Seabbatical | Va'era

In this week’s Torah portion we see the first few words are “va’era” in Hebrew, which means “and I appeared”. When God appears to Moses commissioning him to be the vessel God wants to use to rescue the children of Israel from relentless cruel bondage, Moses eventually summons all courage to do the task at hand. Just as Moses gets over his fears and musters the strength to actually confront Pharaoh, the Israelites help realize Moses’s concerns and biggest fears by failing to believe in Moses being used by God to deliver them from Pharaoh (Exodus 6:9). Poor Moses can’t catch a break! Consequently, the Israelites’ lack of faith messes with Moses’ head and he goes back to God saying if these oppressed children of Israel don’t even believe You sent me, surely Pharaoh will not listen either (Exodus 6:12). Regardless of the Israelites or Moses’ floundering faith, God speaks – once again repeating His instructions. Not too much later, Moses yet again lacks the faith to courageously confront Pharaoh as God expected of him so he returns to God perhaps hoping He would have chosen someone else to do the job (Exodus 6:30). This time, however, God provides more details to Moses and a partner to help him accomplish this daunting responsibility (Exodus 7:1-5). As history goes, Moses and Aaron confront Pharaoh numerous times and each time, Pharaoh refuses to heed the voice of the LORD coming through His brave servants, Moses and Aaron. Now that God specifically outlined what would manifest as well as instructed Moses and Aaron to work together to convey God’s message to Pharaoh, or put another way, to work together to accomplish God’s will, Moses’ perspective changed. No longer was Moses fearful and insecure in who he was, in who God made him to be, and who God was, but now, armed with more information and an accountability partner, Moses and Aaron chose to respond in obedient faith instead of reluctant submission (Exodus 7:6). As history goes, Pharaoh indeed did not heed the LORD’s voice numerous times causing God to bring judgment on the people of Egypt while the Israelites were repeatedly uneffected. Instead of being fearful or reluctant to participate in God’s plan though, Moses and Aaron developed a pattern of immediately responding in obedience to God’s Voice. As you probably know, God’s will was eventually fulfilled and the children of Israel were delivered from their captors.

I know when I started to hear God’s Voice giving me instructions on what to do or say in various church services to His people or in various settings whether it be on the beach, at a gas station, or even a bar, I was in the beginning reluctant and doubtful, but the more I responded in obedience, the more I could see fruit or what He whispered deep within me actually manifest and bless His people.

Perhaps the scariest and most uncomfortable experience I encountered was while sitting in an evening church service, us congregants were corporately worshipping, and the atmosphere transitioned to just one man, who stood up near the back of the sanctuary solely speaking in tongues. A hush came over the congregation while the man spoke in this supernatural language. To my surprise and utter horror, I could somehow understand internally what this man was saying. At the time, I had never spoken in tongues and yet was sitting there mystified that somehow I could understand what was being said. Nevertheless, due to my fear, I did not stand up to interpret as Scripture teaches (1 Corinthians 14). Honestly, speaking in tongues and being able to interpret, as well as many other gifts provided by God were all so new to me. In fact, in my conservative Baptist background, I was essentially taught such manifestations ceased to exist and no longer happen today. Imagine my surprise when I discovered not only was that a fallacy, but I personally experienced such gifts!

The next evening, I attended a Bible Study I had been participating in weekly. In that intimate group setting I confessed what I heard and my failure to speak the interpretation as no one else interpreted and so the church was not blessed by the word given through the man. My fellow friends in the Bible Study encouraged me to not fear in the event something like that occurs again. The following Sunday, the same man who spoke in tongues the previous Sunday, was preaching at the evening service, to my surprise. I was utterly shocked by the message he presented as it was the same message he spoke in tongues a week prior unbeknownst to him and others. After he was finished preaching, I felt the Holy Spirit instruct me to now stand up and confirm the message the LORD was speaking through this man, not once, but twice. So like Moses, I mustered up all the courage I possibly could and stood up in front of the church to confess my fearful failure last week while confirming this important message from God – so important God spoke it not once, but twice. Consequently, it impacted the man, our Pastor, and the entire congregation. In addition to learning to have faith, I also learned God can use it all – even our fearful failures to fulfill His will.

Too many peculiar promptings have manifested over the years in my life to ignore or coware down in doubt or fear. Each time I acknowledge what the LORD is saying or instructing me to do or say, I choose to respond in obedience. In doing so, I marvel at how God blesses and delivers His people still today through willing vessels like you and me.

I encourage you, dear reader, that upon God “appearing” to you (and you know it does not contradict His written voice/instructions for life), that you get over your doubts, fears, and insecurities, but rather bravely participate in God’s will for you and those around you. Like Moses, you might just be setting captives free.

Shabbat Shalom,

Carrie Renee Turner 1/23/2020

Seabbatical | Shemot

Shabbat Shalom, friends! I trust you are having a relaxing and delightful Sabbath. After a busy week of cleaning yachts here in Kemah, Texas, I am delighted for it to be Sabbath!

What’s In A Name?

In this week’s Torah portion, we start a new book: Exodus and are studying Exodus 1:1-6:1. As always, much could be discussed in this Torah portion, but today I want to focus on clarity and courage, something Abba has been personally teaching me in everyday life. Inevitably, life will present many precarious scenarios that we will need clarification on and then much courage to pursue whatever it is we needed help discerning. Moreover, what does our names and more importantly God’s Name have to do with clarification and courage?

Early on in the Book of Exodus, we see two midwives, Shiphrah and Puah, who ancient Jewish sages have speculated may actually be the names of Moses’ mother and sister, but we don’t know for certain. Since the assigned title of this week’s Torah portion is “Shemot”, which means “names” in Hebrew, it may be worth mentioning the potential meaning of Shiphrah as “beauty, harmony” and “Puah”, means something similar “splendid, radiant”. Both these ladies were commissioned to kill the Hebrew baby boys at birth, but instead these women bravely saved them. Consequently, the Lord viewed their obedience as beautiful, in harmony with His will, and splendid so He blessed them accordingly (Exodus 1:20-21). In order to have that amount of courage, Shiphrah and Puah must have had much clarity and motivation for rebelling against Pharaoh by saving the Hebrew babies. Some historians have said this was the first act of recorded civil disobedience.

One such Hebrew baby Shiphrah and Puah saved was Moses, who was named by Pharaoh’s daughter upon finding him in a tiny ark at the banks of the river. She named him “Moses” because it means “pulled out of the water” or “drew out” or “delivered out of the water”. Fascinatingly enough, Moses’ entrance into Pharaoh’s realm was the same as his exodus being delivered by water. After all, we know in later chapters of Exodus, Moses and all those who followed him, were indeed delivered out of the water many years later in the crossing the Red Sea incident. Through it all, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob not only reveals Himself to Moses, but He shares His Name, and gave Moses clarification on how God wants to use him to save not just Hebrew babies, but all the Hebrews dwelling in Egypt at that time. Unlike Shiphrah and Puah though, Moses is not willing to challenge Pharaoh. He often attempts to persuade God he is not the guy for the job. However, God specializes in selecting unlikely candidates to fulfill God’s “to-do-list”. God’s plan was to use a man named “delivered out of water” to deliver His people through water.

Names are significant and can be prophetic. For example, when living in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, a couple of years ago, I was on a God “to-do-list” assignment looking for a specific individual, at a specific event (Carolina Country Music Fest), to give a specific word. In the process of waiting for that divine encounter, Jerry, my husband, and I met a man name Luke meandering outside a bar listening to the country music being blasted from a stage nearby. While Jerry was being his typical jovial self, my eyes continually scanned the crowd looking for the gal I was supposed to find and give a word to. But while my eyes were scanning the people around us, my ears were surprisingly tuning into a word for Luke. The Holy Spirit was reminding me of Luke in the Bible, who was a doctor by profession and clearly an author or writer (to have written that book of the Gospel). I sensed the Spirit wanted me to encourage the Luke in my presence to write the book he’s been afraid to write for it will heal people. So despite the loud music and drunken obnoxious people partying in our midst, I said what I was implored to say to dear Luke. Upon saying such things, Luke began to tear up wondering how I knew that he had been fearful about writing his idea for an book. All of which allowed for me to share with him (while Jerry was there) the love God has for Luke and God’s plan for him. All Luke needed was divine clarification and courage. I guess God could check that one off His list that night.

Similarly, all Moses needed was clarification and courage even after he stepped out of his comfort zone and attempted to confront Pharaoh. In Exodus 5:22-23, Moses goes back to God to essentially say, “Yeah, this crazy assignment of Yours isn’t looking the way I think it should, so why are we doing this again?” Sound familiar? I confess I have had similar rebuttals with God. And yet, God reminds Moses of His plan of making His Name known to the Hebrews in it all (Exodus 6:3). Why is it important to know God’s identity, His Name? Because as His people, we are called to bear God’s Name as His representatives bringing heaven to earth. How do we bear God’s Name? By obeying Him. So whether you are instructed to save Hebrew babies or lead people out of captivity or simply compelled to rest on the Sabbath, you are bearing God’s Name to a confused, lost world. By obeying God in His written instructions and personal specific instructions for your life, you are bringing others into clarification and courage as well as being delivered in the process.

Could your name be a prophetic clue as to how you can best share God’s Name here and now? Does your new name given after overcoming this world reflect how well you beared God’s Name over your lifetime or represent how you will serve Him in the world to come (Revelation 3:17)? In other words, is your name giving His Name shame or does it represent His latter rain? Something to pray about and ponder this Shabbat.

Seabbatical: Vayechi

This week’s Torah and Haftarah portions, Vayechi, reminds me of the proverb, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21 (NKJV).

The title of this week’s Torah portion is “Vayechi”, which in Hebrew means “and he lived”. If you have followed along my YouTube ‘Seabbatical’ Bible Studies or are familiar with weekly Torah portions in general, then you know the title of that week’s passage comes from the first few words of the first verse in the listed passage. For example, Genesis 47:28 is the first verse of this week’s Torah portion and the first few words read “then Jacob (he) lived”.

The last few weeks we have followed the life of Joseph, the favored son/hated brother, who was a victim of human trafficking, ended up in prison due to the betrayal of his brothers, and yet eventually thanks to his spiritual gifts of dream interpretation became a high official of Egypt, who saved not just Egypt, but his brothers, father, and extended family from starvation all the while trusting God and forgiving his treacherous brothers. Ironically, despite being titled, “and he lived”, this week’s portion highlights the death of both Jacob, also known as Israel, Joseph’s father as well as Joseph starting in Genesis 47:28.

However, before Jacob, father of the twelve tribes of Israel, dies he blesses not only his own twelve sons, but Jacob also blesses and adopts Joseph’s two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim (Genesis 48). Much could be said about this prophetic significance, but for now, I believe the Holy Spirit is having me focus this particular Seabbatical on being mindful of our words as we address others, particularly our families/spouses…

As Jacob continues to give his final words just prior to his death, he “blesses” some of his sons, but much of his blessings seem more like curses or perhaps accurate prophecies. For example, when addressing his eldest son, Reuben, Jacob says, “unstable as water, you shall not excel, because you went up to your father’s bed; then you defiled it…”(Genesis 49:3-4). Jacob is referring to the incident when Reuben foolishly slept with one of Jacob’s wives, Reuben’s half-brother’s mother or like a step-mom figure (Genesis 35:22). Gross! Similarly, Jacob speaks more like a curse or rebuke over Simeon and Levi (Genesis 49:5-7) whereas he prophecizes the Lawgiver/Messiah will come from Judah’s lineage. Jacob hints the Messiah will first manifest like a young cub and then later as a mighty lion (Genesis 49:8-12). Interestingly enough, Jacob also prophecizes Dan will be like a judge and venomous snake that bites and causes harm. Jacob says immediately following as a part of Dan’s prophecy, “I have waited for your salvation, O LORD!”. It would seem Jacob could be hinting the Anti-Messiah/Anti-Christ may come from Dan’s lineage, which could also be why in Revelation 7, the tribe of Dan is not mentioned as part of the Israelite tribes sealed with God’s name on their forehead towards the very end. Moreover, Judah and Joseph have the most lengthy blessings and positive prophetic words of all the sons.

Likewise, in the Haftarah portion found in 1 Kings 2:1-12, we see King David blessing his son, Solomon, and providing him instructions namely to be careful to keep God’s instructions, His laws, commandments, etc. so that he will not only prosper, but that prophetic promises may be fulfilled through their lineage.

On a personal note, this passage of 1 Kings 2:3-4 is yet another “2-3-4” confirming the meaning of the numbers 234 I have been seeing frequently especially upon moving to Texas. In last week’s Seabbatical (posted on Flip Flop Fellowship’s YouTube channel), the Lord revealed to me the meaning of all the 234’s I have been seeing. Again this week, it’s as if Abba Father is reinforcing to me how important it is to make disciples, to be fruitful, to produce and instruct future generations in the results, the blessings of being obedient, being holy, to live it out, etc. Moreover, He seems to be encouraging me to continue to do and teach others to obey God’s instructions for life, His laws, His commands, etc. just as Jesus/Yeshua said in Matthew 5:18-19,after all, heaven and earth are still here as are God’s instructions for life.

With all that said, I am reminded in this week’s Torah portion our words (and actions) matter to God and how critical it is we take the time to bless and instruct our children, our spouses, our families, as well as others in the ways of God- primarily, by living it ourselves first. Perhaps in doing so, by doing and teaching the ways of God, we will have experienced the “abundant life” Jesus spoke of in John 10:10. After all, is not much of John 10 about hearing and following His voice? Is not the written word, specifically God’s commands, His documented voice (Deut 28:1;30:2)? Perhaps we aren’t really living life to the fullest until we surrender to the instructions, all of them, found in Scriptures. Upon doing so, perhaps angels will record what we are teaching and doing summarizing our obedience to His Voice similar to the beginning words of this Torah portion “then (s)he lived”. May we think before speak pondering carefully God’s instructions as we respond to and instruct others to also ponder and obey Abba’s instructions for life.

Engaged, But Not Married Just Yet

💍Engaged, But Not Married Just Yet👰

It’s a new year! But is it a new heaven, new earth, or new covenant? Regarding the New Covenant, one important truth I realized earlier in 2019 upon evaluating all the Scriptures is it would appear we are betrothed to (similar to engaged or promised/committed) the new covenant, but it isn’t fully consummated yet…

I noticed all the references in Scripture to “new” seem to be connected so I believe the New Covenant isn’t consummated till the marriage supper of the Lamb/wedding reception/honeymoon, which is when *New* Jerusalem is introduced (Rev 21:2-3, 9-10) and the *New* heavens and *New* earth (Rev 21:1-2) appear. I believe this is why there are verses that say there is no more sin, death, etc (Rev 21:4; 22:3) at that time, Jesus/Yeshua as well as His priests and whomever are no longer needing to teach His laws (Heb 8:10-12; Isa 2:1-4; Micah 4; Eze 44:23-24) at that time because everyone knows them and obeys them cheerfully having the Spirit, and there is no need to shut the gates of New Jerusalem (Rev 21:25,27; 22:14-15) because there is no threat of evil anymore…Sin, which is violation of God’s laws (1 John 3:4), simply doesn’t exist. It is back to the garden before sin.

This is also why Jesus says not the slightest part of God’s laws are done away with until the *new* heaven and earth are made manifest and anyone who teaches others to obey God’s laws will be considered great in God’s kingdom (Matt 5:14-19).

2nd Corinthians 11:2 says we are betrothed (engaged) to Christ as pure virgins (clean, lawful, holy).

I believe this is why the author of Hebrews says in 8:13 regarding this current/old covenant “is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.” But hasn’t just yet…until all of the *new* is made manifest. 🌍

So all of us who have received His Spirit of Holiness,whose entire job is to cause us to do/obey that which is holy being God’s instructions/laws (Rom 7:12; Eze 11:19-21, 36:27), is just a preview or deposit or foretaste or sample of what’s to come in the New Covenant when it fully encompasses the entire globe (His Spirit). Like we have been given 20% of our inheritance in advance to help us in the meantime or a dowry or engagement ring reminding us to be faithful, to get our wedding dress ready free of blemishes, spots, and wrinkles all symbolizing uncleanliness, unholiness, breaking God’s holy laws (willfully). His Spirit of Grace is like “Shout” or detergent removing the stains, removing sin while teaching us holiness, washing us by His word (John 17:17; Ephesians 5:26-27).

Anyway, I found all those connections to “new” revealing and was reminded so this new year. I hope it prompts you and others to keep seeking Abba Father as there is always more to discover in Him. 📖 Blessings!

Torah’s In Your Near Future

The moment you realize:

* Jesus/Yeshua will be teaching us Torah, God’s laws or instructions for life, upon returning to rule and reign from Jerusalem/Mt Zion(Isaiah 2, 51; Micah 4);

*He also leads in performing sacrifices-except the trespass offering (Ezekiel 45:16-17)

* He requires His feast days to be celebrated like Feast of Tabernacles by the entire globe or else that nation’s economy is shot (Ezekiel 45:18-25; Zechariah 14:16+)

*He enforces ‘The Yeshua Diet’  of eating clean…sorry, no bacon (Isaiah 65:4-5, 66:3; Rev 18:2)

* He will be worshipped on His 7th day Sabbath (Isaiah 56, 66:22-23; Eze 44:24),

*and He implements priests to help teach everyone God’s Torah/instructions (Eze 44:23-24; Isaiah 66:21-24; Matt 5:19-21)

you realize we totally misunderstood the definition of sin (1John 3:4); grace is the forgiveness or paying off the requirement of breaking Torah (Colossians 2:13-14) and not a license to willfully break Torah (Hebrews 10); repentance, which is returning to God and His way; what it means to be Spirit-Led (Eze 11:19-21, 36:25-27; Romans 8); what is holy (Romans 7:12); living a lifestyle of holiness(1 Peter 1:13-16); and how He defines love (1 John 2:3-4).

“So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, WHICH ARE A SHADOW OF THINGS TO COME, but the substance is of Christ.” (Colossains 2:16-17)

If you believe Yeshua/Jesus is Messiah and are dwelling in His world-wide government in the Messianic Era/Millennium, Torah is your future. #NotMyWayButYahweh

A Call To Worship the Way He Wants To Be Worshipped

With the passing of the holidays, many are packing up ornaments, carefully wrapping nativity scenes, and tossing out the dried up Christmas tree. This particular Christmas Hanukkah season I was struck with a call to worship the way our Abba Father wants to be worshipped, to be the light, and to cleanse our temples. The above graphic shared on a public Christian Facebook page compelled me to comment, which sparked many positive feedback as well as some seemingly foaming at the mouth. Truth changes the atmosphere as should our set-apart lifestyles.

Like preaching holiness while sharing the stage with a pagan Christmas tree or other pagan traditions re-marketed as all about Jesus. The Israelites did the same thing starting with the Golden Calf incident (Exodus 32) celebrating saying Yahweh was the reason for the season. Numerous passages throughout Scripture specifically tells us not to adopt the ways of culture/pagans/those who do not believe in the One True Living God (Deu 12; Jer 10; 2 Cor 6:14+; Eph 4:17+ are a few examples). May we test everything and be courageous enough to actually be set-apart, holy as led by the Spirit of Holiness (Holy Spirit). 💝📖🙏”

In response to those genuinely wanting to know more in addition to those whose Christmas traditions were challenged, I invited readers to re-examine traditions, worship, and lifestyles. I invite you, dear reader, to do the same. Blessings! 💝


Truth is absolute and therefore, cannot change otherwise it was never truth to begin with.

The original graphic above poignantly speaks to so-called truth ever-changing with the times and so-called worshipers adapting to accommodate culture. Truth is absolute and therefore, cannot change otherwise it was never truth to begin with.

For those interested in worshipping The One True Living God, do we get to define what worship is? Do we tell Him how He wants to be worshipped? Or does God, the LORD of Lords, King of Kings dictate how He wants to be worshipped, how He defines love, and how He wants to be loved? Is He looking for worshippers of an unholy spirit and error? Or is He wanting worshippers of His Spirit and His Truth (John 4:23-24)? How culture defines “truth”, “worship”, “holiness”, etc. is irrelevant.

With that said, where is God’s truth, worship, holiness, etc. defined? In His Holy Word inspired by His Spirit of Holiness, correct? 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

Does His Word talk about traditions, holidays, the birth of Christ, pagan customs? You bet!

I invite those authentically interested in being worshippers of His spirit and His truth, to examine their lifestyle, habits, traditions compared to what He says about the topics being presented. Before proceeding though, understand that I view this platform as teaching opportunity..an opportunity for each of us to be more matured in His love, His truth, His holiness so that we may bear His fruit and bear His Name as best as we can empowered to do so by the gift of His Spirit of Holiness dwelling within.

Let’s explore God’s Word, the source of truth. (This is by no means an exhaustive list of Scripture, but a few to seek Him on.)

1) Are traditions evil or not to be practiced just because it is not commanded? Not neccessarily. Hanukkah, also known as the Feast of Dedication, is a tradition not a commandment that Jesus evidently celebrated in the temple or at the very least did not rebuke (John 10:22-30). Surely if that tradition was offensive to God, He would have made it known (i.e. flipping tables). Rather, He used it as a teaching moment to reveal He is God and the Messiah. So, no, not all traditions are evil by default and they can be used to share God’s truth. Are we commanded to celebrate Hanukkah? No. Are we commanded to celebrate the birth of Christ? No. However, His word also says “Whatever is true, excellent, praise worthy, etc., to think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8). Is it a fact and praise worthy event that Jesus was born and the Messiah or that Judah Maccabees and his disciples persevered in honoring God’s commands despite the culture, overcame persecution, and reconquered and restored worship the way God defines it? Yes and yes! Those things are true, praise worthy, etc. So it would be acceptable to think about or celebrate such things.

2) Can we use traditions or other aspects of our lives to share God’s truth? Sure! We covered that above as Jesus used Hanukkah, physical objects, parables, etc. to convey truth.

3) Is it OK to mimic pagan practices, culture, or unbelievers and re-package it as a good thing..as redeemed…as holy…as worship…as truth as something of, from, or about Him? NO. God says over and over again to avoid any appearance of evil (1Thes 5:22), to not learn the ways of pagans/adopt their culture (Romans 12:2; Eph 4; Jer 10:2- Also, the Prophet Jeremiah specifically rebukes cutting a tree, bringing it in one’s home, and decorating it as the pagans do in Jer 10) and worship/celebrate Him that way even if you re-name or market it as having to do with Him(Deut 12:30-32; Exodus 32- the Israelites copied the pagans form of worship by putting up a decorated calf and celebrated it saying it was Him and all about Him..they made a feast/holiday of it), to not have anything to do with things that violate His Torah/commands/instructions/Word/lawlessness (2 Cor 6:14-7:1) and to not associate with anyone who claims to know Him and yet does not obey His word (1 Cor.5).

Please thoroughly investigate how you are celebrating/honoring/worshipping the Lord and His life for the practices of Christmas are undeniably pagan since atleast 500 BC repackaged in order to sell/promote Jesus. In theory, the customs in of themselves could have been OK had the pagan customs celebrating the birth of the sun god on Dec 25 the original winter solstice, human sacrifices being decorated on trees, gift giving to celebrate the sun god, partying orgies, lawlessness etc not been established first leading up to or surrounding that day. The church took the same exact custom practices and attempted to wrap it in Jesus’ Name to spread Christianity (in reality to spread their power and control). Another person attached (see link below) a thorough, non-biased, factual investigation about the history of Christmas. Please do watch it. I learned some things as well.

According to God, can we mimic pagan traditions attempting to celebrate or worship Him? NO.

4) Is it wrong to put a tradition or doctrine above or instead of obeying what God says in His Word? Yes. Jesus rebuked religious leaders for putting more emphasis on their tradition than God’s commands (Mark 7). Are you celebrating traditions like Christmas, Hanukkah, 4th of July, etc, but not God’s commanded holidays like Passover/Unleavened Bread (John 22) or His other feasts (Lev 23)?

I say again, dear brothers and sisters, may we have the courage to examine our traditions, forms of worship, and lifestyle in accordance to God’s word and cheerfully be willing to submit to God’s Spirit of Holiness as He longs to teach us God’s truth, holiness, and the worship He longs for! Ultimately, we each must answer for ourselves (Rom 14:10-12), but love as defined by Him speaks truth, especially to those who claim to follow Him.🙏🙏🙏

I invite you to watch this thorough, unbiased, historical investigation about the origins of Christmas. Blessings to you and yours as you evaluate how you can be
the light in this dark world!

Authentic Worship Every Season

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.