth Din בית דין or “house of judgment.” Gamaliel, who was the Apostle Paul’s mentor, and mentioned in scripture notice “But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, who was honored by all the people, stood up in the Sanhedrin and ordered that the men be put outside for a little while” Acts 5:34.  The Mishnah gives this detailed explanation regarding Gamaliel:

“There was a large court in Jerusalem called Beth Ya’azeq, where all the witnesses met, and where they were examined by the Beth Din. Great feasts were made there for (the witnesses) in order to induce them to come frequently. At first they did not stir from there all day (on the Sabbath), 1 till R. Gamaliel, the elder, ordained that they might go two thousand ells on every side; and not only these (witnesses) but also a midwife, going to perform her professional duties, and those who go to assist others in case of conflagration, or against an attack of robbers, or in case of flood, or (of rescuing people) from the ruins (of a fallen building) are considered (for the time being) as inhabitants of that place, and may go (thence on the Sabbath) two thousand ells on every side. How were the witnesses examined? The first pair were examined first. The elder was introduced first, and they said to him: Tell us in what form thou sawest the moon; was it before or behind the sun? Was it to the north or the south (of the sun)? What was its elevation on the horizon? Towards which side was its inclination? What was the width of its disk? If he answered before the sun, his evidence was worthless. After this they introduced the younger (witness) and he was examined; if their testimony was found to agree, it was accepted as valid; the remaining pairs (of witnesses) were asked leading questions, not because their testimony was necessary, but only to prevent them departing, disappointed, and to induce them to come again often,”

In the Talmud, the Gemara (350-400CE) then references this part of the Mishnah:

Gemara: “Do not the questions (asked by the Mishna), ‘was it before or behind the sun?’ and ‘was it to the north or to the south?’ mean the same thing? Answered Abayi: (the Mishna asks) whether the concave of the crescent was before or behind the sun, and if (the witness said) it was before the sun, his evidence was worthless, for R. Johanan says: What is the meaning of the passage [Job, xxv. 2]: ‘Dominion and fear are with him; he maketh peace in his high places?’ It means that the sun never faces the concave of the crescent or the concave of a rainbow.

What was its elevation on the horizon? Towards which side was its inclination?  In one Boraitha we have learned: If (the witness) said ‘towards the north,’ his evidence was valid, but if he said, ‘towards the south,’ it was worthless; in another Boraitha we have learned the reverse. It presents no difficulty; in the latter case it speaks of the summer, while in the former it refers to the winter.

“The rabbis taught: If one (witness) said its elevation appeared about as high as two ox-goads and another said about as high as three, their testimony was invalid, but either might be taken in conjunction with a subsequent witness (who offered similar testimony). The rabbis taught (If the witnesses say): ‘We have seen the reflection (of the moon) in the water, or through a metal mirror, or in the clouds,’ their testimony is not to be accepted; or (if they say we have seen) ‘half of it in the water, and half of it in the heavens, or half of it in the clouds,’ their evidence carries no weight. Must they then see the new moon again (before their testimony can be accepted)? Said Abayi: ‘By this is meant that if the witnesses testify that they saw the moon accidentally, and they then returned purposely and looked for it, but they saw it not, their evidence is worthless.’ Why so? Because one might say they saw a patch of white clouds (and they thought it was the moon).”

See reference


Gamaliel’s Moon Chart

Even Gamaliel had a chart on his wall showing the various moon stages used in questioning would be new moon observers:

Mishna: “R. Gamaliel had on a tablet, and on a wall of his upper room, illustrations of the various phases of the moon, which he used to show to the common people, saying: ‘Did you see the moon like this figure or like this?’” See

From the Midrash we read, “On the first of Nissan, the moon begins to illuminate. As the days continue, her luminosity increases, until the 15th day, when her disk is full… Likewise is Israel. Fifteen generations from Abraham until Solomon; Abraham began illuminating… with Solomon, the moon’s disk was filled.”

See reference


The Jewish Encyclopedia explains how the Samaritans tried to confuse the Jews by lighting false signal fires during the sighting and consecration of the new moon.

“Under the patriarchate of Rabbi Judah I., surnamed ‘the Holy’ (163-193), the Samaritans, in order to confuse the Jews, set up fire-signals at improper times, and thus caused the Jews to fall into error with regard to the day of the new moon. Rabbi Judah accordingly abolished the fire-signals and employed messengers. The inhabitants of countries who could not be reached by messengers before the feast were accordingly in doubt, and used to celebrate two days of the holidays. By this time the fixing of the new moon according to the testimony of witnesses seems to have lost its importance, and astronomical calculations were in the main relied upon.”


Calculated to Break with Judaism

One of the important figures in the history of the calendar was Samuel (born about 165, died about 250), surnamed “Yarḥinai” because of his familiarity with the moon. He was an astronomer, and it was said that he knew the courses of the heavens as well as the streets of his city (Ber. 58b). He was director of a school in Nehardea (Babylonia), and while there arranged a calendar of the feasts in order that his fellow-countrymen might be independent of Judea. He also calculated the calendar for sixty years. His calculations greatly influenced the subsequent calendar of Hillel. According to Bartolocci his tables are preserved in the Vatican. A contemporary of his, R. Adda (born 183), also left a work on the calendar.”

By 300 CE the original spotting of the new moon by the Sanhedrin was replaced by calculation.

“Under the patriarchate of Rabbi Judah III. (300-330) the testimony of the witnesses with regard to the appearance of the new moon was received as a mere formality, the settlement of the day depending entirely on calculation. This innovation seems to have been viewed with disfavor by some members of the Sanhedrin, particularly Rabbi Jose, who wrote to both the Babylonian and the Alexandrian communities, advising them to follow the customs of their fathers and continue to celebrate two days, an advice which was followed, and is still followed, by the majority of Jews living outside of Palestine.

See reference


It is evident that during the time of the second Temple period and before, visual observation of the new moon was taken very seriously. Man’s adding to the Word and using calculations for the calendar starting with the dark moon came into vogue later with Hillel II, 300 years after the death of the Messiah.

If you desire to return to the scriptural paths of True Worship (Jer. 6:16), then join us every month as we commemorate the new moon crescent.


Should I take the COVID-19 (mRNA/RNA) Vaccine?

Q     My employer is asking myself and my co-workers to get the COVID vaccine. I might lose my job if I don’t get it. What does the Bible say about vaccines?

A     The Bible does not actually mention “Vaccines” per se, as they did not exist at the time. However, the bible does give us instructions on how we are to treat our body. For example:

1 Corinthians 3:17: If anyone destroys Elohim’s temple, Elohim will destroy that person; for Elohim’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.

This is reiterated again…

1 Corinthians 6:19-20:Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from Elohim, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify Elohim in your body and in your spirit, which are Elohim’s.

If our body is now the temple of the Holy Spirit, how was the temple treated when it stood?

Haggai 2:9: ‘The latter glory of this house will be greater than the former,’ says Yahweh of hosts, ‘and in this place I will give peace,’ declares Yahweh of hosts.

Our bodies, ie. The Temple of the Holy Spirit is of even greater value to the Father than the physical temple that was adorned in all it’s glory.

1 Kings 6:7: The house, while it was being built, was built of stone prepared at the quarry, and there was neither hammer nor axe nor any iron tool heard in the house while it was being built.

The original Temple was built without man made tools, our bodies being the temple now, are to be maintained in much the same way.  Obviously there are certain “Ox in the ditch” situations” where medical intervention is required to save ones life. But in the case of vaccines like the mRNA Covid vaccine, the survival rate of a healthy person who is taking proper care of his or her temple is over 99%. Not exactly an “Ox in the ditch situation”.

Besides that, the long term ramifications are completely unknown for the Covid “Vaccine”.

On Oct 27th 2021 in a 17-0 vote the FDA approved Covid vaccines for children ages 5-11. What did they say about the safety of these vaccines on children? (Children have been practically UNAFFECTED by the Covid virus since it’s onset in early 2020).

“We’re never gonna learn about how safe the vaccine is until we start giving it. That’s just the way it goes. This is how we found out about rare complications of other vaccines.”

Far too many in the medical establishment have no idea how this will affect children. They are gambling with the lives of our most precious gift. Our children.

If our temples were bought with a price, and our children are a gift from the Father Yahweh (Psalm 127:3) then we have no business giving an untested, experimental drug to our children.

We have a duty to protect out children, we have a duty to protect our temple.

On top of the listed concerns there is the elephant in the room, “What if the Vaccine is the mark of the beast?”  This question being asked with increased frequency, why? Well, it continues to check the required boxes for what the mark would be. Also, we see a growing animosity towards those who choose NOT to get vaccinated. Calls for exile, removal from commerce, even death of those who refuse to get the vaccine.

While we cannot say 100% that this vaccine is indeed the mark, it certainly is not a slouch in trying to be.

One of the largest concerns is the long term effects of this injection. The average vaccine typically contains a small amount of the dead virus you are trying to build immunity against. These vaccines are different, these mRNA vaccines have never been used before. Those who do get it are not only still susceptible to the virus, but can also spread it even more potently. These mRNA vaccines are also known to alter the DNA that is in our bodies.

We look at the DNA in our bodies as the building blocks for our temple. We are all  made in the image of Yahweh, so we have a major concern if there is a vaccine that alters the very building blocks of our temple.

Biblical reasons aside, legally, your employer does NOT have the legal right to demand you get vaccinated, no matter what they claim.

The law states that a person’s activities – what activities they participate in, and what activities they refrain from, are a part of one’s religious expression.
“Religious creed,” “religion,” “religious observance,” “religious belief,” and “creed” include all aspects of religious belief, observance, and practice that are part of an individual observing a religious creed.

Taking a Covid test or a vaccine, or wearing any sort of face covering or shield is an affront to a believer’s sincerely held religious beliefs.
It doesn’t matter whether or not the vaccines are under an emergency use authorization or gain complete FDA approval.

Title VII defines “religion” to include “all aspects of religious observance and practice as well as belief,” not just practices that are mandated or prohibited by a tenet of the individual’s faith. Religion includes not only traditional, organized religions such as Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, and Buddhism, but also religious beliefs that are new, uncommon, not part of a formal church or sect, only subscribed to by a small number of people, or that seem illogical or unreasonable to others. Further, a person’s religious beliefs “need not be confined in either source or content to traditional or parochial concepts of religion.” A belief is “religious” for Title VII purposes if it is “religious” in the person’s “own scheme of things,” i.e., it is a “sincere and meaningful” belief that “occupies a place in the life of its possessor parallel to that filled by . . . Elohim.” The Supreme Court has made it clear that it is not a court’s role to determine the reasonableness of an individual’s religious beliefs, and that “religious beliefs need not be acceptable, logical, consistent, or comprehensible to others in order to merit First Amendment protection.” An employee’s belief, observance, or practice can be “religious” under Title VII even if the employee is affiliated with a religious group that does not espouse or recognize that individual’s belief, observance, or practice, or if few – or no – other people adhere to it.

Some people may not have been aware that many of these vaccines have been cultured in aborted fetal tissue and carry the DNA of a male aborted baby. This is appalling to any believer.

The idea that a believer must partake of this vaccines has major implications not only biblically but legally as well. We each have a responsibility to our temple and to our Father in heaven to fight these things will all our strength.


What Is Our History?

Andrew N. Dugger

Andrew N. Dugger

In the Beginning
Yahweh’s Restoration Ministry arose from what has been traditionally called the Sacred Name Movement. This movement traces back to Clarence O. Dodd in 1937. Dodd (1899-1955) did not originate the Sacred Name doctrine, however. Its exact origin is unknown, and appeared long before his time. Some have traced the Sacred Name movement back to the Waldenses of the 12th century and even further back to remnants of the early New Testament assembly. A few books have been written on the subject. Dodd crystalized the movement, however, making it a major force among Sabbath (Saturday) keeping organizations. A solidifying influence was The Faith magazine that Dodd began in 1937 and which continues as an organ of the Assembly of Yahweh in Holt Michigan. In the Encyclopedia of American Religions scholar J. Gordon Melton wrote of the magazine, “No single force in spreading the Sacred Name movement was as important as The Faith magazine.”

Dodd became independent mainly over the issue of the Feast Days of Leviticus 23. He believed these days should be kept, while the majority of the Church of God, Seventh Day to which he belonged, disagreed. Dodd later came to believe in the Sacred Name doctrine, which means a belief in the exclusive use of the original Hebrew names for the Supreme Beings (Yahweh and Yahshua the Messiah).

In 1968 Dodd and Andrew Dugger (1886-1975) published the book, A History of The True Religion. This book traced Sabbath keeping and the Faith back through the Waldensians of medieval Europe and various other groups to the 1st century. They recounted that a November 4, 1933, meeting was set to reorganize the Church of God, Seventh Day. Some 10,000 were invited to Salem, West Virginia. Names were drawn by lot for 12 and then for 70 elders. Included among the 70 were Dodd and Herbert W. Armstrong, who later founded what became the Worldwide Church of God.

An October 1939 issue of The Faith included a report of the Feast of Tabernacles in Eugene, Oregon, held by “Elder H.W. Armstrong, a pioneer in this great truth.” Elder Angelo B. Traina restored the Sacred Names to the King James Bible in 1963. Both Elders Dodd and Traina are remembered for their efforts in reestablishing the correct Names and teaching Bible truth. Herbert Armstrong and his Worldwide Church of God chose to keep the generic titles for Yahweh’s Name as well as the Latinized-Greek form for the Savior’s true Hebrew Name Yahshua.

Elder Donald Mansager

It all Began with a Sinking House
Elder Donald Mansager (1924-2012), originally a Lutheran, thought all was well in his life. He had a loving wife, a healthy family, and a great job. Little did he know that Yahweh was about to move him – literally. Elder Donald put everything he had into building his dream house. But the satisfaction he derived from his new house soon evaporated when the house’s foundation, built on fill dirt, began to sink. The whole house threatened to slide down a hill toward a river, with his hopes, dreams, and life savings going with it. After consulting a contractor there was only one solution: the house had to be relocated.

Now it wasn’t just the house that needed to be moved but also his faith. Yahweh used this trial to redirect Elder Donald’s priorities in his life. Rather than give up, he delved more into scripture. An auspicious thing happened next. Once he started poring over the Bible he realized that his church was not teaching what the Bible taught. So he started searching for more truth. For a time he studied with the Worldwide Church of God in the 1960s but never became a member. He proved that the Sabbaths and Feasts were necessary for the Truth seeker. His interest was now in full active mode.

One day he heard a man on the radio with a strong German accent explaining the Sacred Name Yahweh and how it was wrongfully removed from the Bible and history. This radio minister was Jacob Meyer. Elder Donald would became an evangelist in Elder Meyer’s organization, and for eight years traveled thousands of miles throughout North America, the Philippines, and India to bring Yahweh’s Truth to the willing ear.

An issue with the increasing authoritarian way that the group was governed led him to resign and purchase with a couple elders a run-down KOA campground in Rocheport, Missouri. There he founded a new organization, building the Body of Messiah for 10 years. He ultimately left that organization as a result of infidelities among elders. He then started what was to be called Yahweh’s New Covenant Assembly. His son Alan edited and printed in his garage the ministry’s magazine and literature for the new group. YNCA eventually distributed cassette tape recordings of their sermons and Alan’s son Ryan produced videos of the new program, “Back to the Truth.”

Aerial view of the YRM campus in 2019

YRM begins
In 1998 Elder Alan (who had worked in the field of publications for several Sacred Name organizations since the 1970’s) believed that the practice of divorce and remarriage disqualified leaders (1Tim. 3, Titus 1). So he left the organization he helped start with his father. As an ordained Minister he was content with just ministry work from his home and spreading the truth online under the name Yahweh’s Restoration Ministry (YRM) His son-in-law Randy Folliard also gave messages and wrote articles and was eventually ordained an elder. Ryan designed a website for the new organization as well as created an audio-video outreach. At first they were keeping the festivals with just close friends and family. But the numbers of those wanting to help kept increasing. For 17 years YRM went to group camps for feasts ranging from California to Tennessee, and holding Sabbaths in homes and library meeting rooms. Elder Randy spent countless hours searching the nation for suitable camps for the Feast of Tabernacles. Constant growth created a need for permanent worship facilities and around 2005 YRM purchased a few acres near Holts Summit, Missouri, and built a 3,500 square foot meeting hall. This facility grew to 16,000 square feet, with an additional 11,000 square-foot event/activity center.

What Happened to Elder Don?
Yahweh in his mercy through a series of events brought Elder Donald in his later years to reunite with his son Alan and become a part of Yahweh’s Restoration Ministry where he delivered an occasional message. Elder Donald is now asleep in Yahshua awaiting the resurrection.

Hebrew Roots Before It Was Cool
The modern Hebrew Roots movement which began in the 1990s was no doubt influenced by the teachings of the Sacred Name Movement, which was the only movement in existence teaching the Feasts, Sabbaths and Sacred Names. The Sacred Name movement has always endeavored to return to the Torah and Hebraic worship of the Messiah. The Sabbath, Feast days, biblically clean foods, shofars, menorahs, Hebrew-centered songs and an emphasis on Hebraic New Testament sources has always been a staple in the Sacred Name Movement.

Roots of the Hebrew Roots
The first Messianic/Hebrew Roots organization began in the 1970s as the Jews for Jesus movement. This movement started when Moishe Rosen, who was ethnically Jewish, converted to Christianity and became a Baptist minister. It’s hard to connect this movement specifically with the modern Hebrew roots movement, however, as all seem to loosely fall under the same umbrella. A few teachers recognized today in the Hebrew Roots Movement (HRM) are familiar faces to those who attended some Sacred Name assemblies in the ‘80s and ‘90s. With the advent of the internet and ease of communication, groups started springing up all over the world that had no ties to our movement. New groups are forming all the time, taking the name “Hebrew Roots” with no direct ties to one another or any uniformity in teachings. Adding to the confusion are self proclaimed teachers vying for leadership in a movement that has no organization or leadership. At first many in our movement rejoiced to see people leaving the Church for Torah. But it soon was clear that these HRM groups still held to some doctrines we had disproved decades ago. Many broke away from the church and formed new ministries without fully taking the time to research all the traditions they came out of and still hold. It is interesting that we see many whose former affiliation was the Assembly of God Church. Oneness beliefs, charismatic displays, child baptism, etc., coupled with Feast keeping, Sabbaths and Torah, are muddying the waters for those who desire to get back to the true faith of Abraham. Mixing the common titles with the sacred Names and bringing in Jewish traditions is a recipe for real confusion. Many push unscholarly forms of the sacred Name and sadly we see a mixed bag of not only false doctrines but several variations of the Name that didn’t exist 30 years ago. Because of this confusion a term leveled at the HRM is “messy-antics.” Some of this confusion is a lack of understanding biblical Hebrew, which is ironic when many take on the name “Hebrew Roots.” Dogmatic interpretations without knowing  Hebrew grammar and linguistics are far too common in the HRM movement. Bold teachers masquerading as experts who invent their own forms of biblical Hebrew is a recent phenomenon. Popular are those who claim to understand pictographic or Paleo Hebrew. Self proclaimed “ancient Hebrew” experts interpreting Paleo Hebrew letters as pictures and deciphering scripture with their own esoteric meaning is spreading among the movement. This is quite shocking considering that not even scholarship is in agreement with the pictorial meanings and origins. For many, the emotional experience of “being Hebrew” takes precedence over solid, critical analysis. Bizarre forms of the Sacred Name draw the accusation from the misinformed that we (Sacred Name believers) don’t even agree on the sacred Names ourselves. Guilt by association has caused much confusion. The predominant Sacred Name assemblies hold to the sacred Names Yahweh and Yahshua, which has been the case for many decades. So are we Hebrew roots? Yes and no. The Sacred Name Movement was the “original” Hebrew Roots Movement, the precursor to the “modern” Hebrew Roots movement, which has a long way to go before we would consider ourselves in league with it. We pray many of these congregations will remove traditional baggage and come to the real Hebraic roots of the Messiah. If you are coming out of the church for Torah we caution you to “prove all things and all traditions.” Don’t blindly follow your emotions or the charismatic teacher, follow the Word. Just because something appears to be Jewish doesn’t make it correct. We must remove unscriptural traditions in both Christianity and Judaism.

What Denomination Are You and What Do You Call Yourselves?
We are non-denominational and strive to return as closely as possible to the original Faith of the Messiah. You could say we fall somewhere between Judaism and Christianity, removing tradition and pagan influence in both faiths and retaining some truth still found in each. For those who need a label we are the “Faith of Abraham.” We accept the prophesied Messiah as we adhere to Yahweh’s standards and way of life ordained for His people from the beginning. We analyze our doctrines regularly and will (and have) changed doctrines in light of new truths.

Alan and Randy with Discover the Truth TV Program

Where We Are Going
As many who follow us know, we are a very outreach-oriented ministry. We have always used media, whether in print form, video, or television to further the work. Starting assemblies is difficult and takes years of work and sacrifice, but we have also let Yahweh lead us as we listened to his direction. He gives the increase not from our own efforts. We decided early on we will not water down his Word for the sake of numbers. He gives and takes away and all of it is His will. We are just servants for Truth.

Through the blessings of our supporters Yahweh has led us on an amazing journey. We were on national network television for a time. The Discover the Truth program was seen by up to 50,000 viewers per telecast, per station airing on several networks, like SkyAngel, Trinity Broadcast Network, The CW, Superstation WGN, and others, multiple times a week. We had the great honor to record programs and videos from the Holy Land that have been seen by millions. He has led us to publish the world’s only Sacred Name Study Bible, purchased by tens of thousands. We try to fulfill what Yahweh leads us to do and at the same time realize that all our accomplishments are His.

We will continue to preach the truth of Yahweh in this declining world until we are unable. We are waiting for Him to give us the next big challenge, whatever that may be. If that opportunity never comes we are content to continue to hold the line for Truth as these humble stones cry out. We will always revere, preach, and defend the great Name of Yahweh and His son Yahshua until His return.