Holy Holidays: Why I Celebrate The Feasts of the LORD

While most Americans celebrate Christmas and Easter, even if they are not particularly religious, I have slowly transitioned away from celebrating the common holidays of our society to celebrating God’s holy holidays known as the ‘Feasts of the LORD’. The catalyst in doing so was albeit a slow one…

How I Came To Celebrate God’s Holy Holidays

I remember as a young girl hearing about someone who didn’t celebrate Christmas or other holidays because they were Jehovah’s Witness, but never gave it much thought other than, “Humm, that’s weird.”  Close to twenty years later though, when my boys were small in the early 2000’s, I was careful never to deceive them into believing in a fictional character that stalks children named Santa Claus. After all, Jesus was the reason for the season – or so I thought. Moreover, now that I had kids, I felt like I should be able to explain why we do what we do even though they weren’t asking just yet!

Being a nerd at heart, I went digging on the world wide web for answers. While I was surprised to learn many of the holidays’ had pagan origins, nothing particularly struck me as evil or caused me to think I really shouldn’t celebrate these, rather it just added to my overall unexplainable Scrooge like perspective on most holidays – except Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving has been my favorite holiday for no apparent reason other than the great food and company and of course, the general concept of being thankful! Much later in my life, I learned the Pilgrims’ Thanksgiving Feast was replicating the Feasts of Tabernacles…No wonder I love Thanksgiving! 😉 Whereas, it was obvious to me that most other holidays like Valentine’s Day, Easter, and Christmas were just great marketing ploys to further the economy and cause people to go unnecessarily into debt!

One particular day though, while visiting my mom (and waiting on her before we went somewhere), I was thumbing through a Bible when I stumbled upon Jeremiah 10, which certainly grabbed my attention.

“Hear the word which the LORD speaks to you, O Israel. Thus says the LORD, ‘Do not learn the way of the Gentiles..For the customs of the people are futile; for one cuts a tree from the forest..they decorate it with silver and gold; they fasten it with nails and hammers so it will not topple..’ ” Jeremiah 10:1-4

I felt pricked in the heart and even showed the passage to my mom. “Mom, doesn’t this sound like a Christmas tree?” She agreed it did sound like that, but neither of us knew how to reconcile our common and well-accepted tradition to this peculiar truth. Naturally, like most Christians, we brushed it off and went about our day. Tradition trumped truth because we simply didn’t know better.

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If you want to download your own, click here: https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/gods-holy-day-plan-the-promise-of-hope-for-all-mankind

Later, sometime in 2010-2011 time frame, I interviewed for a Property Manager job in Philadelphia, about 2 hours from home at that time. The apartment community was owned and managed by Orthodox Jews so they informed me due to their religious holidays (the Feasts of the LORD) there are many days the company and leasing offices are closed typically in September as well as other days throughout the year. Due to deciding not to relocate to Philadelphia, I turned down the job. Nevertheless, the testimony of those faithful Jews inspired me all these years later to also honor Abba Father by not working and not having my subcontractors work on God’s Holy Holidays either (Exodus 20:10; Deuteronomy 5:14).

In 2011 somehow a YouTube TV show popped up on my laptop called ‘Beyond Today’, a program produced by United Church of God. I watched the program in its entirety and it was then I was introduced to the “Feasts of the LORD”. I even downloaded a free packet published by the group and printed it on my color printer. To this day, I reference that packet usually around the prescribed feast days as there is still so much to absorb.

Meanwhile, I had previously attended a charismatic church where a Jewish man and his wife, who believed in Jesus as the Messiah, attended. Through him, I saw a shofar as he introduced it to the church as well a prayer shawl. He and his wife even orchestrated the church’s first seder dinner, all of which I found fascinating. I kept the Seder Haggadah that was handed out to each of us attending for I found it enriching and interesting. The Haggadah basically means “telling” the Passover story. 20190503_123427 It, like the ‘Feast of the LORD’ packet, went into a special “spiritual ” container bin where I kept various notes from sermons, encouraging cards given to me, and anything meaningful and religious in nature. Over the years, I would on occasion read through these materials casually pondering these mysterious feasts.

You may recall, in 2014, the Blood Red Moons were all the rage in the media and especially certain Evangelical circles because they corresponded with the “Jewish Feasts” and seemed prophetic in nature. It was around this time, I was introduced to Jim Staley’s teachings on YouTube. Again, somehow his videos just manifested. Consequently, I found myself listening to eye opening and puzzling teachings over and over again trying to decipher all the foreign, yet oddly familiar or comforting, concepts he would share. I enjoyed listening to his teachings as not only is he an excellent teacher, which I admired as one who had formerly taught computers, but what he so passionately shared with his audience brought a peculiar peace, a settling shalom to my vexed soul (another story for another time). While I hadn’t particularly changed my normal Christian lifestyle to be anything Hebrew or Jewish related at the time, the truths he shared most definitely got me seeking the word and God in pursuit of truth and understanding. In my humble opinion, anyone who causes me to seek the Father’s heart by digging more in His word for myself is a winner!

A couple of years later, in 2016, God spoke to me through a dream and directly to my husband (in his mind/heart), the same day informing us we were to sell our home of 10 years, give away or sell most of our belongings, and go where He says to go and do whatever He says to do. Much like the Israelites did when they left Egypt, we were leaving proverbial “Egypt”. We understood we would be mobile and dependent on Him following His proverbial cloud and fire. Although a seemingly unusual call at the time, Abba (Father God) confirmed it to us through another unknowing soul. At the church we “randomly” attended that day, a pastor was preaching, looked at us directly, and almost verbatim said what the Lord spoke to us earlier that morning! Shortly after getting the message from the Spirit we were to relocate, although we had no idea where to at the time,  I heard God whisper to me in my being that we need to list the house during the Feast of Tabernacles that year. Honestly, I was like, “What? The Feast of Tabernacles? When is that? And Why then?”20190503_123446 So I went to my super “spiritual” bin to dig out that packet I printed 5 years earlier to look up the Feast of Tabernacles. It even had a chart outlining the various dates of the feasts for years to come. So at that point in my life, I could see the Feast of Tabernacles would be rapidly approaching as it was only a couple of weeks away according to my saved packet. I verified the dates on the internet and then presented this weird word to my husband, who amazingly, was like, “OK, let’s do it!” After we indeed listed the house on the last day of Feast of Tabernacles, which I didn’t know then is the “8th day” of the feast and means “New Beginnings”, I got another word from the LORD telling me the house will sell in April, but write it down in my journal (I journal often) so I wouldn’t doubt hearing Him. Sure enough the house sold in April of 2017.

Little did I know then, what I know now about the Feast of Tabernacles and the other Feasts nor how much He would incorporate that particular feast into our journey (see our story ‘Walk His Way’). Although, if there is one thing I have learned over the years, it is this: There is always more to learn in Yahweh – after all, it’s not my way, but Yah’s way!

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Here are Three Reasons Why I Celebrate The Feasts of Yahweh:

1. Not Just Jewish

With all that said, first, I have learned that these feasts described in various passages of the Old and New Testament are NOT just “Jewish feasts”, but rather, like Leviticus 23:1 says they are “The feasts of the LORD, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts.” In other words, this isn’t something the Jewish people invented nor are these holy holidays just for the Jewish people, but they are for all who believe in the One True God. (To learn more about that subject, check out the article I penned called ‘One Law For All’). We even celebrate the Feasts, God’s appointed times, in the millenium reign of Christ (Ezekiel 45:18-25; 46:9,11; Zechariah 14:16-21). To learn more about the Feasts of the LORD, here are a few passages to read: Leviticus 23; Exodus 23:14-19; Deuteronomy 16; 2 Chronicles 29-30; Nehemiah 8-10; Matthew 24:30-31; Matthew 26:2,17-30; Mark 14; Luke 22; John 4:45; John 7; John 10:22-23 {refers to Hanukkah, not a prescribed Feast of YHVH, but one even Jesus celebrated, evidently}; John 12:1, 12-13, 20 {notice Greeks worshiped at the Feast of Passover too} Acts 2; 18:21; 1 Corinthians 5:7.

http___www.messianictrust.org.uk_kids-pesach_images_TheAfikomen
The unleavened bread is wrapped in the afikomen (linen) just as Jesus / Yeshua’s sinless body was wrapped in linen in His burial.

2. Prophetic In Nature

Secondly, each of the seven feasts are prophetic in nature and reveal profound truths about the Messiah and God’s ultimate true love story. The Spring Feasts being Passover, Unleavened Bread, and Firstfruits were fulfilled when Jesus, or Yeshua in His actual Hebrew name, became the Passover Lamb slaughtered on actual Passover, His unleavened (sinless) body broken and buried in the tomb during Unleavened Bread like the seder dinner tradition of the afikomen, where the unleavened bread is wrapped in linen just as Jesus was, and He rose again on the feast of Firstfruits, which is why the Apostle Paul refers to Jesus as a type of firstfruits being the first to be resurrected (I Corinthians 15:20). Yahsome, right?!

The final Spring/Summer feast, is Shavuot also known as the ‘Feast of Weeks’ or Pentecost. It’s been said in Jewish interpretation or tradition that the the law of God was given on Mount Sinai, and we know later, on the same day, the Holy Spirit was given (see Acts 2). As a side note, reconcile the possibility that both the law or Torah of God AND the Spirit were given to His people the same day just centuries apart. Why? Because the Spirit writes the Torah on our hearts eventually causing us to walk it out, or live that lifestyle, just as the Living Torah, Jesus lived (see Hebrews 8:8-10; Jeremiah 31:31-33; Ezekiel 36:27). The Holy Spirit or put another way, the Spirit of Holiness was given as a gift of grace to pay the debt for not obeying Torah while helping us be able to do so..to overcome sin and death, the consequence of breaking Torah (I John 3; Romans 3:23; 6:23)…not to earn our salvation, but BECAUSE He first loved us, we will want to love Him and others the way He defines love and holiness in His Torah, the ultimate love letter. Isn’t God genius?!

Lastly, the final 3 feasts being Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement/Yom Kippur, and Feast of Tabernacles that occur each Fall are yet to be fulfilled. Many believe, including myself, that these Fall feasts will be fulfilled at our Messiah’s second coming when He returns as a ferocious mighty Lion verses the gentle, servantly Lamb He cames as the first time here on Earth.

3. Required & Set Apart

http___www.thejoshlink.com_7Feasts2Thirdly, I celebrate the Feasts because I understand as a believer of the One True God, YHVH, and His Son, Yeshua, the Messiah, I am apart of Israel…I am an Israelite, a child of God called to be a light and set apart from the world (Isaiah 49:6; Matthew 5:14; John 8:12; Psalm 119:105-106; Ephesians 5:7-14) and consequently, I recognize and want to submit to God’s authority. Because my Abba Father commands, not suggests, we celebrate His Holy Holidays, the Feasts, as His kid, I’m going to comply to His household rules or put another way as a citizen of the commonwealth of Israel, I’m going to comply to His nation’s or kingdom’s laws. Such concepts of believers actually being either native-Israelites and others grafted-in Israelites, formerly known as rebellious wayward Gentiles, may be a foreign way to be identified, but alas, it is ‘The Way” and important you understand your true identity in Him. To learn more about your identity and responsibilities as a believer, read ‘‘Walk Like An Egyptian?’ and ‘One Law For All’.

http___i.ytimg.com_vi_T1qTfrtATvA_maxresdefaultFurthermore, it’s no coincidence we have witnessed in our nation, and world in general, people are experiencing an identity crisis, identity theft, the confusion of genders, meanwhile, the issues of illegal immigrants as well as we hear of or read in the news about all the ‘lawlessness’ going on for it all speaks! Remember the Broward County Florida school shooting in 2018? The media kept saying ‘lawlessness’ while ‘the law’ was Sheriff Israel! Can the Ruach HaKodesh/Holy Spirit make it anymore obvious?

The body of Messiah, the church, is experiencing all of the above, the confusion and lawlessness, but could produce fruit that won’t burn up like hay and straw (1 Corinthians 3:12-17) when we not only start to understand who we are, but when we start being worshipers of Spirit (John 3:3-6) and truth (Psalm 119:142,151) like Jesus / Yeshua sought and taught (John 4:23-24) and the Apostles and Messianic Israelites demonstrated in the early days! Watch my brief video teaching ‘Serving The Ekklesia | Don’t Be Afraid’, where I discuss how some Christians are all about the law, but afraid of the Spirit, while others are all about the Spirit, but rebellious towards the law.  When we allow the Spirit to guide us like a GPS while still abiding by the laws of the road, we can finally reach our destination in one accord (Not the Honda! Ha ha!).

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In closing, the feasts are for the most part, joyous celebrations, that we will want to obey upon the Spirit being written on our hearts (Hebrews 8:8-10; Jeremiah 31:31-33; Ezekiel 36:26-27). Ultimately, by celebrating the feasts, we are reflecting on our Messiah and striving to honor our Abba Father; moreover, we are being like Jesus, like Yeshua, the word, the Torah in the flesh for all the world to read. Hopefully, in doing so, the world will also want to come out of the dark and into His marvelous light too!

“They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they were appointed. But you are a chosen generation , a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness and into His marvelous light!” 1 Peter 2:8-9 (NKJV)

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One Law For All

https___bpr.berkeley.edu_wp-content_uploads_2016_04_US-Constitution-elected-officialsDid you know just as each nation has it’s own set of laws, as does the United States of America has a constitution, so does God’s nation or kingdom? God’s kingdom’s constitution is the Torah, His laws found throughout the first five books of the Bible (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy) and repeated throughout the prophets, demonstrated by Jesus / Yeshua, and taught by the Apostles.

Unfortunately, due to Anti-Semitic leaders, starting with the Emperor Constantine, and early church history, poisonous false doctrines of men were handed down throughout the centuries leading Christians away from God’s holy constitution even persecuting Messianic Jews, also called Christians, for honoring the Heavenly Father’s commands.

As time went by, it’s been said that the laws of God were only for the Jews and not Gentiles, meaning anyone not of Jewish descendant. However, we see by studying Scripture this is a false doctrine of demons designed to twist God’s word just as Satan has been doing from the beginning in the Garden of Eden. We see in His word, which is God’s written or recorded voice and will (Deut 30; John 10), also known as ‘The Way’ (Acts 9:2; 19:9; 22:4), that God’s laws were given to not just Jews, but all the 12 tribes of Israel, and anyone who aligned themselves with that faith. Jews is actually a slang term derived from the tribe of Judah. Judah, was one of the 12 children of Jacob (Genesis 35:23-26; Genesis 49), who’s name later was changed to Israel (Genesis 32:28). Abraham, was Jacob/Israel’s grandfather, whom God made a covenant with stating Abraham would have as many descendants as the stars and grains of sand (Genesis 22:15-18). Not by coincidence, this promise was given when Abraham was about to obey God by sacrificing his son, Isaac, but instead God provided a sacrifice, all of which foreshadowed God sacrificing His Son and Lamb, Jesus/ Yeshua, so that Abba Father / God could also have many descendants or children of God through faith in Jesus – as many as the stars and grains of sand! Moreover, we learn when anyone believes in Jesus as the redeemer of their lawlessness/sins and repents of such evil doings in their lives, they become part of the commonwealth of Israel or grafted-in Israelites. All of which validates the message of the first testament stating God’s laws weren’t just for the “native” Israelite but also for the stranger within or those grafted-in or brought into the flock so to speak. Check out these Scriptures:

  • “Then the children of Israel journeyed from Ramses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides children. A mixed multitude went up with them also..” Exodus 12:37-38 (NKJV)
  • One law shall be for the native-born and for the stranger who dwells among you.” Exodus 12:49 (NKJV)
  • “You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations,: either any of your own nation or any stranger who dwells among you.” Leviticus 18:26 (NKJV)
  • “All who are native-born shall do these things…and if a stranger dwells with you, or whoever is among you throughout your generations..One ordinance shall be for you of the assembly and for the stranger who dwells with you, an ordinance forever throughout your generations; as you are, so shall the stranger be before the LORD.” Numbers 15:13-15 (NKJV)
  • “You shall have one law for him who sins unintentionally, for him who is native-born among the children off Israel and for the stranger who dwells among them.”Numbers 15:29 (NKJV)
  • “But the person who does anything presumptuously (intentional sin), whether he is native-born or a stranger, that one brings reproach on the LORD, and he shall be cut off from among his people.” Numbers 15:30 (NKJV)
  • “Do not let the son of a foreigner (not a natural Israelite) who has joined himself to the LORD speak saying, ‘The LORD has utterly separated me from His people’; nor let the eunuch say, ‘Here I am, a dry tree.’ For thus says the LORD: ‘To the eunuchs who keep My Sabbaths, and choose what pleases Me, and hold fast My covenant, even to them I will give in My house and within My walls a place and a name better than that of sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off.” Isaiah 56:3-4 (NKJV)
  • “Also, the sons of the foreigner, who join themselves to the LORD, to serve Him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be His servants – Everyone who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, and holds fast My covenant– even them I will bring to My holy mountain (Zion // Jerusalem), and make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on My altar; for My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.” Isaiah 56:6-7 (NKJV)
  • “Thus says the LORD God: ‘Surely I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel, his companions; and I will join them with it, with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they will be in one in My hand…and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be over them…they shall not defile themselves anymore with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions; but I will deliver them from all their dwelling places in which they have sinned and will cleanse them. Then they shall be My people, and I will be their God.” Ezekiel 37:15-23 (NKJV)
  • “You will say then, ‘Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.’ Well said. Because of unbelief (faith & obedience) they (natural Israelites) were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear (keep God’s laws). For if God did not spare the natural branches (Israelites), He may not spare you either (grafted-in Israelites). Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but towards you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. And they (natural Israelites) also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.” Romans 11:19-23 (NKJV)
  • “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Galatians 3:26-29 (NKJV)
  • “Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh– who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands- that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who were once far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” Ephesians 2:11-13 (NKJV)

And lastly, we see the Book of Revelation describes believers or saints as not just those who believe in Jesus / Yeshua, but who also keep God’s laws, His kingdom constitution. Because in Hebraic culture, verses western interpretations, to believe is to do.

  • “And the dragon (Satan/Anti-Christ) was enraged with the woman (Christ), and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring (Bride of Christ / children of God/ saints / believers), who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Revelation 12:17 (NKJV)
  • “Here is the patience of the saints: here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” Revelation 14:12 (NKJV)

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So you see, dear brothers and sisters, Abba Father’s household rules or kingdom constitution is His Torah, His commandments, His laws, which are eternal (Psalm 119:160). If we say we are of Him, believe in Him, and accepted His amazing grace, we will be given His Spirit of Holiness and will want to submit to His authority, His ways, His will, which are found in His kingdom constitution, the Torah. May we not be like illegal immigrants who want to access our great nation and reap it’s benefits, but refuse to obey its laws.

Shalom and Amen.

What Exactly Did You Repent From?

https___darrellcreswell.files.wordpress.com_2010_10_repent4Many are familiar with the term “repent” particularly us Christians. We’ve heard the term “repent” preached by men behind pulpits or declared from various signs. Many even know repentance means to turn away or to change one’s mind. But what exactly did you repent from, dear Christian?

Those of the Christian faith would proclaim they have repented of their sins. In fact, one classic verse found in the Book of Acts sums up the gospel in one straightforward verse:

“Then Peter said unto them, ‘Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.'”  Acts 2:38 (NKJV)

Likewise, the well-known evangelistic tool, ‘Roman’s Road’, famously outlines verses explaining the need to repent from one’s sins. Several verses found in the Book of Romans essentially state that we all are ‘sinners’ who fall short or miss God’s glorious mark (Romans 3:23). But what is God’s mark and what is this so-called sin we are repenting from in order to experience God’s amazing grace?

What is God’s Mark?

TORAH, which are the first five books of the Bible, in Hebrew means ‘to hit the mark’ or put another way, the ‘instructions’ for life. So to miss the mark is to not honor our Heavenly Father’s instructions found in His Torah. In a different article to come, we can compare God’s mark verse the ‘mark of the Beast’ referred to in the Book of Revelation.

What Is Sin?

According to the inspired word of God, sin is defined as breaking God’s commands…breaking His law…not practicing His ways or being without His laws.

  • “Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.” I John 3:4 (NKJV)
  • “All unrighteousness is sin, and there is sin not leading to death (unintentional sin).” I John 3:17 (NKJV)
  • “In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother.” I John 3:10 (NKJV)
  • “Then it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to observe all these commandments before the LORD our God, as He has commanded us.” Deuteronomy 6:25 (NKJV)
  • “And what other nation is so great as to have such righteous decrees and laws as this body of laws I am setting before you today?” Deuteronomy 4:8 (NIV)

–> Sin = Without God’s Laws // Sin = Lawlessness // Sin = Not Practicing God’s Laws// Sin = Unrighteousness // Righteousness = God’s Laws // Righteousness = Keeping God’s Laws <–

According to Romans 3:20, God’s laws provide us with the knowledge of what is sin. In other words, the laws or commandments of God teach us what is evil. Not that His law is evil, as many have been erroneously led to believe, but breaking His law, His commands is what is evil and likened to rebellion, stubbornness, idolatry and even witchcraft (see 1 Samuel 15:23)! If that isn’t enough to alarm you perhaps the fact that the Anti-Christ or Anti-Messiah is labeled as ‘the lawless one’ will get your attention as to the importance of God’s laws. Also, notice in Matthew 7, believers cried out to the Lord for they prophesied, cast out demons, and did other miracles in His name, and yet the failed to obey God’s laws and were rejected by Jesus. More as to why below…

  • “Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin” Romans 3:20 (NKJV).
  • “Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft, and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols.So because you have rejected the command of the Lord, He has rejected you as king.” I Samuel 15:23
  • “The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan…that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness (sin/lawlessness).” 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12 (NKJV)
  • “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’” -Jesus, Matthew 7:23-24 (NKJV)

http___slideplayer.com_9333856_28_images_24_O.T.+Archery+Terms+Torah+from+Hebrew+word+yareh+which+is+an+archery+term+to+aim+an+arrow+to+hit+a+mark.The following sample of verses tell us God’s laws not only define what God considers evil and those who fail to observe His way/His law as  the lawless or sinners, but the law also teaches us what is good…what is right and is designed for our own benefit.

  • “Therefore, the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.” Romans 7:12
  • “Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would fear Me and always keep all My commandments, that is might be well with them and with their children forever.” Deuteronomy 5:29 (NKJV)
  • ” ‘And the LORD commanded us to observe all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that He might preserve us alive, as it is this day. Then it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to observe all these commandments before the LORD our God, as He has commanded us.’ ” Deuteronomy 6:24-25 (NKJV)

Scripture goes on to tell us God’s laws are not only instructing us as to what is evil verse good, but the laws of God are spiritual whereas mankind is carnal, fleshly, and rebellious to God’s laws. Scripture even defines ‘saints’ as those who not only believe in Jesus, but who keep God’s commandments/laws.

  • “For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin.” Romans 7:14 (NKJV)
  • “and know His will, and approve the things that are excellent, being instructed out of the law..” Romans 2:18 (NKJV)
  • “For I give you good doctrine: Do not forsake my law.” Proverbs 4:2 (NKJV)
  • “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those, who are in the flesh cannot please God.” Romans 8:7-8 (NKJV)
  • “Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith in Jesus.” Revelation 14:12 (also see Rev.12:17)

So, again, I ask, dear Christian, what exactly did you repent from? If you repented, that is changed your mind and lifestyle by turning from sin, then that would mean you changed your mentality, your heart, soul and consequent lifestyle from breaking God’s law.  HalleluYAH!

The Apostle Paul, the author of the Book of Romans, pens these words:

“Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.” Romans 3:31 (NIV)

happypassover (1)Therefore, we can conclude that our faith in Jesus/Yeshua, as the perfect, sinless Passover lamb of God, bled to death on a cross to pay the debt or wages of our lawlessness. As we discovered through various Scriptures, we learn repentance means to stop breaking God’s law…to stop sinning for our circumcised, grateful hearts full of God’s gift of grace will WANT to obey the law, which are God’s commands not suggestions (Deuteronomy 10:12-17; 30:6-10; Romans 2:28-29).

  • “And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live…And you will again obey the voice of the LORD and do all His commandments which I command you today.” Deuteronomy 30:6-8 (NKJV)
  • “but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.” Romans 2:29 (NKJV)
  • “Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would fear Me and always keep all My commandments, that is might be well with them and with their children forever.” Deuteronomy 5:29 (NKJV)
  • “And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments of the LORD and His statutes which I commanded you today for your good? Therefore, circumcise the foreskin of your heart and be stiff-necked no longer.” Deuteronomy 10:12,13,16 (NKJV)

–> Circumcised Heart = To Love God With All Your Heart = Keeping God’s Laws <–

http___3.bp.blogspot.com_-2WIEVeMF7R8_UJhPOfSZoOI_AAAAAAAAGPs_0gMdfZdX96Q_s1600_heart.from+stone+to+flesh.circumcised+heart.gifBut by embracing God’s laws of love found throughout the Torah and repeated in the prophets and demonstrated by Jesus,the lawful one (see Matthew 5:17-19), and later proclaimed by the Apostles, our obedience to Abba Father does not save us or put another way, justify us for we are justified by God’s grace through the gift of His Son’s death and resurrection (Romans 3:24; Ephesians 2:8).

However, our failure to obey, our rebellion, our idolatry, or our witchcraft towards our Heavenly Father’s instructions for life does in fact reveal the condition our diseased hearts. For a heart refusing to cheerfully give of themselves to the mark or way of God by submitting to Abba’s authority found in His Torah (and all of His word) after they have been shown such critical truth, reveals that they have not truly accepted the costly gift of grace or not  comprehended or carried the weight of the authority of God’s grace and justice through the blood stained cross (1 John 3:7,10,24; Matthew 7). Whereas a circumcised, repentant heart in process has not been made aware of such important truths just yet is unintentionally sinning or unknowingly breaking God’s laws (I John 5:16-17; for most of us were not taught such things, but just to say “the sinner’s prayer” and live as before).

Furthermore, upon our heart’s circumcision, or perhaps better described as part of the process of our heart becoming circumcised,  Scripture reveals God will write His Torah, His law on our ever-repentant hearts causing us to WANT to obey Him as His Spirit reveals more and more of His truth.

  • “Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah- not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in my covenant, and I disregarded them, says the LORD, for this is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people” Hebrews 8:8-10 (NKJV)

Friends, Jeremiah 31:31-33 says the exact same thing as does Ezekiel 36:27(NKJV):

  • “I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.”
  • “that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh (sin/lawlesness) but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:4 (NKJV).
  • “My son, keep my words, and treasure my commands within you. Keep my commands and live, and my law as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart.” Proverbs 7:1-3 (NKJV)
  • “Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.” I John 3:24 (NKJV)

–> To Have The Holy Spirit = Spirit of Holiness = Holiness = Righteousness = Torah On Our Hearts = Obeying God’s Laws = Abiding in Him <–

So you see when we have a truly repentant heart and embrace God’s Spirit of Holiness, also commonly known as the Holy Spirit or Spirit of Grace, His Spirit dwelling within us will cause us to keep His holy laws as He makes us more and more aware of His mark , of His truth (John 14:15-18; 1 John 2:24-27). Incidentally, what does God define as ‘truth’?

  • “Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and Your law is truth.” Psalm 119:142 (NKJV)
  • All your words are trueall your righteous laws are eternal.” Psalm 119:160 (NIV)
  • “My son, do not forget my law, but let your heart keep my commands; for length of days and long life and peace they will add to you. Let not mercy and truth forsake you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart, and so find favor and high esteem in the sight of God and man. Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding…” Proverbs 3:1-5 (NKJV)

–> Truth = God’s Eternal Laws = Righteousness <–

If our heart’s have repented of our lawless, evil deeds, we will indeed turn from breaking God’s heart by rejecting His commands and abusing His grace (Hebrews 10:26-39). Instead, our hearts will be made more and more whole, clean, sanctified as we cooperate with God’s Spirit of Grace (Hebrews 10:29; Zechariah 12:10), His Spirit of Holiness as He longs to blot out our stains, sins, our pain, and suffering with the washing of His Word…His Torah (John 1:1; 17:17; Ephesians 5:26).

In summary, hopefully, we have repented from breaking God’s word, His Torah, for He gave His Living Torah to die for us so we can have the Spirit of Torah, the Spirit of Grace, the Spirit of Holiness scribed in our hearts for all the world to read. If this is the first you are hearing such heart transforming truth, understand it’s a process as He makes all things beautiful in His time. Moreover, Jesus wasn’t interested in making converts; He was, however, interested in making disciples. It’s not too late to repent and more accurately follow Him as He and His Spirit teach you how to hit the mark!

“Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples.” Isaiah 8:16 (NKJV)

“But be doers of the word (Torah), and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” James 1:22; 2:14,17 (NKJV)

Shalom and Amen.

Carrie R Turner,

eve of Passover, 4.18.19

Boundaries // Don’t Judge Me?

After a difficult week dealing with a problematic pet and while noticing other issues, I share in this teaching video some truths I have come into along my journeys. This week in particular seems to be crying out for such truths! Watch the video or continue reading to learn more!

In our American culture and even the Christian culture, we tend to be confused on the importance of boundaries and what love looks like. We tend to equate love with tolerance and rebel against structure, laws, and boundaries in general not wanting to offend or judge others in matters. Just look at our society today. Look at our churches, our schools, our homes, and our individual lives. We have become chaos and confusion under the guise of peace and safety…under the terms of tolerance and love.

dontjudgemeBoundaries are essentially a defined space, defined rights, responsibilities, or terms providing a healthy environment to genuinely respect and love one another. An illustration of such boundaries and their purpose would be the laws of the road. These laws, such as the speed limit, lines of a lane, red lights, traffic signs, destination signs, etc all are boundaries that when abided by or adhered to or followed allow for each of us to safely and peaceably reach our destination. Other forms of boundaries are fences, walls, doors, gates, usernames and passwords, contracts, lease agreements, and other legal terms. Boundaries define our rights and responsibilities…what is expected of each of us in order to operate in a respectful, loving, safe, and peaceful manner.

torahLikewise, God has boundaries. In fact, He is the original and ultimate author of boundaries. His laws are His ways and His will, which we can find throughout the holy Scriptures, namely throughout the first five books of the Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. The rest of Scripture, including the lives of many before, but especially, Jesus Christ or Yeshua, in His Hebrew name, helped demonstrate the meaning and purpose of God’s boundaries.

Furthermore, without God’s Torah, or boundaries..His written Voice, we would have no understanding of right and wrong, clean and unclean, holy and unholy and so forth (Romans 7:7; 15:14; 1 John 3:4).  We would not even be able to accept God’s grace without God’s definition of sin found in His word. Unfortunately, many have fallen for the great deception that God’s laws no longer apply for we are under grace, twisting Paul’s words to fit their rebellious hearts (2 Peter 3:14-18), but Scriptures reveal *because* of God’s grace and subsequent acceptance of His gift of grace..His promise, which is God’s Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13-14; 2:8; Acts 1:4-5; 2:38-39), He will cause us to submit to God’s laws (Ezekiel 36:27; Jeremiah 31:31-33), not do away with them (Matthew 5:17; Romans 7:7,12), which is rebellion, sin, and bluntly speaking, witchcraft (I Samuel 15)!

deceivedsoulwinners

Moreover, we have adopted the false notion that we should not discern nor speak out against what God defines as unholy, unclean, unrighteous. In our cowardness and complacency in our freedoms of faith in this country, we have succumbed to remaining silent captive to the deceiving chain of not wanting to judge others. It has been taught to many of us in Christian circles that to judge others is to not demonstrate love. But what does Scripture actually say about judging one another? Could discernment, judgment, and action be a form of love in God’s eyes? Let’s take a look together!

Tough love is a form of true love.

While most of today’s Christian culture eagerly propagates passages and doctrines of God’s abundant love, prosperity, and purpose to serve humans, the Scriptures within context, have a more balanced perspective. While God is a merciful, forgiving, and gracious holy God, who most certainly abundantly loves, He also is just. For without His justice, He could not be Holy, nor forgiving and gracious. Many fail to comprehend that tough love is a required form of true love. In fact, by remaining silent, doing nothing, in the name of grace, only further enables, approves, and reproduces the unholy, unjust sin that circumnavigates our globe readily. In other words, there is a fine line between exhibiting gracious acts and exhibiting grievous acts.

There is a fine line between exhibiting gracious acts and exhibiting grievous acts.

Consider the concept of disciplining your child. Does it benefit your child, their futures, or those who encounter your child now or later in life to squander correcting bad behavior now? Parents who turn the other cheek, so to speak, end up producing a spoiled, entitled monster who terrorizes others (see Proverbs 13:24). By failing to establish and enforce healthy boundaries, whether that be in our children, pets, or other types of relationships, we invite chaos and further harm in our lives and those around us. Additionally, it harms the “boundary buster”. A boundary buster, is a term I created to label those who fail to respect other’s boundaries, whether that be one’s personal boundaries or boundaries defined by God.

stopsignEstablishing and enforcing healthy boundaries could be considered synonyms for judging others. Many Christians and those of the unbelieving world would say, “Don’t judge me!” or “Don’t worry, I’m not judging you..” in fear of what other’s may think, say, or do in response. After all, we are a society of walking on eggshells not wanting to dare offend anyone. When in reality, we have done exactly that: bred a society of the hyper-offended, just as Yeshua/Jesus prophecized (Matthew 24:10-13)!

“And then many will be offended, betray one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because LAWLESSNESS will abound, the love of many will grow cold.” -Yeshua, Matthew 24:10-13

Many believers have taken Jesus/Yeshua’s words and the Apostle Paul’s words out-of-context stating we should most definitely not judge others for this is not love and thereby, not Christ-like.

But is that what Scripture actually reflects? Let’s investigate a few passages to dig deeper. In Matthew 7, Jesus instructs His listeners to not judge others when you yourself struggle with the same or similar heart issue. Paul expresses similar sentiments in Romans 2. Furthermore, Scripture reveals that we are and in fact WILL BE judging others one day and that these encounters we experience in the here and now are training and testing us for future discernment opportunities. Explore these passages to learn more:

  • Matthew 7:1-6
  • Romans 2
  • 1 Corinthians 5 (Notice Paul says in verse 3 he judges/discerns the matter and in verses 4 and 5, Paul speaks to the importance of tough love for the betterment of the rebellious and disobedient “believer”. In verse 9 and onward, Paul explains to not only judge believers who are blatantly dishonoring God (and His ways), but to essentially shun them, which is a form of discipline and a very clear boundary to be established and enforced. He goes on to clarify, he does not mean to judge and discipline non-believers, for they do not know any better and are still lost, but to to judge and discipline those who claim to accept Yeshua and be in covenant with God/Yahweh. For clearly, if a person is pursuing sexual sin, as an example, they are demonstrating fruit of the flesh and not fruit of the Spirit. Such issues of the heart need to be addressed by speaking the truth in love (boundary) and enforcing it. Always check you own motives though before doing so and do so within the realms or boundaries Yeshua defined for us in Matthew 18:15-20. Furthermore, you cannot judge or discipline a fellow brother or sister in Christ when you yourself are still dealing with the same root issue. For example, if you yourself are a fornicator, adulterer, struggle with pornography, or some other form of sexual lust, who are you to judge and address a fellow believer who may be in a lifestyle of homosexuality? For you yourself are producing fruit with the same root of sexual lust.
  • 1 Corinthians 6 (Notice in verse 2 Paul reminds the Corinth church that believers or saints will be judging the world and even angels -see verse 3).
  • The Book of Jude in verses 14-15 (expresses similar sentiments of the saint will judge the world)
  • Revelation 20:4-6 (also explains the martyred saints will rule and reign and judge the world along with Christ).
  • Ezekiel 44:23-24; Isaiah 2; Micah 2; Zechariah 14 (In the millennium, we see the Levites will judge and instruct others in God’s laws as will Yeshua).

FB_IMG_1528553504768So you see, dear brother and sisters, we need not be afraid nor be ashamed to “judge” or discern matters much less address them in truth and love. Boundaries are established so that we can BE love, as our Heavenly Father and Elohim designed.

Fear not! Rather, love God and love others for tough love is true love. Amen.

boundaries

For further reading, consider the book “Boundaries” by Townsend and Cloud. Other than the Bible itself, this faith-based book, along with others in their series, changed my life for the better.