This week I have been pondering authentic worship and how what much of we label worship or honoring our faith is grossly offensive to God or so I have discovered in this 3 year ‘wilderness’ journey of traveling to different lands while engrossed in His Word. For example, Christians proclaiming ‘Jesus Is the Reason For the (Christmas) Season’ while celebrating, feasting, developing worship services, cantatas, etc all in His Name is no different than the Israelites of the wilderness fashioning the golden calf, celebrating, feasting, worshipping, saying it is all about and for Yahweh (Exodus 32). From beginning to the end of the Bible, God is clear.. He is a jealous, non-tolerant, holy, set apart, One True Living God who has specific terms of worship and does not share with other gods, nor desires us to take pagan practices such as decorating our homes with Christmas trees, etc, while slapping His Name on it in attempts to justify our desires nor does God instruct anyone to celebrate His Son’s birthday, much less on an inaccurate day with an inaccurate story surrounding it (i.e. the wise men didn’t travel to a manger nor met a baby Matt 2:11-nor did they give gifts to each other but to Jesus), but He does instruct us to celebrate many other holidays (see Leviticus 23).
He doesn’t redeem people just so they can continue being proverbial Egypt. He doesn’t lead us with His Holy Spirit just so we can remain unholy. We cannot take other gods or mingling pagan practices while slapping God’s name on it deceiving ourselves and those around us pretending we are honoring God. We cannot keep participating in darkness while convincing ourselves it is light whatever it may be.
We are designed by our Creator to worship, to rejoice, to feast, to celebrate, to fellowship, but we are not to fashion idols with proven historical origins in other gods under the guise of faith. Perhaps by being so eager to celebrate a non-prescribed holiday founded on fallacies wrapped in Jesus’ Name, in doing so we have proven we are no different than the forgetful, ungrateful, rebellious Israelites hungry or desperately impatient of a visible prescence of a Messiah type of leader like Moses up on the mountain for what may have felt like forever. So instead of actually doing what God tells us to do, we make up what we think is right in our own eyes while waiting for His return. We are not permitted to worship or celebrate Him however we see fit, no matter how sincere we may be for IF it is not how He defines worship, we are sincerely wrong (Deut 12; Jeremiah 10; 1 Cor 10:14-22; 2 Cor 6:11-7:1; Eph 5:1-21). Regardless of our intentions, we can still celebrate and worship in a false, unholy spirit.
Disciples or followers of Jesus/Yeshua the Messiah are called to be worshipers of His Holy Spirit and His truth (John 4:23-24), fulfilling His laws as He is the Lawgiver and teaching others to do the same (Matthew 5:14-19;28:19-20; Gen 49:9-10; Isaiah 2, 51; James 4). His instructions are not suggestions nor dissolved because we want to do it our way verses Yah’s way.. What law is like that? None. His boundaries are designed to reveal more of Himself to us, how He longs to be worshipped, as well as how we can love Him and others.
We cannot be the light as He was if we continue to participate in darkness no matter how many times we use His Name in vain. We cannot be set-apart people while apart of the culture that so easily entangles.
Jesus the Messiah, the Creator, is not just the reason for *every* season, but He is the reason for our redemption and resurrection from “Egypt”, “Babylon”, worldly, Gentile, common, unclean, unholy ways having the veil, the mask removed and being transformed each day in every season into His likeness, His creation, His worshipers of Spirit and Truth.
His redemption and resurrection are what we are commanded to remember and celebrate. There is a horribly amazing purification process that transpires from being redeemed to being resurrected…from entering The Promised Land. It’s not just about re-examining practices such as Christmas, but all areas of our lives. Come out of her, My people…lest you also share in her plagues. It’s not too late till it is.
After a day of eating gluten in various meals and snacks combined with winds blowing knee-high fields of ragweed, I recently suffered all night with gasping nasal congestion, an ongoing battle that I’ve been trying to discern the source. For months, while suffering from such consequences not understanding what I am allergic to, whispers within said things like “gluten” and “stop eating bread”, much to my dismay. While I realize there are many things I most definitely are allergic to here in Texas, namely their large bladed grass and fields of ragweed for sure, I could not image bread being an adversity. Nevertheless, neither essential oils, allergy pills, nasal spray, nor any other remedy relieved the pain and inconvenience this particular night nor many others in the past.
While trying to breath and hopefully drift off to sleep those wee small hours of the morning, that still small voice of Abba Father instructed me to intercede in prayer for “your country”. He said, “Pray for President Trump, California, New York, Mexico”, at which time I almost interjected informing God Mexico is not technically my country, but decided to not interupt my Heavenly Father when He is speaking – something my Earthly father taught me well. Abba concluded with interceding for “Alabama” in addition to the previous mentioned states though I know not why. He also lovingly informed me I need to educate myself about national and political matters so I will be able to more effectively pray this nation. I confess I avoid following politics unlike my husband who seems obsessed with such affairs. After praying, I managed to drift off asleep briefly, but have learned sleepless nights are opportunities to listen and pray or perhaps to listen and obey. So the next time you find yourself sleepless unable to breathe, consider it may be a good time to let God breathe something in and through you instead.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, according to popular culture, but is it really? Surely you have heard, “Jesus is the reason for the season”. In reality though that is far from the truth. It could be more accurately stated as the holiday we justify using Jesus’ name in vain for capital gain.
Numerous years ago, before being Spirit-filled, much less led by the Spirit to go where He says to go, and to say what He says to say, I had been leary of Christmas and it’s ridiculous traditions, much of which are designed to commercialize the name of Jesus while promoting lies and pagan rituals. When my sons were small I refused to deceive them into thinking Santa brought them gifts for I could not understand why any parent or Christian would lie to their children only for them to be disappointed at a later age – not to mention learn not to trust their own parents. Such “traditions” directly contradict the simply stated commandment which reads, “Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices .” Colossians 3:9 (NIV) as well as many other Scriptures with similar sentiments. Nevertheless, I still proceeded with all the other typical traditions – mostly to go with the flow of everyone else.
Later, when I researched the origins of Christmas, I was not only surprised to learn it’s pagan history, but I was surprised to learn Christmas was illegal in early United States history for early settlers believed Christmas to be a Satanic, unholy custom:
For the preventing of disorders, arising in several places within this jurisdiction by reason of some still observing such festivals as were superstitiously kept in other communities, to the great dishonour of God and offense of others. It is therefore ordered by this court and the authority thereof that whosoever shall be found observing any such day as Christmas or the like — either by forbearing labour, feasting or any other way, upon any such account as aforesaid, every such person so offending shall pay for every such offense five shilling as a fine to the county. Massachusetts Bay Colony, 1659.
as well as a second notice, which reads:
The observation of Christmas having been deemed a sacrilege, the exchanging of Gifts and Greetings, dressing in Fine Clothing, Feasting and similar Satanical Practices are hereby FORBIDDEN with the Offender liable to a Fine of Five Shillings.
In fact, did you know the origins of Christmas actually have nothing to do with the birth of Christ Jesus, but rather have everything to do with the Roman pagan festival known as ‘Saturnalia’? According to the History Channel’s History.com site,
“Saturnalia, held in mid-December, is an ancient Roman pagan festival honoring the agricultural god Saturn. Saturnalia celebrations are the source of many of the traditions we now associate with Christmas.
Saturnalia, the most popular holiday on the ancient Roman calendar, derived from older farming-related rituals of midwinter and the winter solstice, especially the practice of offering gifts or sacrifices to the gods during the winter sowing season.
The Christian holiday of Christmas, especially, owes many of its traditions to the ancient Roman festival, including the time of year Christmas is celebrated…by the fourth century A.D., Western Christian churches settled on celebrating Christmas on December 25, which allowed them to incorporate the holiday with Saturnalia and other popular pagan midwinter traditions. ” Saturnalia, History.com
Did you also know the pagan holiday known as Saturnalia has been described by other sources likened to Mardi Gras with no morals, drunkenness, orgies, and other lawless activities? Did you know the reason we give gifts during Christmas isn’t because of the wise men, but rather because gift-giving was a custom of Saturnalia where the Romans gave one another gifts representing human sacrifices originally given to the temple god, Saturn?
“On the last day of Saturnalia celebrations, known as the Sigillaria, many Romans gave their friends and loved ones small terracotta figurines known as signillaria, which may have referred back to older celebrations involving human sacrifice.” Saturnalia, History.com
I strongly encourage you to research the origins of Christmas and Saturnalia as article after article I read portrayed nothing but pagan practices later repackaged as ‘Christmas’.
I know what you may be thinking, perhaps you are thinking, ‘Well, that’s not what it means to me, Carrie. It’s just a nice tradition my family has been doing for years…’
In my opinion, customs or traditions, which could also be known as doctrines of men, are acceptable so long as they do not violate certain parameters:
The tradition or doctrine cannot contradict God’s word, His written voice and instructions for our lives.
The tradition or doctrine cannot have pagan origins glorifying other gods or pagan practices that encourage violating God’s word.
The tradition or doctrine cannot supercede God’s word.
While the beautiful lights decorating homes are alluring, in addition to singing famous Christmas songs, as well being bedazzled by Christmas trees of various creative themes, these practices are designed to delight our senses. These sensual festivities on the surface seem harmless, but the fact is, they violate all three of the parameters above. We’ve already discussed their pagan origins, now check out what God’s word says about participating in pagan, Gentile practices. The prophet, Jeremiah scribes in Jeremiah 10, what sure does sound like a Christmas tree, a wooden idol:
“Hear the word which the Lord speaks to you, O house of Israel.
2 Thus says the Lord:
‘Do not learn the way of the Gentiles; Do not be dismayed at the signs of heaven, For the Gentiles are dismayed at them. 3 For the customs of the peoples are futile; For one cuts a tree from the forest, The work of the hands of the workman, with the ax. 4 They decorate it with silver and gold; They fasten it with nails and hammers So that it will not topple. 5 They are upright, like a palm tree, And they cannot speak; They must be carried, Because they cannot go by themselves. Do not be afraid of them, For they cannot do evil, Nor can they do any good.’
6Inasmuch as there is none like You, O Lord (You are great, and Your name is great in might), 7 Who would not fear You, O King of the nations? For this is Your rightful due. For among all the wise men of the nations, And in all their kingdoms, There is none like You. 8 But they are altogether dull-hearted and foolish; A wooden idol is a worthless doctrine. 9 Silver is beaten into plates; It is brought from Tarshish, And gold from Uphaz, The work of the craftsman And of the hands of the metalsmith; Blue and purple are their clothing; They are all the work of skillful men. 10 But the Lord is the true God; He is the living God and the everlasting King. At His wrath the earth will tremble, And the nations will not be able to endure His indignation….
25 Pour out Your fury on the Gentiles, who do not know You ..”
Whether you realized it or not, the custom of dragging a dead tree in your home is establishing a wooden idol and participating in pagan practices. I have heard others preach you are even offering sacrifices/gifts to it when you kneel down and place them under the tree, unknowingly.
According to an article titled ‘All about the Christmas Tree: Pagan Origins, Christian Adaptation, and Secular Status’ on religioustolerance.org, “During the Roman celebration of the feast of Saturnalia, Pagans did decorate their houses with clippings of evergreen shrubs. They also decorated living trees with bits of metal and replicas of their god, Bacchus.”
In numerous passages, the LORD says to not adopt the traditions or customs of the pagan Gentiles. As believers in Jesus, or Yeshua, in His Hebrew original name, we are apart of Israel spiritually, regardless of your physical DNA, according to Scripture, a type of adopted Israelite (Galatians 3:26-29; Romans 11), no longer identified as a Gentile, but having been born-again, having crossed-over, which is what ‘Hebrew’ means, we are a new creation in Him…no longer a pagan Gentile. To learn more, read https://flipflopfellowship.com/2019/04/23/walk-like-an-egyptian/
“And you shall know that I am the LORD; for you have not walked in My statutes nor executed My judgments, but have done according to the customs of the Gentiles which are all around you.” Ezekiel 12:12 (NKJV)
“So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; 19 and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. 20 But you did not learn Christ in this way, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, 22 that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, 23 and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. ” Ephesians 4:17-24
For me, in recent years, I avoid any resemblance of participating in the typical Christmas traditions like exchanging gifts, decorating trees, etc. for I now understand they violate God’s word, His call to be set-apart, and similar to Halloween, have pagan origins. But I welcome opportunities to spend time with family and friends such as sharing a meal similar to Thanksgiving around or on Christmas Day (unless exchanging of gifts will be present – pun intended). 😉 Even so, my parents still give me something for Christmas, but they would be highly offended if I refused to graciously receive them. So I have discerned for the sake of love, to pick and choose my battles. Being set-apart is designed to make you be a light to the world, not an explosive bomb, although it will most likely shake things up!
Being set-apart is designed to make you be a light to the world, not an explosive bomb, although it will most likely shake things up!
Furthermore, throughout the year, I celebrate God’s holy holidays prescribed in the Bible (see Leviticus 23, as one passage discussing them), since they are commanded, prophetic, and centered on our Messiah, Jesus/Yeshua. It is believed, but not proven, based off clues found in Scripture, Jesus may actually have been born during the ‘Feast of Tabernacles’, the final Fall feast known in Hebrew as ‘Sukkot’. It also is speculated for those same reasons, Jesus most likely was conceived during or near Hanukkah. In addition to God’s holy holidays, I also celebrate the tradition of Hanukkah since it meets the parameters discussed above, though that holiday is not commanded to celebrate like the others. However, even Jesus celebrated Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights or Feast of Dedication (see John 10:22-23).
Keep in mind, coming to such observances was a long process of cooperating with the Spirit of Holiness dwelling within me for He specializes in removing the unholy and replacing it with holy, hence, God labeling His Spirit, the Holy Spirit. I respect your decision to celebrate Christmas even if you still choose to do so now knowing it’s pagan origins and what I believe are contradictions to God’s word. I hope you too can respect me as I choose to no longer celebrate Christmas.
To learn more about God’s holidays, Hanukkah, and my perspective regarding other holidays, click on the following links for various articles or videos I have published.
“Create In Me A Clean Heart” seemed to be an appropriate song for Yom Kippur, this Day of Atonement. Thank You, Yeshua/Jesus, our Messiah, for shedding your blood and providing us Your Holy Spirit to justify us, to seal us, and disinfect the unholiness from our hearts. ❤
This year was the first time my husband and I formerly celebrated this holy holiday prescribed by Abba Father (G-d) in a Messianic Jewish congregation setting. To learn more about why those in covenant with Abba honor Him and His holy holidays as a natural Israelite or spiritual-grafted-in Israelite (Romans 9-11), read Leviticus 23:23-25 and Numbers 29:1-6. Also, in the newer testament or the back of the Bible, we can easily see the connections between the significance of the trumpet blasts, or blasts of the shofar (a ram’s horn used as a trumpet in ancient times) and the return of our Messiah Yeshua!
Last year in 2018 while still living in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, we practiced the tradition of throwing stones, or in our case seashells, into the sea to symbolize the casting away our past sins forevermore. The Jewish tradition to do so comes from the passage in Micah 7:18-20. To see more about that special event, which also included blasting away Hurricane Florence at the time, while divinely running into a man from New Jersey I led to the Lord the first time out at Myrtle Beach a year and a half prior, click on this YouTube video called “Shofar So Good”. I still can’t believe Abba orchestrated for me to run into this man the first and last time on the beaches of Myrtle Beach, in the same spot, but a year and a half apart! That was surely a G-d thing!!
This Yom Teruah, also known as Feast of Trumpets in English, or Rosh Hashanah, Head of the New Year, a Jewish phrase capturing this celebration, we attended and participated in a special service at the Messiah Jewish congregation we faithfully attend here in Texas. In addition to the delicious food, dancing, and shofar blasts, I was blessed to sing with our worship team and read the famous Scripture regarding Yeshua’s return and us being raised from the dead or changed in a twinkling of an eye!
I was overjoyed by this celebration service of the shofar blasting. This holy holiday has many layers, depths, and prophetic implications. To get a basic overview of this feast from a Messianic perspective, feel free to watch my brief video and footage of this event and my thoughts.
Here is the itinerary of our service reflecting the songs and Scripture read. I encourage you to download this picture for yourself to read the following passages.
Overall, I had a blast celebrating this soon to be fulfilled holiday when Yeshua our Messiah returns to rule and reign at the last blast of the shofar!
(Recorded Sep 17 – 19, 2019) In just 3 hours, Imelda went from an invest to a tropical storm dropping approximately 40 inches of rain in the Houston, Galveston, Beaumont, Texas region. Carrie and Jerry share with you a day in the life of living and working on yachts during this harrowing tropical storm. In this lengthy video covering three days, you will find some concerning moments mingled with Christian principles as well as comical relief.
On August 14th, I penned about a dream I had of a storm coming. Then 10 days ago I blogged about a storm is brewing…Even so, I did not expect Tropical Storm Imelda would actually manifest let alone drop 40 plus inches of rain despite the prophetic warnings. I suppose somethings you hope will not unfold.
Imelda went from being just an invest with only a 20% chance of developing into a cyclone to a tropical storm in 3 hours! Talk about “rapid intensification”! The first two days of the three day ordeal was no big deal other than lots of rain, but after ongoing rain and then thinking she moved to the east, Imelda released her wrath on Day 3 causing catastrophic flooding in the Houston, Galveston, and Beaumont metropolitan areas. I am in the process of uploading a video capturing our experience. For now, I wanted to publicly report we are fine. Afterall, our “home” floats! But many have not been so blessed. Tonight, as you rest in your dry homes, pray for those with with wet homes and cheeks.
I also found it interesting this verse of Isaiah 43:2 is 234 backwards, the number I have consistently seen since moving to Texas. A prophetic YouTube subscriber emailed me this same verse a few weeks ago on August 7th pointing out the 234 in this ominous verse. The numbers…the dream…the verse…the timing of the dream and emailed verse and then the storm. The Lord speaks in mysterious ways…if only we’d pay attention.