Fear God, Not Ghosts

The craze to dress up like ghosts, goblins, or some other ghoulish costume continues to haunt Americans, including God-fearing Christians and Jews alike. The lucrative 9 Million Dollar American industry tempts even the religious to celebrate the most evil time of the year. What’s more frightening is many, if not most Americans, are unaware the origins of this spooky holiday, much less what the Hebrew and Christian Bibles say about ghosts or more specifically talking to ghosts.

According to numerous credible internet sources, Halloween essentially originated and still is considered a pagan holiday known as the most ideal day to speak to the dead and as a bonus, the dead may even predict the future for you. Even more fascinating is the Torah, the first five books of both the Hebrew and Christian Bibles, specifically warn against speaking to the dead either on one’s own or through a medium, particularly to learn of the future (Exodus 22:17, Leviticus 19:30-31, 20:6, 27; Deuteronomy 18:11). The prophet Isaiah also warns not to do so in Isaiah 8:19-20 and 29:4. Just the fact that God states not to converse with the dead indicates it IS possible to do; otherwise, a command stating not to do so would not be needed. It also infers pagans have been communicating with the dead for thousands of years.

In this painting, King Saul falls prostrate upon seeing the ghost of the Prophet Samuel.

In fact, did you know there is a fascinating story found in 1 Samuel 28:7-25 where King Saul seeks out a witch or medium to contact the deceased Prophet Samuel to get advice about what to do about a pending battle? In this story, not only does King Saul break both God’s and his own law banishing mediums or any other form of witchcraft and sorcery, but the medium is successful in summoning the peacefully rested Samuel. The medium is shocked to see the ghost of Samuel for it is then she realizes King Saul is in costume and deceived her in who he is (since he banished such practices) so the medium is worried he will have her killed (see 1 Sam. 28:8 -12). Meanwhile, the ghost of the Prophet Samuel is irate he was disturbed from his soul-sleep, if you will (vs 15).

As if all that wasn’t remarkable enough, the Prophet Samuel can STILL prophesize to King Saul WHILE DEAD (vs 19)! Prophet Samuel predicts King Saul will be joining him in death the next day along with King Saul’s descendants.

What we can learn from this Biblical account are a few things:

  1. Whether you a righteous person or a wicked person, it appears, when you are dead, you are dead (Ecclesiastes 9:5) as if asleep blissfully unaware of your surroundings as you await the resurrection (Job 14:10-14; Daniel 12:1-3; Ezekiel 36-37; Jeremiah 29-31) and not instantly ushered to “heaven” or “hell” – even the New Testament makes such claims (see John 3:13; Acts 2:29), rather God’s breath in you goes back to God (Ecclesiastes 12:7) but I realize, Christianity is an easy sell when you make people believe they are going to hell – Moreover, what is the point of a resurrection or God reigning on earth one day if you are instantly with God upon death?;
  2. The dead’s spirit or ghost can be disturbed and communicated with (though not advised!);
  3. Some mediums do indeed have a gift or craft for summoning the dead, though it is against God’s instructions to do so;
  4. The dead’s spirit or ghost can inform you of things you’d shouldn’t know about or ask about (i.e. like when you are going to die or what tomorrow holds);
  5. And evidently, prophets can still prophesize even when dead (funny, not funny)!

Being I have seen a ghost and even have regrettably communicated with a ghost once (before knowing it was against Torah many, many years ago now), as well as been on ghost tours through historic cities, and so forth, I have come to believe ghosts indeed exists, but have pondered the mystery as to why one may not speak to ghosts – what’s the harm? And what’s the harm in dressing up like ghosts as is the custom in Halloween? I have come to the conclusion that though it is certainly possible to contact the dead for whatever reason, perhaps for advice or longing for relationship or just to know you are indeed sensing something paranormal in your home and not crazy (such as was my case years ago), The One True Living God wants us to seek Him instead for said matters, not the dead. Furthermore, it would seem once you open that door, it is difficult to tightly close. It’s like the stray alley cat you feed, they are likely to tell the other cats, there is a crazy cat lady who will feed and entertain you. Likewise, it’s been my observation, if you are willing to communicate with one ghost, others also attempt to communicate perhaps longing to resolve issues left undone. Moreover, if there is a Holy Ghost or Spirit of Holiness, however, you want to label God’s Spirit, then that would indicate there also are unholy ghosts or evil spirits. Otherwise, the adjective of “holy” would not be needed to distinguish that Spirit from other spirits. Perhaps just like there are righteous and evil people, there too are good ghosts and bad ghosts, angels, and demons. The problem is both angels and demons are allegedly all around as are possibly the dead, so who do we know for certain we are talking to when consulting the dead or when a medium is communicating with them on our behalf? How do you know you are talking to Aunt Betty or some struggling ghost needing closure and not a demon in disguise? How do you know you or your kid’s costume doesn’t attract some deceptive or confused spirit and your kid isn’t bringing home more than just candy? Again, The Living God implores us not to take such harmful risks, but rather instructs the living to seek the Living God for guidance. He has kindly ensured everything we need to know has been documented for us. Also, know that He still speaks to our minds and still answers prayers. All we need to do is seek Him and verify it is Him through His documented Voice found in the Bible.

Most importantly, fear God, keep His instructions for life, and do not fear, talk to, or emulate ghosts. Halloween glorifies and invites death, breaking God’s commands such as murder or casting spells, while propagating unholy fear, and communicating with the dead. What do you want to teach your kids and grandkids: Fearing God or fearing ghosts? We don’t need to fear ghosts, just God.

Coronavirus Repellant?

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

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

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

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

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

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Our Experiences with Hurricane Harvey

(Recorded July 9, 2018) In this episode, you’ll learn about Carrie and Jerry’s experiences with Hurricane Harvey, including their struggles, the trip itself, what manifested while in Texas, and what the Lord is preparing them for next!

To learn more about Samaritan’s Purse, visit:
http://www.samaritanspurse.org

Music: Though You Slay Me by Shane & Shane

We Are Moving!

In October 2017, the Lord invited Jerry and Carrie to follow Him to a distant land… To find out to where, to do what, and the backstory of how it all went down, watch the video and be sure to subscribe to our blog and YouTube channel to follow along in this latest adventure!

The Eyes of Christ @ the Beach

As Carrie takes a walk along Myrtle Beach, she shares the importance of each member in the body of Christ and encourages you to not be afraid to do whatever the Lord created you do and to have the eyes of Christ as you look on others and even yourself! Whether your role is to pray for others, encouraging others, heal, teach, preach or whatever He invites you to do, don’t be afraid to be who He made you to be!

The Scary Assignment (video)

I have to admit I am nervous about this God-invited, upcoming assignment. It definitely requires a bigger leap of faith. Watch the video to find out what God asked me to do now! Or at least what I think God is asking of me… guess we’ll find out soon enough. :/

My Statement of Faith: Love.

This season by the sea has invited Carrie to float in God’s immense love while teaching her the freedom in loving others fearlessly. The love of Christ has beckoned her to dig deeper in His Word as she reevaluates her own personal statement of faith. In the end, Carrie discovers one’s true statement of faith is love.

“Leo” Learns To Live In Love, Not Fear

Meet Leo, Flip Flop Fellowship’s “mascot”! Life at the beach isn’t all glorious… Little Leo has manifested some separation anxiety. Learn how Carrie has curbed Leo’s fears and how it is connected to spiritual truths.

The Plan Is To Abandon My Plans

proverbs16-9Little did I know as I stepped out in this faith adventure that through out it all, the theme would be to abandon it all. Abandon my need to figure it out, abandon my need to plan, to research, to implement. Abandon my need to strive and provide. In fact, God’s plan is for me to abandon my plan A, plan B, plan Z.

Throughout these last 6 months, I’ve learned the delicate art of being in peace despite not knowing the plan or what it is going to look like or how this journey will end. Is that not the very definition of faith? Generally speaking, the term faith or even having faith in Jesus is simple – what is not simple is when the God you believe in reveals to you just how backwards your thinking is not to mention how backwards your religion is!

You see, the world and even much of religion is all about what can I get out this job, this relationship, this faith, or out of this church. Much of religion is focused on how one can get to heaven, for example. Rather, in God’s world or God’s kingdom, it is about getting Heaven to Earth. Put another way, it is about getting the Spirit of Christ, which is the Holy Spirit or if you will, the Spirit of Heaven into us and into our realm. Jesus says, “The Kingdom of God is inside you” (Luke 17:20-21). 10529-the-kingdom-of-god-is-within-youIt also is why He taught in the famously quoted yet misunderstood Lord’s prayer, “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven.” It’s not about getting to heaven, though being resurrected into eternal life is an added bonus. It’s about tapping into the resurrecting, healing, supernatural redemptive heavenly love residing within you right here on Earth right now upon receiving His Spirit! How marvelous we don’t have to wait to get anywhere to experience the miraculous and yet how incredibly ignorant of us to not realize we’ve got the God-goods all this time and aren’t using it. Imagine what the world would look like if we only realized we have the keys to the kingdom that unlock sickness, death, captivity, etc.

Furthermore, such keys to God’s kingdom seem backwards and therefore are commonly overlooked or misunderstood. After all, who knew to die to our wants and desires is to genuinely live in complete satisfaction (Philippians 1:21), to give up is to gain (Philippians 3:7-8), to help is how to be helped or to heal is how we ourselves are healed (Isaiah 58), or to show mercy is how to be forgiven (Matthew 6:15; James 2:13), to not judge is to avoid captivity of that same judgment (Romans 2:1-2), and so on?

downloadSuch truths are being magnified to me more and more as I seek Him, hear Him, and obey His plan. Throughout this process of selling my home of 10 years, giving away my things, and attempting to plan it out (whatever “it” is), my fears and controlling tendencies have surely manifested. Just like in life, I experienced some valleys and some victories, but even so I am learning how to:

  • have peace in the chaos
  • how to choose faith over fear
  • how to be still instead of striving

All the while, I’m understanding it is my earthly and religious mentality that is backwards. Honestly, it has been overwhelming at times. Truth usually is.

I chuckle as I naively thought to myself not so long ago what an exciting God-adventure this would be. Ha! The joke is on me! Listening to God’s voice, trusting Him, and allowing Him to renew my thinking while transforming my heart IS the real adventure!va-map He invited me to this adventure, I naively accepted, but already early on in this journey, the Spirit of the Living God has resurrected parts of me I didn’t even know were dead. He has , correction, IS removing false comforters and fake ids. God has an interesting way of identifying what you find your comfort in and your identity in, one by one, and then revealing your true identity in Him as well as how to operate in your purposed identity within His kingdom. I assure you it is not always comforting. It can be mind-blowing, exhausting, frustrating, unbelievably painful, and yet glorious. It is what I call “the horribly-amazing-purification-process” or perhaps, “The Big Reveal!”.

On top of breaking me free from well… me, He is showing me this “adventure” is way bigger than I ever-imagined. Frankly, it freaks me out if I try to plan, research, or think on it too much. Again, He is breaking me of such fruitless activity. But while I’m lying in bed fighting with my thoughts and anxieties, He keeps telling me to “Be still and know that He is God” (Psalm 46:10).

il_fullxfull-626408484_pr4rI once heard someone say, “If your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough!” That seems to be precisely how God works. So now, in addition to this bizarre camping-calling of sharing the love of Christ through prayer, prophecy, evangelism, and song, it has become, “Great, now that you have stepped out in faith and are coming into the understanding of who I created you to be as well as how to operate in such kingdom principles and your kingdom role, you’ll also be ministering on the beach, on the boardwalk, in churches, in hotels, and wherever else I lead you.”

After 6 months of going through this horribly-amazing adventure, I am beginning to fully understand this was His plan all along…inviting me to abandon all my plans so that He could further reveal my identity in Him and using that identity to bring Heaven to Earth. It is all backwards. Give up what you think it should look like or what you think is right. Instead,embrace the Kingdom’s culture, focus with a single-eye, and walk out an adventure of a lifetime. After all, that is The Plan! Thy will be done, thy Kingdom come, on Earth as it is in Heaven.