Detective of the Divine: The Case of the Resurrection

If a person claimed something of theirs was missing or stolen and you interviewed several alleged witnesses, but the witnesses had varying stories with details that contradict one another, could you for certain declare something to be fact? Could you say with 100% certainty someone was guilty or not-guilty? What if throughout the reports of the eye-witnesses there was a common denominator of a certain person or group of people were indeed involved? Would not those people be perceived as suspects?

When I study the various accounts of the resurrection of Jesus, I find it problematic there are many contradictions, but a similar report of the women being first on the scene, but can’t get their stories straight… Let us dissect and discuss…But first, grab your New Testament.

Consider how and when the women saw the resurrected Jesus such as: In Matthew 28:1-8, Mary Magdalene and “the other Mary” came to the tomb around dawn the day after Sabbath and experienced an earthquake when an angel came down from heaven and personally rolled away the stone. Supposedly it scared the guards, plural, to death paralyzing them in fear. In Mark 16, after Sabbath was over, early in the morning, when the sun had risen, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James (and Jesus), and Salome brought spices to anoint the body. At first, they were perplexed as to who will roll the stone away for them, but when they arrived, the stone was already rolled away for them. What happened to the earthquake and seeing the angel descend? The speculated but not proven author of Mark skips over that detail. Seems like a a highly important detail to somehow forget. Upon arriving at the open tomb, they see a young man inside. No mention of the guards in that version.

A few verses earlier, evidently the tomb’s stone is able to be moved by just 1 person since Joseph (not Mary’s husband) rolled it himself in Mark 15:46 so that leads me to believe 2 or 3 women could have rolled it if just 1 man could have. In Luke 24, on the 1st day of the week, very early in the morning, certain women and “other women with them” so now we have a group of women went to the tomb with spices to anoint the body. Upon arriving, like in Mark, but unlike in Matthew, they discover the stone is already rolled away. After going inside the tomb, suddenly not 1 man as recounted in Mark, but in Luke’s version 2 men were inside the tomb.In John’s version found in John 20, he describes just 1 woman went to the tomb, Mary Magdalene, while it was still dark so not at dawn or after dawn like the other versions describe. No mention of any earthquake nor other women or 1 or 2 men or angels are told to us in John’s version, but we do learn Peter and another disciple race to the tomb and reveal another interesting clue and that is that the linens Jesus was wrapped in were neatly folded within the tomb (John 20:5-7). Verse 9 of John 20 states the disciples did *not* know of any Scripture (in Tanakh) prophesying the Messiah must rise from the dead because there is none. Rather, the Messiah is to bring world peace, unity, and elevate the Jews to assist in teaching Torah to the world as light to the nations (Isaiah 2, 11, 42, 49, 53-56 among others).

Also, we learn in John’s version that both Joseph and the Pharisee Nicodemus wrapped and anointed Jesus’ body in spices (John 19:38-42) upon his burial. If Nicodemus and Joseph already anointed Jesus’ body, then why did the women need to come again to do so at the time of his burial in Luke 23:56 PRIOR to Sabbath and why did the women return to do so AGAIN AFTER Sabbath as defined in Mark 16:1? Matthew writes about a guard or guards being there to seal the stone whereas none of the other gospels do; Joseph rolled the tomb in place; Yet, the women wondered how they would unroll the stone as if impossible to do so- then why come to anoint him in the wee hours of the morning or at dawn, depending on which version, if the stone cannot be unrolled and if they cannot unroll it themselves? This does not make sense.

There is no doubt in my mind that Jesus lived and died as there are a limited number of historical writings of such events. There also is little doubt his body was missing or the Pharisees and Romans could have simply opened the tomb to dispute the claim of the resurrection. I suppose they still could have done so, but we know not of historical documents stating this theory so for the sake of argument, let’s say the body was indeed missing. Conversely, should the Pharisees or other Jews or the Romans discovered Jesus indeed did resurrect from the dead, wouldn’t that have been the catalyst to producing far more believers instantly rather than just a small group who were already Jesus’ fans? How come we have no documentation of detailed accounts of the resurrected Jesus appearing to any of the alleged 500 Paul claims though Paul didn’t even personally know Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:5-8)? Not to mention Paul’s order of appearance list also contradicts the gospels. There is no account of Jesus revealing himself to anyone but primarily the women first, then some men, IF any of that is even true. Wouldn’t the resurrected Messiah be sure to reveal himself to his accusers? To those who didn’t believe him? Wouldn’t that be far more magnificent and noteworthy to propel God’s mission? Wouldn’t that be far more effective and critical in sharing the ‘good news’ of the gospel, particularly to the so-called lost sheep Jesus was sent to (Matthew 15:24) as in the Jews?

Let’s say for the sake of argument, the Pharisees or Romans inspected the tomb and verified Jesus’ body was missing. Is it not possible though that the body was removed? Who would have the most motive to remove Jesus’ body?

We are told the disciples did not believe the women when they came to them to report Jesus’ body was removed. Also, interestingly enough in John’s version, found in John 20:1-2, Mary Magdalene runs to the disciples to tell them “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.”. Wow! Did she see him or not? In other accounts, she ran into Jesus either at the tomb or upon leaving the tomb prior to seeing the disciples (Matt.28:7-10; Mk 16:8-11). In John’s version, she runs to the disciples first to tell them Jesus’ body is missing, but then later, after Peter and another disciple inspect the tomb, Mary Magdalene speaks to two angels and Jesus appears to her, which she then ran to the disciples again to report what happened (John 20:11-18). Do you see the confusion in the timetable and details of the various gospels?

These many different accounts of the same epic moment seem suspicious and becoming less credible the more the reader compares the testimony of the so called witnesses. But back to motive…the disciples, being men of various trades, although disappointed and humiliated, could easily have gone back to their occupations. However, there is one person in particular who had EVERYTHING to lose if Jesus did not rise again. Mary, Jesus’ mother, not only would have been financially ruined if Jesus did not rise from the dead being her other sons would be the laughing stock of town, but she could have been stoned per the law being now the truth she was not miraculously impregnated by the Holy Spirit but rather by Joseph or whomever. Is it not strange the women knew where Jesus’ body was being each account testifies the women were there when he was placed in the tomb unlike the disciples, AND showed up either in the middle of the night or at the crack of dawn to anoint his body when they or Nicodemus already did so while allegedly not knowing how they would open the tomb themselves, AND there are so many different versions of the details of what happened next, AND the linens just happen to be folded neatly all pointing to the women?! Is it not possible wanting to spare Mary, mother of Jesus and their friend, the women got together to remove the body under the guise of anointing the body, folded the linens neatly in place upon unwrapping them, and then after making it look like he vanished, ran to the men to tell them their many different versions of what happened?

Furthermore, could the women or men have hallucinated having been under great post-traumatic stress? Could they have seen a ghost as some versions express? How many reports are there in modern ages of people seeing their dead loved ones’ ghost or ghosts in general? Plenty, interestingly enough. There even is a ghost story in 1 Samuel 28:11-19 where the medium saw the ghost of the Prophet Samuel, much to her horror. The ghost of Prophet Samuel was recognizable, had a physical appearance, could clearly communicate and EVEN still give a prophecy to King Saul and yet, the dude was still technically dead! So could the disciples have seen and likewise conversed with Jesus’ ghost?

Could they have concocted seeing Jesus or could they have been deceived into seeing someone else posing as Jesus since they did not recognize him? Or could the unknown authors of the gospels created the story themselves since there is no other documentation of Jesus’ resurrection? If it was documented elsewhere that he lived and died, why would not people document the most epic event in all human history – his miraculous resurrection?! Even if he actually did rise again, others in the Tanakh/Old Testament rose again such as Elijah resurrected a child (1 Kings 17 & 2 Kings 4), does that make Elijah or those children THE MESSIAH? Even so, Jesus still doesn’t fit the majority of the profile of the Messiah as described by the prophets.

Also, if Jesus did rise from the dead, Matthew 7:53 says the graves were opened and there were numerous resurrected people walking around. What happened to those people? Moreover, how come NO ONE ELSE documented anywhere that historians know of this hugely monumental event? Maybe because it is largely fiction just as has been proven about Herod’s non-existent census. 

These are somethings I have pondered the last several months..feeling like a Detective of the Divine. Seems to me if Jesus was the perfect son of God, then the accounts of such an important figure would also have been perfectly documented. Don’t go researching how many errors there are in the alleged “inerrant” word of God we are told of to describe the New Testament, you will be sorely disappointed. And yet, I know of no errors in the Tanakh (Old Testament). Perhaps some may find it alarming or suspect 1st Corinthians and Paul’s epistles were all written first decades before the gospels based off Paul’s mystical experience of seeing Jesus in the clouds, which no one else saw, but they did hear a voice according to Acts 9:7. However, in Acts 22:9, Paul testifies that the people with him in that moment saw a light, but did NOT hear Jesus’ voice, the exact opposite of what the author of Acts wrote several chapters earlier. Once again, we have a book that contradicts important details of the people who are sharing this new strange faith claiming to have seen the resurrected Jesus.

Did you know the gospels were written LAST of all the New Testament whereas Paul’s writings and others were first? Even the Book of Revelation, the last book of the New Testament, was written before the gospels. How suspect! Could not the gospels have been written to support the ideologies of Paul or others all those years later? As church history unfolds, billions are told or led to believe the gospels allegedly precisely quote Jesus. Over the centuries and still today, we are making doctrines and divisions out of things allegedly said or done by a man documented numerous decades after he lived and died. I can’t remember and therefore could not document what someone precisely said last week let alone decades later. Could you? And do you really believe each account is “inspired” by the Holy Spirit? If so, are they four different holy spirits because it is four different accounts of the same alleged event (being the resurrection, for example)? I know, you were told it is just different perspectives. With that reasoning, evidently, “God” has varying perspectives or accounts of absolute truth. Clearly, Paul or whomever he employed to pen the Book of Acts, some scholars say it was Paul’s Gentile buddy Luke (the same author of the Gospel of Luke), cannot keep Paul’s story straight of his alleged witness of the resurrected Jesus either as proven in Acts 9 and 22!

As a metaphorical detective in this case, my conclusions are as follows:

  1. None of the alleged eye-witnesses can get their stories straight regarding the resurrection as to who, what, where, when, how, creating plausible false testimonies.
  2. The documentation of the gospels were written numerous decades after the alleged events allowing for facts to be forgotten, scrambled in minds, out of chronological order, as well as subtracted from or added to possibly for greater sensationalism and meaning. Or, made up entirely!
  3. None of the alleged eye-witnesses are wiling to sign their names to their testimony (none of the authors of the gospels signed their names – it is merely speculated who may have written them). How would anonymous witnesses hold up in court? So essentially, you have no actual witnesses and no consistency in their stories rather than at least two or three witnesses with consistent and true testimony, per Torah.
  4. There is absolutely no third party documentation or accounts of Jesus’ resurrection, but there is of his existence and certain deeds he did as well as his death. Likewise, there is no third party documentation of others being resurrected simultaneously as Matthew 7:53 reports, all of which would surely have created quite a stir and prompted others to document such epic events had they actually occurred.
  5. Other false details, misquotes, and fiction has been proven throughout the gospels, the Book of Acts, and the Book of Hebrews (though not all discussed in this article) all building a case against these writings being the “inerrant” word of God (never mind the fact God suddenly changed His language from Hebrew to Greek, even though He is not a man who does not lie or change – see Numbers 23:19 and Malachi 3:6).
  6. Lastly, we know the primary proponent of Christianity, being Paul, the author of books/epistles written before the gospels all about Jesus, by his own testimony persecuted fans of Jesus, but then later recanted due to a bizarre vision like experience of Jesus, which may have possibly been triggered by severe guilt and mental illness. Then to make himself feel better, he exhorts himself to be on Team Jesus spreading the false stories of the “good news” or maybe better labeled “fake news”.
  7. Throughout history and not excluding during the period of Jesus and Paul, various pagan religions, including Greek mythology already believed a god-man figure who died and rose again, making it easy for Gentiles to accept and believe this new found faith spread namely by Paul based off his unusual and contradictory report detailed in Acts 9 and 22.

In conclusion, Jesus was a man, not God, who likely was rabbi (teacher) and prophet performing signs and wonders as most prophets do (even false prophets). Jesus taught many good and interesting concepts such as “Do unto others as you would have them do to you“. Nevertheless, according to the warnings of Tanakh, God tells us He will certainly test His people by sending false prophets to tempt people to worship them or another God instead of the One True Living God. What does God say to test a prophet by? Namely two (2) areas: Are they for or against Torah? Secondly, did their prophecy manifest? (Read Deuteronomy 12:29-13:11 and 18:9-22). Jesus was (and still is) such a test as he was a false prophet, not because he taught against Torah (we know he was for Torah not against it – see Matthew 5:19-21); although, fascinatingly enough, the Church has successfully brainwashed billions into thinking Jesus was against Torah and did away with it, which should be a red-flag to all Jews and other students of the Bible, never mind the fact the Church distanced themselves from anything remotely Jewish and instead created many replacement theologies, traditions, and feasts over God’s Holy rituals and holidays (found in Torah) all the while using the funds of naive and ignorant people to build a wealthy religious empire elevating the power and control of the Church and successfully produced fruit of holy wars, harm to others, and endless division still carrying on today. How many denominations are in just the Protestant sect of Christianity? Over 40,000! Furthermore, Jesus was a false prophet or false Messiah because his claim of being Messiah does not fit the Messianic prophecies defined in the Holy Scriptures (the Tanakh / “Old” Testament), more specifically what the anointed will be doing and in my opinion, Scripture blatantly says who God will resurrect to be King to usher in the New Covenant/Messianic Era/ World To Come – see Ezekiel 34:23-25; 37:24; Jeremiah 30:9; Isaiah 9:7. Lastly, Jesus was a false prophet because according to the gospels, he declared prophecies claiming he would return in the lifetime of his disciples and yet, that clearly did not manifest (Matthew 16:27-28; 24:25-34; 26:63-64; Mark 13:26-30; Luke 21:27-32).

Due to all the clues and findings, as a metaphorical Detective of the Divine, I would deem this case closed.

Penned by: Carrie R. Turner, August 28-29, 2020

Preparing For Passover

Soon Passover, or Pesach in Hebrew, will be upon us! This post is designed to help you prepare for Passover in a meaningful and creative way as we celebrate our deliverance from Egypt, from our sin, our lawlessness (1 John 3:4), through the blood of The Lamb, Yeshua/Jesus into a Spirit-led, lawful life as we learn to walk in holiness.

In the days leading up to Passover, we rid our home of any leaven, or foods and products with yeast in it. Leaven symbolizes sin that so easily entangles us and spreads to others (Hebrews 12:1). The Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthian, non-Jewish ekklesia/assembly to celebrate Passover remembering Yeshua/Jesus is our perfect Passover lamb who came to take the leaven or sin of the world (John 1:29). So why are they (and we) continuing to break God’s instructions? He writes this in 1 Corinthians 5, upon learning of sin within their church body. He similarly reminds the Galatian church, “A little leaven leavens the whole lump” (Galatians 5:9). Because we have been spiritually adopted into God’s family, or grafted-into His family tree and now considered apart of Israel, according to many writings of the Apostle Paul (Romans 8, 11; Ephesians 2:11-19; 3:6; 4:17-24; Galatians 3:26-29; 4:6-7), we ought to also celebrate Passover as a reminder of our Messiah’s sacrifice as well as the prophetic implications of this meaningful feast. One fine day in the future, like the First Exodus, there will be a ‘Second Exodus’, delivering us from the worldly culture. To learn more about the Second Exodus, click here.

Passover, also known as the ‘Feast of Unleavened Bread’, is the first Feast of the LORD (Exodus 12:1-15:21; Leviticus 23; Deuteronomy 16:1-8, 16) and is a big deal to Him. We even see in the Messianic Era, or when Jesus reigns and rules on Earth for 1,000 years, the Feast of Unleavened Bread/Passover is celebrated, according to Ezekiel 45:18-25; 46:9. Furthermore, when Jesus said, “Do this in remembrance of Me” (Luke 22), He was referring to Passover and participating in the holy holiday at that moment.

Passover Guide

Should you desire to want to celebrate the death and resurrection of our Messiah, attached here is a Passover guide, created by Ira Malone, my friend and founder of Torah for Christians Ministries. Ira also has penned a list of what he does for Passover to help you celebrate this special time (see below). At that bottom of this post, I have attached pictures providing you ideas to decorate your table for Passover.

Here is the list of things participants (particularly people who host need—I sent this to someone who asked):

You and the participants watching, or whoever is there with you, will need the following:

• The elements: matzah, bitter herbs (parsley preferably), sweet apple mixture (charoset), horseradish sauce (maror), kosher Passover wine (or grape-juice)

For the sweet apple mixture: chopped up apples, chopped walnuts, cinnamon, maple syrup for extra sweetness, if desired.

• For me (Ira), I traditionally cook a leg of lamb (maybe two) in a slow cooker: I chop up an onion and place it in the slow cooker, I make incisions in the lamb, season it with mustard (to take away any gaminess), salt and pepper, rosemary, paprika, garlic, etc., gluten free (kosher for Passover) soy sauce, and slow cook for eight hours.

• Food! I usually have various veggies on the side, sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, a salad with gluten free dressing, and an unleavened desert.

• A lamb bone for the plate (you can ask your local butcher for a bone—or just get a lamb steak with the bone in it, cook the lamb steak, and cut off the bone).

• Plates, utensils, wine glasses (leave one for Elijah), bowl for water (for the hand washing ceremony), a towel, a bowl for salt water (when dipping the bitter herb into the bowl of salt water), center Seder plate for the elements, a pillow, a clothe for the Afikomen (middle Matzah), speakers for music, Tallit (if you want to wear one), candles and candle holders, gas lighter.

Please be sure to read through the Haggadah carefully before commencing just so you don’t forget anything.

Decorating Ideas for Passover

Video About Passover I Did in 2019

Here is a Vlog about Passover I did in 2019.

Pray To God Like You Have No Bills And No Ills

After receiving an email from a disciple with some questions, I responded with an important truth I’m believing many of us need to hear and or be reminded of during this difficult season. While it is a likely reason the world is experiencing the coronavirus as a result of sin, please also understand that sometimes God allows unfortunate events to affect the righteous, the obedient, those not engaging in sin. Recall the character Job, a righteous man of God, who experienced much tragedy due to Satan challenging God stating Job only loved God for what He could do for Job versus Job simply loving God for who He is. But God, being the ultimate discerner of hearts, knew Job better so God allowed Satan to torment Job. We know in the end, Job unknowingly proved Satan wrong and God right. Consequently, God richly rewarded Job for his overcoming, committed love Job had for God.

Should you or a loved one succumb to COVID-19 and or be seriously financially impacted by this pandemic, if you have asked our Abba Father God to examine your heart and His Spirit reveals no sin, then ponder the possibility He may be providing you the choice to love God simply for who He is and not for what He can do for you. Perhaps He is believing in you even more than you believe in Him…Perhaps He is believing you, like Job, will prove Satan wrong.

No matter where we are at in our spiritual growth, in the coming days, perhaps our faith, our hope, our love will bloom where we can pray to God like we have no bills and we have no ills – simply because we love Him for who He is and not for what He can do for us. Maybe we can develop a depth and maturity in our faith that shifts our relationship to be centered on solely Him and stop fashioning a god centered and purposed to serve us. Perhaps that is the sin that ails us the most or perhaps not, perhaps we unknowingly or intentionally will prove Satan wrong like Job did in his response to tragedy. Regardless, through it all, may we be reminded to love God for who He is and not for what He can do for us. When THAT manifests in our hearts, the atmosphere will change. Authentic love, worship, for God is the contagious cure we desperately need. Selah and Shalom.

Prideful Rebellion of the Church

I have seen churches and Messianic Jewish places of worship remaining open holding services larger than 10 despite both federal and local orders not to do so during this coronavirus pandemic.

I cannot say this enough: The Holy Spirit will never tell you to do something contradictory to what God’s Spirit already said conveniently documented in the Bible for our benefit.  God gets the final word – it’s called “His word” for a reason.

Romans 13:1-7 “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities….whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves…”

Enough with rebellious pride under the guise of being “Spirit-led”, church! All you are doing is proving you are not led by the Holy Spirit, but you are being led by an unholy spirit.

“Therefore, by their fruits you will know them.” Matthew 7:20

https://www.foxnews.com/us/florida-pastor-arrest-church-service-coronavirus-tampa

A Contagious Love

For many of us Christians we have been taught that the law of God is some icky, evil virus we should avoid. Well-meaning preachers, teachers, and others have sifted a verse or so to foster a stigma against obeying God. Consequently, we have nurtured generations of “believers” who believe grace is a license to live lawlessly while having the perspective God’s laws are nothing but a burdensome checklist of do’s and don’ts. Just like our current medical experts are discerning all of the data (of COVID-19) before implementing federal and state policies, we too need to discern all the Biblical data before implementing doctrines. Failure to do so invites preventable disaster, death, and eternal doom!

The Apostle Peter even warned his readers that many would twist the Apostle Paul’s difficult and confusing letters explaining “the law of sin and death” compared to the “law of God” and rather twist it to lead people to believe lawlessness is what Paul promoted (2 Peter 3:14-18). For example, some of the common passages people use to justify rebellion to God’s commands is found in select verses or chapters in the Book of Acts, Romans, and Galatians. If we only referenced the negative connotations while failing to realize Paul often goes back and forth revealing the pros of “the law of God” compared to the “law of sin and death”, which is the consequence of operating in the flesh breaking God’s law (Romans 7:21-8:8), we can easily confuse his message. When we compare all of Paul’s writings we get a clear message he, like Jesus, was against sin, which the Apostle John defined as being without God’s laws or breaking God’s laws (1 John 3:4).

Likewise, both Paul and Jesus were ardently against misusing or twisting God’s law for man’s own purposes or even worse, teaching people to obey their laws or their doctrines verses God’s law (see Mark 7 as an example). Rather, Paul takes significant amount of time throughout his writings imploring people to take advantage of the Holy Spirit in the sense of now being able with His Spirit of Holiness’ help to obey God’s eternal, holy laws producing eternal, holy fruit (Romans 8; Galatians 6; Ezekiel 11:19-21; 36:27; Matthew 7). He also chides those who are obeying God’s laws with impure motives such as:

1) Striving to obey God’s laws in order to be saved thinking they can save themselves dismissing the point of the cross (Acts 15:1; Romans 4:14; Galatians 3:6, 5:4)

2) Elevating (pagan or their own) traditions, customs, and doctrines above God’s law is wrong (Gal.4:8-20; Colossians 2; Mark 7);

3) Obeying God’s law as motive to simply fit in or to be accepted in certain circles is also wrong (Gal.2:11-14; 6:11-15) verses obeying them out of a grateful circumcised heart being apart of God’s family, while elaborating the once pagan, lawless Gentiles, but now believers in Jesus/Yeshua, are no longer considered unclean or being without God’s law/lawless for in God’s eyes both believing Jew and Gentile are one in the same upon believing in Jesus as God’s natural and adopted children and both are expected to learn and adopt the household’s instructions of Abba Father found in His Torah/law little by little as the Holy Spirit leads and having different classes of people needs to cease (Acts 10; Acts 15; Romans 2:28-29; 10:12-13; Romans 11; Galatians 3:28-29; Ephesians 2:11-19; 4:17-24; Revelation 12:17, 14:12, 22:14). Note: Did you know the Torah is known as the “tree of life”?

In fact, the Holy Spirit does a good job detailing God’s laws of love in the first half of Scriptures (Torah) while extracting the intent and sum of God’s laws in the New Testament.

Explaining the heart and nature of God’s laws is precisely what Jesus came to do (Matthew 5:14-19; 22:34-40) and will do again one fine day upon His rule and reign here on earth (Isaiah 2:3-4; Isaiah 51, 65-66; Micah 4; Zechariah 14) and He even raises the standard of God’s law revealing it is all about exposing the motives of one’s heart and encouraging true authentic love for God and one another (Matthew 7:21-32; 22:34-40; John 14-15).

Ponder This: Why would Paul (or Jesus) list and encourage people to fulfill God’s laws if they are done away with?

Moreover, when we demonstrate love we are fulfilling God’s law of love. Likewise, when we fulfill the law, we are being love!

Moreover, when we demonstrate love we are fulfilling God’s law of love. Likewise, when we fulfill the law, we are being love! This is why Jesus didn’t come to do away with His Father’s laws of love, for if He did so He could not be the sinless Messiah, but rather He came to pay the debt for breaking God’s laws, to teach us God’s motive in establishing them, and how they are in fact what God deems as loving Him and loving others. God’s laws are cultivating a culture of true love. Jesus both taught and obeyed God’s laws – He fulfilled them as we also are called to do. Because He first loved us, by demonstrating obedience to God’s laws of love, we will be inspired to love God and others in return out of a grateful, circumcised heart (1 John 4:19; 5:3).

So instead of viewing God’s laws of love as a fatal, hated virus we strive to avoid like the coronavirus, while attacking those who cheerfully obey God out of a grateful grace-filled heart, participating in precisely what Jesus warned would happen in the end-times detailed in Matthew 24:7-14, may we instead obey God’s laws letting our love for Him and others be contagious!

Lawless = Loveless/cold whereas Lawful=Love/warmth (see Matthew 24:12)

“And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.”

Illness Never from the LORD?

If you see people write on Facebook or wherever that “Illness is NEVER from the LORD.”, feel free to share this little Bible study that says otherwise. We need to stop tickling ears and instead fall on our faces. Time to grow up, kids. We are being matured: repentance then revival.

Coronavirus Repellant?

I have found it concerning and even alarming some Christians are pridefully quoting various verses such as “there is no fear in love” (I John 4:17-19), for example, out of context and rather attempting to use it as a magic charm to prevent the discomfort and potential spiritual growth of themselves or other believers. Conversely, I wrote an article (actually several) in recent days combating false teachings spreading on social media while using verses such as the one in 1 John 4:17-19, Psalm 91, and others. In Scripture, particularly the book of Jeremiah, we see more issues would befall the nation of Israel, for example, because of false prophets rising up saying similar things promising peace and security rather than repentance and obedience. It would be wise for more ministries/Christians to write or speak about that on social media then using God’s word as a magic charm to avoid tribulation and trials such as these.

For example, some are quoting 1 John 4:17-19 famous verse which in part says “there is no fear in love” ignoring the context of that phrase.The entire book of 1st John describes true love as obeying God’s commands. The author reiterates over and over again that you can distinguish those who are authentic believers abiding in God verses those who aren’t by who is and isn’t cheerfully, willfully obeying God’s laws, which ultimately defines how to love God and others (to list a few: 1 John 3:4, 7, 10, 22, 24, 4:12, 20, 21; 5:3). In fact, 1 John 3:4 defines sin as breaking God’s laws or being without God’s laws (rebellion). So by the time the author arrives up to the verses being commonly quoted during this pandemic in 1 John 4:17-19, it is understood that believers do not have to be afraid of God’s judgment because they are operating in perfect love by being living sacrifices laying down their flesh to a lifestyle of loving obedience to God’s commands, which ultimately is loving God and others. This is why we don’t have to fear. It has nothing to do with other circumstances and isn’t a misquoted magic charm to protect you from God’s discipline or judgment (unless of course, you are operating and led by His lawful Spirit of Holiness and being obedient as He brings you into more and more truth). Conversely, it would be more enlightening and productive to quote 1 John 3:22 in regards to this pandemic:

Furthermore, the verses to follow the misquoted passage of “There is no fear in love” defines love as obeying God’s commands and why we need not fear (see 1 John 5:3). We need not fear God’s judgment because we are obeying God’s commands, which are pretty easy and hopefully, most Christians are doing much of them without even thinking about it. If you aren’t obeying God, well then you are not being perfected in love and yes, you should fear very much (fear God).

Just something to ponder and dig into during these days of rest and reflection. Much love!

To study more on this subject, click the below link. https://flipflopfellowship.com/2020/03/17/false-teachings-spreading-fast-during-coronavirus/

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Community Spread | Community Cooperation

I am seeing and hearing lots of Christians invoking blessings for Israel such as Psalm 91’s “No plague shall come near your dwelling” and Isaiah 54’s “No weapon formed against me shall prosper..” as well as singing worship songs about asking the God of Israel to give us clean hands. And yet they are unknowingly rejecting the instructions for Israel while others knowingly rebel against God’s will and wisdom for Israel stating they aren’t Israel so why should they obey. So, essentially many are wanting the blessing without the obedience. Humm…

Friends, if you believe in the Jewish Messiah and His purpose of overcoming sin, which is defined as breaking God’s law (1 John 3:4; Romans 1-2) and it’s penalty of eternal, hopeless death (Romans 3:23, 6:23), by the power of His resurrection, and you have received His Spirit of Holiness/Holy Spirit (Romans 8), then you are adopted/grafted/immigrated or apart of the enlarged Israel (Exodus 12:49; Numbers 15:13-15, 16; Ezekiel 37:15-17; Romans 11; Ephesians 2:11-13; Galatians 3:29), God’s family. As His adopted child, in addition to such benefits like Psalm 91 and Isaiah 54, you are given the responsibility like His natural kids to obey the Father’s household instructions detailed in the first five books of Torah and built upon throughout the rest of Scripture and empowered to do that which is holy, being God’s instructions (Romans 7:12). Hence, the purpose of being given, taught, and led by His Holy Spirit (see Ezekiel 36:27).

Otherwise, if we teach that God’s laws are only for the Jewish people versus all of mankind (i.e. Sabbath was given to Adam & Eve, who were not Jewish- they represented mankind; circumcision was given to Abraham, also not Jewish; Noah, not Jewish, put extra clean animals in the ark for sacrifices), and if we know the Bible defines sin as breaking/not keeping God’s laws (1 John 3:4), then that means Jesus only died for Jews who were gifted God’s commands and the rest of the world is doomed. Rather, Israel, which later became known as the Jews, as well as those who aligned themselves with them (see articles below), were the ones commissioned to both be the light and bring the light to the nations, the light being God’s laws (Psalm 119). Read Isaiah 49:6 and Matthew 5:14-19.

In other words, the role of Israel was and still is to teach the world how God wants to be loved and how He wants us to love others by obeying His instructions, which peaks the interest of others to want to know this peculiar, set-apart, Holy God who offers each of us one fine resurrected day eternal life with Him, through the atonement of His Son. But not only did God provide a means to pay the debt for failing to obey His instructions of love, through the death and resurrection of Jesus the Messiah, but He also provided His Spirit of Holiness to cause those who receive Him an embedded desire to obey Him (Jeremiah 31:31-33)…and embedded desire to want to obey Him out of a grateful heart.

As His kids, we don’t get to pick that Psalm 91 applies to us while disrespecting God’s Sabbath or stuffing bacon wrapped shrimp down our throats (Leviticus 11; Deuteronomy 14; Isaiah 65-66; Revelation 18:2) still thinking we are protected from the reasons Abba Father doesn’t want us to eat unclean or reasons He provides nap time for His kids such as Sabbath. 

Similarly, just as this nation of the USA is imploring everyone to cooperate with the President’s instructions to stay at home and other guidelines designed to benefit us, community cooperation is critical for all of Israel as well, otherwise, all the “kids” (as well as the lost, lawless world) will suffer the consequences of breaking the ultimate President’s (God’s) instructions (Numbers 15:22-41). How could China know about eating clean and the dangers in not doing so if no one explains it to them and shows them in Scripture? Do they even have Bibles? You see my point, hopefully. Having come into such good news, such truth, we are called to be the light to all the nations. By living it and encouraging a lifestyle of holy, clean living, we are loving God and loving others – preventing pandemics and potential eternal death apart from knowing the God of Israel.

May His Spirit of Holiness cause us to reflect on such spiritual truths during this unprecedented “time-out” of cleanliness and rest while recognizing our need to be set free from and come out of the dark, come out proverbial Egypt/Babylon.

For further study, I invite you to explore the following video and articles:

Intentional vs Unintentional Sin, watch this detailed video.

One Law For All

Walk Like An Egyptian

Shalom and blessings!

False Teachings Spreading Fast During Coronavirus

In recent days, I have seen various social media posts and videos spreading false teachings all in the Name of Jesus during this coronavirus pandemic. I wanted to take a few moments to remind readers that the Holy Spirit will never speak against God’s Holy documented voice found in the Bible. So as you come across various voices online and in person, be aware there is a spiritual, highly-contagious virus spreading during this coronavirus pandemic that you need to spiritually distance yourself from. Let’s go over some important truths that apply to this plague as well as other events like hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, war, etc.

  1. God does not change, we do. He was the same yesterday as He is today. He and His nature were the same thousands of years ago as He is today and will be tomorrow. In other words, truth is absolute and does not change or it was never truth from the start. Some “prophetic” voices with large followers are teaching God changed how He operates since the cross. Let’s look to see what God says about Himself and how He operates then and now.

“For I am the LORD, I do not change…” Malachi 3:6

“God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken and will He not make it good?” Numbers 23:19

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines…” Hebrews 13:8-9

2. Some are quoting passages like Psalm 91, Isaiah 54’s “No weapon formed against you shall prosper” as well as quoting 1 John 4:17-19 while glazing over critical contextual elements connected to these blessings as a means to thwart this plague from affecting them. I have another article called “Community Spread | Community Cooperation” addressing Psalm 91 and Isaiah 54, but wanted to touch on the quote from 1 John 4. The entire book of 1st John describes true love as obeying God’s commands. The author reiterates over and over again that you can distinguish those who are authentic believers abiding in God verses those who aren’t by who is and isn’t cheerfully, willfully obeying God’s laws, which ultimately defines how to love God and others (to list a few: 1 John 3:4, 7, 10, 22, 24, 4:12, 20, 21; 5:3). In fact, 1 John 3:4 defines sin as those who break God’s laws. So by the time the author arrives up to the verses being commonly quoted during this pandemic in 1 John 4:17-19, it is understood that believers do not have to be afraid of God’s judgment because they are operating in perfect love by being living sacrifices laying down their flesh to a lifestyle of loving obedience to God’s commands, which ultimately loves God and others. This is why we don’t have to fear. It has nothing to do with other circumstances and isn’t a magic charm to protect you from God’s discipline or judgment. Conversely, it would be more enlightening and productive to quote 1 John 3:22 in regards to this pandemic:

“And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight.” I John 3:22

Furthermore, the verses to follow the misquoted passage of “There is no fear in love” yet again how God defines love as obeying His commands and why we need not fear (see 1 John 5:3). We need not fear because we are obeying God’s commands, which are pretty easy and hopefully, most Christians are doing without even thinking about it. If you aren’t obeying God, well then you are not being perfected in love and yes, you should fear very much.

3. God is always in control and Creator, who often sends and/or allows what we perceive as evil, unfortunate, or bad to judge, discipline, mature, and potentially bless His people depending on their cooperation as well as make Himself clearly known and seen. This is 2020 afterall. A timely year to adjust all of our vision to focus on God!

Furthermore, God intentionally sends or allows disease, war/captivity, famine, or “natural” disasters or “acts of God” like earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, tornadoes, various storms, etc. as a means to judge, discipline, test and or mature people- namely, those who believe in Him, as well as to get people where He needs them to be for His purposes and glory. He even creates and allow such disasters to bless people! From the beginning of the Bible to the end, the top 4 events the LORD intentionally sends is: disease, war/captivity, famine, and ravaging beasts (Leviticus 26; Deuteronomy 28-30; Read the various books of the Prophets; Book of Job; Matthew 24-26; Luke 21; Revelation 6-11) . Moreover, He creates and allows such events as a means to make Himself known to those who don’t know Him and/or those who claim to know Him, but refuse to listen and obey Him, or to mature and bless those who do intimately know Him, His word, and obey it.

So please stop spreading the lie that this virus cannot be from God and is the doing of Satan. Why would we as worshipers of the One True Living God give Satan so much power, credit, and glory? Please, for the sake of everyone, and especially yourselves, stop spreading such spiritual viruses and instead study the following passages as a few examples while remembering even Satan had and still has to get permission from God to have any power on this earth (Job 1:6-12) so regardless, such events are still from God while others like Satan or King Nebuchadnezzar (Jeremiah 43:10-13) do God’s bidding.

“I am the LORD, and there is no other; There is no God besides Me; I will gird you, though you have not known Me, that they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting, that there is none besides Me. I am the LORD, and there is no other; I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the LORD, do all these things.” Isaiah 45:5-7

“But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. Now, therefore, do not be afraid..” Genesis 50:20-21

“But the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not let the children of Israel go.” Exodus 11:20

“Thus Israel saw the great work which the LORD had done in Egypt; so the people feared the LORD, and believed the LORD and His servant Moses.” Exodus 14:31

“I will walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people..But if you do not obey Me, and do not observe all these commandments, and if you despise My judgments, so that you do not perform all My commandments, but break My covenant, I also will do this to you: I will even appoint terror over you, wasting disease and fever which shall consume…I will set My face against you, and you shall be defeated by your enemies…Then, if you walk contrary to Me, and are not willing to obey Me, I will bring on you seven more plagues, according to your sins….when I have cut off your supply of bread…I will lay your cities waste…” Leviticus 26

“But I will spare a few of their men from the sword, from famine, and from pestilence, that they may declare all their abominations among the Gentiles wherever they go. Then they shall know that I am the LORD.” Ezekiel 12:16

3. Contrary to the teachings of many false prophets and teachers, God still judges or chastens people – particularly His own. To not do so, would be a neglectful Father. Believers have a stricter judgment than non-believers, because we intentionally or unintentionally vainly bear His name (see Ten Commandments- Exodus 20:7), which means we do not represent Him as we ought to a dying, dark world. Tough love is still true love. Additionally, in the end, we all will be judged for everything we have done. So please do not fall for the blatant lie that we no longer will be held accountable nor have to repent ever again for our behavior (upon believing Jesus died on the cross) for God says otherwise over and over again. In addition to the following examples, read all of Hebrews 10.

“For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?” 1 Peter 4:17

“For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment…” (then why do you think you will not be judged too?) 2 Peter 2:4

” ‘My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.’ If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons.” Hebrews 12:5-8

“For whom the LORD loves He corrects, just as a father the son in whom he delights.” Proverbs 3:12

“For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ…So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.” Romans 14:11-12

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Knowing therefore, the terror of the LORD, we persuade men..” 2 Corinthians 5:10-11

“Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent…He who overcomes…and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life..” Revelation 3:3-5 (Why is Jesus telling believers to repent if they aren’t held accountable after believing in Him? And why is He threatening to remove believers from the Book of Life if they fail to change their behavior?)

“And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give every one according to his work.” Revelation 22:12

Lastly, if you want to pray Psalm 91 over you and your household or annoint one another or your home, fine, please do so. However, in the event this plague does come to your household, despite your prayers or even your diligent obedient faith, please do not get frustrated with God since a plethora of false “prophetic” voices promised you otherwise reading the idols of your heart or telling you what you want to hear as they did in Jeremiah and Ezekiel’s day too possibly further provoking God’s discipline on themselves and others (read Jeremiah 14, 20, 23, 28-30; Ezekiel 13-14). Instead, trust the Father’s intention for you and your loved ones and ask Him what those intentions are – How is He using this virus in 2020 to remove specks from our eyes? He told His people over and over again (in the Bible) after declaring the above mentioned judgments, He has a plan in it all (Jeremiah 29) and also, through this trying time, let us remember Romans 8:28.

May shalom fill your heart and home during this pandemic and others events to come. Trust God.