This evening started the Feast of the LORD known as ‘Sukkot’ in Hebrew or ‘Feast of Tabernacles’ or ‘Feast of Booths’ in English. It is commanded to rejoice during this feast. This afternoon, Jerry and I made our own ‘Lulav’. A Lulav is a collection of three branches used to rejoice which consists of the myrtle, the willow, and the palm tree branch. If you have followed along our journey, then you know God has used this particular feast to reveal more and more truth to us. To get an overview of how, check out our ‘Walk His Way’ story on the home page of our website flipflopfellowship.com. Soon, I hope to make a video of the various revelations that have unfolded and how God used the ‘Lulav’ to help teach me some important things. Happy #Sukkot, ya’ll!
This past month I have been releasing brief teachings on YouTube called ‘Signs of a False Prophet’. In a previous blog, I released the first 4 videos in this series. If you missed those, you can find that blog here.
Below are the teachings #5 – #7 of this important series. Subscribe to this blog or my YouTube channel to learn more!
A “chukat” is a Hebrew word found in the first few verses of this week’s Torah portion meaning “statute”. A “chukat/statute” is a command from God with no rational explanation (i.e. red heifer ashes for purification; Moses & Aaron speaking to a rock). Can you find the connections in these Bible readings?
After learning of two major earthquakes in California, Carrie discusses the possibility of a prophecy she gave this time last year manifesting! She also ties in faith of mustard seed and how it is related to prophecy.
#earthquake #California #prophecy #mustardseed #faith #HearingGod #repentance #servant #loveGod #loveothers
While navigating this peculiar path and living aboard a sailboat, which my husband and I named ‘Sailvation’, I thought a nautical inspired analogy may inspire fellow boaters and others to reflect on God’s love and His plan of salvation.
B.O.A.T. – Count The Cost
Every mariner knows what the famous acronym B.O.A.T. means: ‘Bring Out Another Thousand’ for we know just about anything and everything with the word “marine” in front of it is going to cost you a fortune!
Now imagine you are a boat owner who has found themselves in a financial fiasco unable to pay the loan on your vessel, let alone the expenses of maintaining it and enjoying her. After awhile, the bills continue to build as does the green algae and moss attacking your once pearly fiberglass hull. Before you know it, many more months have passed, except now the Harbor Master at the dock yard informs you that your slip fee is even more green than what’s growing on your vessel and he is going to have to put up your beloved boat for auction to pay your debt. After all, ship happens. Meanwhile, all your dreams of cruising are sinking further and further into the muck and mire of despair.
Amazingly, in your darkest most desperate hour of need, along comes this guy name Jesus, or Yeshua in His original Hebrew name, who offers to not only pay off the now very-overdue loan on your vessel, but He’s also going to pay all your slip fees causing you to be debt free and in the clear!
You see, fellow mariner, we all are imperfect sinners, who find ourselves making foolish choices and then suffer the damning consequences. We all are sinners who have gone off course and find ourselves run aground spiritually. But the Bible, which is our nautical charts for life, tells us the wages or cost of sin is death (Romans 3:23; 6:23). Meaning our poor choices cause eternal spiritual and eventual physical death or separation from our Creator/God, who created us for relationship with Him and others. Seeing our need for help…for a Savior, or boat tow you could say, God loved each of us enough to send Yeshua, Jesus, His Son, the Messiah, to help us out by paying the cost of our sin..the cost of our lawlessness (I John 3:4) through the shedding of His blood on a cross. Can you imagine our sin cost even more than our yachts?! So much so that the only way to pay off the debt is for a perfect, sinless, Messiah named Yeshua / Jesus of Nazareth, born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23), to pay off our debt by bleeding to death on a cross fulfilling prophecy (Isaiah 53; Psalm 22; Zechariah 9:9; 11:13;12:10). Thankfully, just as the prophecies foretold, Jesus / Yeshua, rose from the dead three days later providing each of us with a hope and future of overcoming spiritual death and eventually even physical death when we are resurrected!
Clean The Exterior
After accepting His gracious offer, Jesus / Yeshua, then tells you He’s going to hose down your now debt-free yacht and even clean the barnacles of her hull. It would seem in just a matter of moments, not only was your debt washed away, but now, the exterior off your yacht gleams too!
Upon accepting God’s gracious gift of paying off our debt, He instructs us to be washed cleaned through baptism. It represents being made new and clean, being born again, or a fresh start as we wash away our unclean past.
In addition to paying all your vessel’s debt and providing your vessel a fresh start, Jesus / Yeshua, then sends His Helper over to refit the interior of your vessel. As long as you cooperate and are willing, Jesus’ Friend will teach you how to address the various issues that just about all vessels encounter at one time or another. He’ll help you remove any glaring mold while also fixing leaks and rusted chain plates. He’ll even help you replace the holding tanks, repair or replace port lights, rewire your vessel’s entire electrical needs, make sure the water pump is operating as it should along with the plumbing, replace the fabrics throughout, and just to ensure a smooth passage, He’ll even help you replace the engine and fill up your fuel tanks. Need a new bimini, a dodger, or those shabby sails replaced? No problem, Jesus and His Buddy can help with all that too!
Much like the refitting of our vessels, at some point, in God’s time, He sends a “Helper”, the Holy Spirit, which is God’s Spirit or put another way Yeshua / Jesus’ Spirit, to work on our mind, heart, and soul teaching us God’s ways and cleaning up the mess lurking within our souls (John 14:15-18; John 17:17; Acts 2:38; Acts 8:14-17; Acts 19:2-6; Romans 8:9-17; 1 John 2:24-29; 3:7-10).
The Manuals & Charts
All mariners know the manuals to your engine, electronics, and other systems on board your vessel dictate how such systems and your vessel should operate. Similarly, the nautical charts, whether in paper form or through apps, help you safely and legally navigate the waters.
Consider God’s word, whether in print or in app format, to be your guide and manual for life as it is designed to personally reveal to you important instructions on not just how to sojourn the calm waters of life, but God’s word will help you safely navigate the storms too (John 17:17; 2 Timothy 3:14-17)! Moreover, His words teaches us how to best operate in God’s kingdom among many other useful tips.
Unlike waterways and nautical charts though, God’s ways and His word never change (Malachi 3:6-7; Isaiah 55:11). Instead, the more you come to know and experience as a mariner circumnavigating God’s word, you will find God’s Holy Scriptures ultimately changes you and your course (Romans 12:1-2; 8:14).
Sailing In The Spirit
Speaking of changing course, while sailing, the sailor must be in alignment with the wind or they are stuck in bondage called “in-irons”. Woven along each sail are strings called the “telltales” because they tell if you and thereby your vessel are in alignment with the wind. The telltales will be flowing horizontally when your vessel is in alignment with the wind.
Similarly, when we as followers of Yeshua/Jesus are NOT in alignment with His Holy Spirit/the Spirit of Holiness also known as wind, we too will be stuck “in-irons” or bondage as slaves to sin..slaves to lawlessness. For we know the “telltale” signs or results of being in alignment with Yah’s Wind (God’s Spirit), we will cheerfully and willingly “horizontally” submit unto His Holy Wind… The telltales of our “course” is our obedience unto Him and His directions found in His Holy perfect Word.
Obedience to Abba’s ways (Father God’s ways)..His will..His laws aren’t bondage, but liberty. Rather, rebellion is stuck in-irons to sin.
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” Galatians 5:1 (Free from the consequence of sin! Avoid the law of sin and death//lawlessness see 1 John 3:4, but embrace the law of God//law of the Spirit of life Romans 7:22-8:10)
“So shall I keep Your law continually, forever and ever. And I will walk (or sail) at liberty, For I seek Your precepts.” Psalm 119:44-45
If you have been following Flip Flop Fellowship’s YouTube channel, then you know for months I (Carrie) have been seeing the numbers “234” on a regular if not daily basis. When I say seeing those exact numbers everywhere, I mean I see the numbers “234” in the time, in license plates, street signs, highway exit signs, gas stations, Walmart prices, bank account balance, how many views on YouTube, parking space #234 available at the airport, route numbers, 234 comments on social media site, the amount of storage on my phone available, to numbers in my IP address, etc, etc. It is seriously everyday! And while I have had a solid indication of one possible meaning, I seem to have uncovered another. But first, let me explain one way God speaks to His kids.
When I was in the early stages of hearing God and consequently, responding in obedience, learning to trust and obey Him, God did a similar pattern of showing me the numbers “316” on a regular if not daily basis until I finally understood it’s mysterious meaning. Ten years ago, when navigating the tumultuous waters of being in an abusive marriage, Abba Father (God) used the numbers 316 to tell me to get ready to go to my vacant safe house in Pennsylvania, whose street number was 316, when He says to go! At the time, my ex-husband and I were renting an apartment in Maryland, but I owned a house in Pennsylvania. Through that marriage, it not only woke me up to the power of Jesus’ name, but I also learned how to hear God’s Spirit and plan for my life. By doing so, I am convinced it probably saved both the lives of my kids and me. Nevertheless, after getting my kids in safe homes, I had to wait for His Spirit to tell me when to flee for I learned the hard way escaping physical captivity in domestic violence can not only be incredibly destructive, but even fatal. That ordeal was quite an experience, which you can learn more about in my testimony on YouTube, but the point is God patiently worked with me until I noticed and then understood why I kept seeing the numbers “316” everywhere nearly everyday.
Many years later, the same thing is happening except this time with the numbers “234”. I know from Scripture, Abba loves patterns and themes and He most definitely loves details like numbers! In 2016, after being remarried many years later since my divorce in 2009, Abba’s Spirit called my husband and I to sell that home in Pennsylvania and eventually He revealed where He was taking us. You can read more about all that on our “Walk His Way” home page. After listing our home for sale, many months later, His Spirit whispered to me in the wee hours of the morning to go to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Long story short, that is where we went and lived for 18 months. The beach condo we miraculously purchased in cash was unit #234. Then, after living there for quite some time, I began sensing His Spirit was moving us on to the next destination of this peculiar mobile journey. In His time, He revealed we were to buy a boat and it would seem we would be headed further Southwest. Now, we live aboard a sailboat full time in Kemah, Texas. A few months after living here, I started to see the numbers “234” often, then more often, and now daily.
Meanwhile, all along since 2016, when Abba told us to list our home during the Feast of Tabernacles, which I knew very little about at the time, He has since revealed so much truth to us using the Feast of Tabernacles and incorporated it through each destination He has called us to. For example, did you know when God redeemed the Israelites from their captivity in Egypt, He had them make temporary, mobile housing in the wilderness and they were to cover their tabernacles or booths or tents, if you will, with a myrtle tree branch, a palm tree branch, and a willow tree branch (Leviticus 23:40; Nehemiah 8:13-18)? Interestingly enough, the first place God called us to was Myrtle Beach. Later, Kemah, Texas. Kemah means “tabernacle, tent, camp”. Do you see the connections of the places His Spirit has led us to with the Feast of Tabernacles? I have since realized both Myrtle Beach as well as Kemah have the myrtle tree, palm trees, and willow trees and we indeed are living in temporary housing of sorts in both places. Oh, but it gets better! After confessing on my YouTube channel, I keep seeing the numbers “234”, a subscriber shared with me Leviticus 23:40 which reiterates the very thing I am noticing using the numbers 2-3-4 in the verse itself as well as to describe those three tree branches in the Feast of Tabernacles! How YAHsome is that?!
With all that said, I have been pondering and praying on these last few months, that I suspect since He used “316” to lead me to the 1st place being Pennsylvania, then perhaps the 2-3-4 signifies the amount of places He will lead us to and where we are at in that journey. Myrtle Beach being place #2 and where the #234 first manifested as our condo’s unit number. Kemah, Texas appears to be #3 of the 2-3-4. Each time, the Lord has nudged us and then eventually directly spoke saying things like “List it during the Feast of Tabernalces” when in PA or “List it now” when we were in Myrtle Beach, He gave us a heads up and direction as to where to research ahead of time. It was never way in advance, but advanced enough that we weren’t confused, we simply knew what we needed to do. For example, after listing our home in Pennsylvania on October of 2016, Abba told me the house would sell in April of 2017 and to plan to live tiny and be mobile. So I thought we would be getting an RV. Then after purging most of our belongings, we got a contract and the house did sell (close) in April of 2017. After getting the contract is when He started talking to me about Myrtle Beach, so Jerry and I made an impromptu trip to Myrtle Beach to check it out. Likewise, before He called us to sell our 500 square foot studio beach condo in Myrtle Beach, we got word from a credible prophet, who knew nothing about us, to not get too comfortable because this was just a temporary stopping place on this God-adventure. Later, Abba began to reveal the concept of living tiny and mobile on a sailboat. It was as if God knew we needed to gradually downsize from a large 5 bedroom home to a small 500 sq foot studio condo near the beach to an even smaller sailboat! LOL During all that, He had us research and investigate places we felt He was leading us to.
The last few days, I have sensed an interesting nudge to investigate the Emerald Coast, Panhandle area of Florida. That is the Pensacola, Destin, Niceville area. Jerry and I are trying to make plans to attend a family gathering in Atlanta and so just yesterday, I was looking into potential places we could stay while driving up to Atlanta and back. One such place was to stop in the panhandle of Florida somewhere. The next morning, I woke up to a message from a girlfriend in Niceville, Florida that it has been way too long and we need to spend a couple of days together. I thought to myself perhaps the Lord is confirming the area I need to research. Then today, at Shabbat services at the Messianic Jewish congregation we attend, one of the woman excitedly told me she just got back from Destin, Florida and told me all about it. So there I was thinking surely this is not coincidence that I felt prompted to start researching that area, then hours later my long lost friend reaches out to me to come visit her there, and then a couple of hours later another lady friend goes out of her way to tell me about her trip there that I knew nothing about!
While still at worship services in a Bible study called “Torah Club”, today’s Torah portion was all about the 10 spies who were sent out to research and investigate the Promised Land. Unfortunately, most of them, with the exception of Joshua and Caleb, came back fearful and caused toxic fear to spread among the Israelites instead of choosing faith in God’s plan for them in that new land. I also learned because of the spies’ fear and spreading that fear among God’s people, that generation of Israelites were cursed on the 9th of Av and were caused to wander the wilderness for 40 years to account for the 40 days of their fearful research in the future land. Scholars conclude the spies’ fearful report was presented to Moses on the 9th of Av in the Hebrew calendar because of the agriculture clues, feasts of the LORD, and history reflects major issues manifested for the Jewish people on the 9th of Av due to being cursed by God for the spies’ fear, such as the destruction of Solomon’s temple occurred on that day as well as the 2nd temple’s destruction in 70 A.D. occurred on that date. The 9th of Av falls in early August this year in the Gregorian calendar which is the time frame I was looking to “spy out” or research in person the panhandle of Florida while going to and fro Atlanta. It was then I realized, God must be sending Jerry and I out to “spy” on land #4 of the 2-3-4 right around the 9th of Av! Will we be fearful as we research yet another foreign land to possess or will we be full of faith? Is it a coincidence the LORD has been teaching me about generational curses and how to break them? Surely, operating in faith verses fear is a big part of the cure to curses!
I pray we will be like Caleb (and Joshua), who the Torah says in Number 14:24, “But My servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit in him and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land where he went, and his descendants shall inherit it.”
While driving home after services this Shabbat, explaining to Jerry and my 15 year old son all that I learned in my class and what the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) seems to be communicating to me about the 2-3-4 meaning we will be eventually going to yet another land in our fascinating Feast of Tabernacles, wilderness journey, I saw not once, but four times the numbers 234! I took that as confirmation. After seeing the infamous “234” several times while driving home, I prayed out loud to Abba to confirm to me we indeed are being sent out to spy out or research the Emerald Coast area of Florida. I asked Him to show me in His word a verse or something related to emeralds or something else blatantly obvious. I did the same thing when He whispered to me about Myrtle Beach. He told me to go to Isaiah 55, which at the end speaks of the myrtle tree! I had no idea, but God knows His own word!
Stay tuned to see what develops with the mystery of 234. Regardless of whether He has us stay here in Texas or calls us to Florida or wherever, I pray we are courageous like the only 2 spies, Caleb and Joshua, who led the next generation into God’s Promised Land!
Shabbat Shalom and Amen.
Carrie R. Turner
Whether on social media or in person, discussing one’s religious beliefs is often a passionate, heart felt, and worthy topic.
Naturally, if folks are unwilling to set aside what they were told a particular verse of Scripture means as well as unwilling to surrender their own Western mindset, then no amount of discussion, articles and videos I or anyone else post on social media will help one come into a more accurate understanding. Even so, in order to come into any spiritual truth, it truly is a work of the heart crafted by the Holy Spirit.
Allowing Scripture to define terminology used in Scripture, reading it within context, understanding the author and audience while not reading into text what we want it to say versus what it is actually saying is certainly an issue plaguing us today.
For me, I have found it fascinating to see believers believe they don’t need to believe in the word of the God they believe in. The irony! Much of the confusion comes in due to the Apostle Paul, a lawful, Jewish Pharisee’s peculiar writings, which he and other apostles forewarn are difficult to understand (Romans 7:1; 2 Peter 3:14-18).
Throughout many of Paul’s writings he compares the law of sin and death, which is the consequence of breaking God’s laws versus having the Spirit of Holiness, whose purpose is to remind us and cause us to want to obey the law of God (Ezekiel 36:27), that which is holy (Romans 7:12) – not as a means to salvation, but as a means to sanctification. First comes the seed, then comes the fruit. The seed is faith in Yeshua…the seed is the Holy Spirit. What grows from there is the work of that Spirit of Holiness in faith.
**This is important: The desire to obey comes from a pure and secure place full of love for God and His obedient Son, who was so obedient to His Father’s Torah, He died for us, versus a heart motivated by fear or guilt/condemnation trying to secure their salvation .**
In fact, the laws written down later coined as the Mosaic Covenant were given, taught, and encouraged BECAUSE of God’s grace..Because He redeemed them from Egypt…Because of the relationship between God and His people, God provided instructions to avoid going back into bondage AGAIN, back into a culture of sin. Notice the similarities of being set free, having to cross over through a body of water, being cleansed of their former identity as slaves to sin, slaves to Egypt. They were set apart from Egypt and those wanting to bring them back into captivity (not by coincidence the same theme manifests with the tribes of Israel hundreds of years later due to the Assyrian and Babylonian captivities). While in their wilderness journey, which took 40 years due to the Israelites’ ongoing ignorance and rebellion, many never reached the Promised Land. God even provided numerous tangible tools to help as reminders so they would keep His commands by having them create the tzit tzit ( tassels from their garments – see Numbers 15:37-41), celebrate the Passover feast, and adhere to the sacrificial system, etc.
Thousands of years later, God is doing the same thing- giving us His Spirit to help us remember Him and His commands, His love for us, His grace for us, His desire to bless us and dwell with us, as well as tangible reminders like Passover, which some call communion (see Luke 22), as we sojourn our very own wilderness journeys before reaching the Promised Land. Such gifts are to remind us NOT TO GO BACK TO PROVERBIAL EGYPT, a culture, a lifestyle of sin/lawlessness.
May we allow the Holy Spirit to cultivate hearts willing and ready to let go of our idols, our Egypts, and our man-made traditions, while we sojourn this life.
The Spirit cries out,
“Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would fear Me (respect Me) and always keep all My commandments, that it might be well with with them and with their children forever!” Deuteronomy 5:29
“‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.'” Matthew 5:18
Abba Father has always been after our rebellious, stubborn hearts. ❤ Blessings & Shalom.
Carrie R. Turner, 6/19/19 – updated 9/30/19
While in my car driving this afternoon, I heard a voice on a local Christian radio preaching to any willing listeners that the law of God is evil and causes people to sin. After hearing a couple of verses the preacher quoted, I found myself vexed in my being saddened that still too many have been so easily deceived into thinking something God calls truth (Psalm 119:30,60,142), a blessing (Psalm 119:1-2), wondrous (Psalm 119:18), a delight (Psalm 119:14-16,47), liberty (Psalm 119:44-45; Galatians 5; James 1:25), good doctrine (Proverbs 4:2), knowledge/understanding (Psalm 119:33-34, 73,100; Proverbs 2; Hosea 4:6), a light or lamp (Psalm 119:105-106,129-130; Proverbs 6:23; Matthew 25:1-13), the apple of our eye (Proverbs 7:1-3), for our good (Deut.5:29; 6:24-25; 7:9-26; 10:12-13; Proverbs 3:1-4), for our righteousness and instruction (Deut.6:24-25; Psalm 119:60,142,172; 2 Timothy 3:13-4:3), His will (Romans 2:17-18; 12:1-2), and holy, just and good (Romans 7:12), and spiritual (Romans 7:14) as evil and actually causes one to sin. Not too long ago, a different pastor posted on Facebook that obeying God’s commands is actually cheating on Jesus. After seeing such outlandish rebellion and deception on Facebook as well as hearing this latest attack on God and His word under the guise of faith, it was then while still driving in the car, the Scripture penned by the Apostle Peter, whom our Messiah founded His assembly on, stirred within my spirit. 1 Peter 3:14-18 reads:
“Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. 15 And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. 17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability.18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.” 2 Peter 3:14-18 (ESV)
Just as Jesus speaks in the Book of Revelation of areas various churches excel at as well as areas the church fails at and need to repent of (Rev. 2-3), I, too, have noticed a few important facts about today’s modern, mainstream Christianity church. One thing mainstream Christianity excels at is understanding Jesus, or Yeshua in His original Hebrew name, is the Messiah of the world as foretold throughout the Tanakh, also known as the Old Testament (Psalm 22; Isaiah 7:14; 53; Zechariah 9:9). Christianity indeed excels at spreading the good news of our Savior’s first arrival, His amazing grace, and many understand He will return to rule and reign in His second arrival. However, one big thing much of Christianity seems to fail at is understanding our Messiah was/is, begotten of the God of Israel, was/is still Jewish as were all of the Apostles, and our Messiah will return and reign still as Jewish or one from the tribe of Judah (hence, the slang term for the tribe of Judah being ‘Jew’), and the fact that in the New Jerusalem there is no gate for ‘Gentiles’ to enter (Read ‘Walk Like An Egyptian?‘) nor is the new covenant made with Gentiles (read Jeremiah 31:31-33 – notice the new covenant is with the House of Israel & House of Judah). Again, please read, ‘Walk Like An Egyptian?’ for more clarification. Furthermore, our Jewish Messiah taught that he came to fill up or show us how to be the Living Torah as He is the Living Torah (John 1; 1 Peter 1:22-25) and that not one jot or tittle (writings/grammar/highlights) of the law of God, His Abba (Father in Hebrew) and ours, is done away with or abolished until there is a new heaven and earth (Matthew 5:17-19). Jesus even goes on to say in that same passage that anyone who teaches God’s laws are done away (and even worse to present them as evil) will be considered least in God’s kingdom! Additionally, many do not know that the reason He returns to Earth for a second time is to restore the Earth as He and our Abba Father intended it to be. Specifically, Yeshua teaches us God’s laws (see Isaiah 2, Isaiah 51, Micah 4) as do His priests in the millennium reign of Yeshua before the New Heavens and New Earth are established (Ezekiel 44:23-24). The last chapter in the book of Zechariah, reveals after Yeshua returns to Earth to reign, all the world must participate in the Feast of Tabernacles (see Zechariah 14:16+). Similarly, various passages of the Tanakh (Old Testament) reveal the Israelites and strangers within the faith (even in the New Testament too – see John 12:20) sojourned to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover (‘Pesach’ in Hebrew), Pentecost (‘Shavuot’ in Hebrew), and Feast of Tabernacles (‘Sukkot’ in Hebrew). The Book of Ezekiel seems to indicate the world will also celebrate these feasts of the LORD (Leviticus 23) by traveling to Jerusalem during the millennium reign of Yeshua. To read more about what life will be like during the 1,000 year reign and rule of our Messiah, Yeshua, study Ezekiel 36-46. Likewise, Isaiah 64-66, reveal how Yeshua, the Messiah, feels about violations of God’s laws, such as eating swine or breaking Sabbath, at His return and what true worship looks like (hint: cheerful obedience to our Father’s laws). Clearly, if we celebrate the feasts of the LORD in the millennium and are also taught God’s laws in the Messianic Era, not to mention we currently are not yet in a new heaven and new earth just yet, then how can one seriously argue God’s commands are temporarily done away with, much less evil, or cheating on Jesus? To learn more about such critical truths, read Why Wormwood? and Will We Again Perform Sacrifices? If So, Why?
In other words, much of Christianity excels at making converts but fails at making disciples of Jesus Christ or Yeshua HaMaschiach, for being a disciple of the Jewish Jesus means to do just as He did as the walking, talking Torah (1 John 2:6; John 1; James 1:22-25), honoring His heavenly Father. After all, did Jesus not say in the last verse of the ‘Great Commission’, “Teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” in Matthew 28:20 (NKJV)?
Speaking of teaching, human nature is to simply believe what we are taught to believe and do what we are told to do without really investigating the doctrines being spoon fed to those of us sitting in the pews. Most preachers and seminary’s simply spew what they have been taught or what they read in commentaries. Many don’t know that out of a hatred for the Jews, thinking Jews are the sole perpetrators of Jesus’ crucifixion (when in actuality the Jews [1 Thess.2:14-15], the Romans [Matt.27:35], you & I [Rom.3:23;6:23], and the Father [Acts 2:23] killed Him), a bitter root of anti-semitism developed hundreds of years after the first century Messianic Jewish and grafted-in believers (former Gentiles) began following ‘The Way’ (Acts 9:2; Acts 11:26) when the Emperor Constantine and the Council of Nicea made doctrines and rules ostracizing anything remotely Jewish from the Roman Catholic Church (circa 325 AD). Without having the word of God for themselves to study, as well as palpable fear of persecution and wanting to belong, many church goers accepted the authority of the Emperor’s and Catholic Church’s guidelines and doctrines. Even today, with prevalent access to Bibles, many Catholic and Protestant Christians still abide by such doctrines founded in the 4th century rather than seeking the Father with all their heart and minds while allowing His Spirit of Holiness (Holy Spirit) to teach them what is holy (Romans 7:12). Many hearts are closed to hearing anything other than what they’ve been taught. Why? Because to discover something different would mean three humbling and potentially devastating facts: 1) They were deceived. 2) They were wrong. 3) You will be set apart from others and consequently, misunderstood and persecuted. Take heart, beloveds, being angry and grieved upon realizing the gross distortion of God’s voice, His word, as well as scared is totally normal as you come out of proverbial Babylon or Egypt.
If you are still reading, then perhaps you are one of the few that “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” Jeremiah 33:3 (NKJV). It’s been my personal experience, the more one is willing to come to Him like a child, while abandoning your preconceived notions and traditions, forgetting everything you think you know about Him, the faster one will grow into a mature son or daughter of Abba in Yeshua and hopefully, start producing lasting and delightful fruit!
Tragically, as evidence of various media outlets, many have been taught that to be ‘under the law’ is being in bondage, legalistic, or even cursing themselves as it is cheating on Jesus. Many believe such things primarily from cherry-picking a few verses out of the Book of Romans and Galatians or various books scribed by the Apostle Paul. I know I certainly was taught that and at first glance at such Scriptures, I can see why one would come to such conclusion. Now, however, when I hear such things I am not sure if I want to cry or laugh at such gross, but clever twisting of Paul’s writings.
“For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law, but under grace.” Romans 6:14 (NKJV)
It would seem when reading Romans 6:14, particularly if you simply cherry-pick verses, that being under the law is being under sin. But are God’s laws sin? No. Or is breaking God’s law sin? YES! Whenever one studies a verse, one needs to read it in context as well as compare it to the rest of Scripture. Let’s examine I John 3:4, which reads,
“Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.” 1 John 3″4 (NKJV)
So according to the Jewish Apostle John, under the unction of the Holy Spirit, sin is breaking God’s law or not obeying God’s commandments. The Apostle John also writes in 1 John 2:4,
“He who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” I John 2:4 (NKJV)
and how the persecuted saints in the Book of Revelation are described as those who not only believe in Yeshua as their Messiah, but they keep the commandments of God as well.
“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)
In I John 2, the Apostle explains the commandments he is inferring are ones from the Torah (see 1 John 2:7), which Jesus especially taught and walked and even raised the standard on (i.e. think about the adultery commandment – Jesus said if you even THINK about a woman lustfully, you have committed adultery – Matt.5:27-30). Did Jesus ever say, don’t worry about such commandments like ‘Thou shall not commit adultery’ (Exodus 19:14,17)? No, rather, Jesus often is found showing grace to those who violated the law, but then saying, “Go and sin no more.” (John 8:11). In other words, Jesus often taught even though I forgive you and am showing you my grace, don’t continue to break My Father’s commands..His law (read Hebrews 10 and Matthew 7). Moreover, Yeshua was actually honoring Abba’s laws by defending the woman for there was not two or three witnesses to testify against her as the Torah prescribes.
The confusion in the letters of Apostle Paul, who wasn’t just a Jew, but a law-abiding Pharisee even as a disciple of Yeshua (Acts 23:6; 24:14-16; 26:5), manifests in many Christians today because Paul described two opposing laws at play: The Law of God (also described as the Law of the Spirit/Christ) verses The Law of Sin and Death (also described as the Law of the flesh/sin/death). When we look at the following verses after Romans 6:14, Paul explains now that we are no longer under the curse of breaking God’s law, which is the law of sin and death, but rather grace. But he writes that just because we now get to experience grace, we should still strive to not sin by breaking God’s laws or being without God’s laws or put another way leading a ‘lawless’ lifestyle as many Christians do today. Hence, why Jesus warns, He will one day say to believers who cast out demons, prophesy, and heal the sick, “Depart from me you workers of lawlessness.” (Matthew 7:21-23). Furthermore, Paul implores we be slaves to righteousness, slaves to God’s law or put another way because we are saved by the grace of God, we should want to obey His ways by becoming slaves to His righteousness..His law.
Throughout Romans chapters 6, 7, and 8, Paul goes to great lengths attempting to explain these two opposing laws, but says in Chapter 7, verse 1, unless you know the law this will be very confusing. For me, it became much clearer in Romans 7:21-25:
Vs 21: “I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good.” (The law of God is designed to give us knowledge of what is good versus evil..to know the will of God – see Romans 2:17-18. For how can we experience God’s grace if we don’t know what is sin?)
Vs 22: “For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man.” (But aren’t most modern day preachers teaching the law of God is evil? Rather, breaking the law of God is evil and has a serious consequence – death according to Romans 3:23 and 6:23; hence, the law of sin and death! Breaking God’s law = Sin = Evil = Law of Sin and Death)
Vs 23: “But I see another law in my members (flesh), warring against the law of my mind (Law of God/Spirit), and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin (Law of Sin & Death/flesh), which is in my members (flesh).”
Go to verse 25: “I thank God- through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with my mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.” (Law of God vs. Law of Sin)
So you see Paul isn’t saying the Law/Torah/Commandments of God are evil or bad in any way, but rather the consequence or curse (Deuteronomy 30:11-20; Revelation 21:4,7-8; 22:3,14) in breaking the law is a type of bondage or captivity (as proven by the Babylonian captivity when the Jews broke God’s Sabbath and Sabbath rest for the land every 7 years – see 2 Chron.36). He also goes on in Romans 8:2 saying, “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.” We have died to the curse of breaking the law, the law of sin and death upon believing in Jesus (Paul explains this also in the Book of Galatians). And that the flesh, or the carnal mind is against the law of God, because the flesh wants us to remain in captivity or bondage to sin – only the Spirit can bring us to delight in the law (Romans 8:4-8). Christ’s shed blood freed us from the curse or wages of sin and death, which is the law of sin and death (Romans 3:23; 6:23). All throughout the Torah, the first 5 books of the Bible, referred to by Jesus and the Apostles as the ‘Law’, warns if you break God’s commandments, which is His voice, you will be cursed (Deut.27:26; Lev.18:5; Rom.10:5; Gal.3:10-14). If you unintentionally broke God’s laws, by accident or not knowing it was a sin, the Levitical High Priest could make atonement for your trespass. Whereas, if a person intentionally sinned, they would be killed. You can read some examples of such practices in Numbers 15. Either way, blood would be shed. When Jesus/Yeshua became the perfect, spotless Passover lamb, He bled to death on the cross to make atonement for our tresspasses so that both the Jew and Gentile could experience not just the blessings of keeping God’s covenant/law (see Galatians 3:13-14; Romans 11), but freedom from the curse of breaking God’s law, whether it was an unintentional sin or intentional, an even better blessing! Specifically, upon His ascension to heaven, He became a spiritual High Priest currently mediating on our behalf to Abba Father in heaven as we ongoingly repent for our latest trespasses against God and others (Hebrews 8). Hence, God’s grace and Christ’s role in heaven. The One who died for our trespasses is actively lobbying God on your behalf – talk about grace, not to mention, credibility!
Sadly, in modern day churches, some preach that if you obey God’s law, which we now know is not sinning, you are cheating on Jesus, due to the verse discussed in Romans 6 as well as some verses in Galatians. Ironically, if you break God’s law, you are actually cheating on God/Jesus or rebelling against your Abba Father’s household rules (whichever way you prefer to think of it is the same concept). All throughout the various books in the Bible written by the prophets, YHVH describes those who break God’s commandments/His laws as whores..as adulterers..as those who break His holy covenant (read the Books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Hosea, Daniel, etc). When the 12 tribes of Israel as well as the thousands of ‘mixed-multitude’ (former Egyptians/Gentiles who left Egypt alongside the Israelites/Hebrews) committed themselves saying, “We Do” to God’s covenant (Exodus 24:3), much like us grafted-in Israelites (Romans 11) do upon accepting Christ or re-dedicating ourselves to Him, they essentially married God (to put it in a human understanding). Hence, why He often had the prophets declare those who aligned themselves with the One True God, but defied His laws and their vows, as adulterers. Today, we are betrothed or engaged to Yeshua, His son, about to be in an even better covenant, a new covenant, where we will be married to Him for eternity! He is coming back for His Bride who has a stain-free, blemish-free, spotless wedding dress (2 Corinthians 11:2;Ephesians 5:25-27; Revelation 7:13-14; 19:7-9; 21:1-2,9-10) to make her His lawfully wedded wife, which is why the Book of Revelation says in the New Heaven and New Earth, there is no unclean thing, no lawlessness, no sin and death for the glorious (Rev.21), New Covenant has been consummated – all things are made new without spot or blemish (unclean/lawless/sin).
Moreover, if one’s heart is in love with God/Yeshua, in cooperation, His Spirit will circumcise your heart (Deut.10:14-16;30:6; Jeremiah 4:4; Romans 2:28-19), writing God’s Torah/law on our hearts (Jeremiah 31:31-33; Romans 2:13-16; Hebrews 10:14-17). In other words, because of receiving such a generous gift of dying for our sins (breaking God’s laws), we will WANT to obey God’s laws out of a circumcised, heart full of gratitude…a heart of thanksgiving.
The law without the Spirit produces works of the flesh – dead works…and cannot save you (see Acts 15; Book of Galatians; Ephesians 2:8-13). Just as a body without God breathing into it is dead and a spirit without a body is unproductive as well, so is faith without evidence, without fruit, for in Hebraic mindset, to believe is to do (James 1:21-27; 2:14-26). Think of the law like a structure, or body, or systems in place to function, but without the wind in your lungs causing the blood (of Yeshua) to flow through you, that body is meaningless, useless, and dead. Likewise, we cannot see the Spirit or wind, but we can see the effects of His Spirit, the wind, as it transforms the physical. That is where the two, law and Spirit, become one and in that covenant they produce something beautiful – fruit of the Spirit DAILY not just once in awhile like in the Old Testament when the Spirit of the LORD would fall on people on occasion! Having the Spirit write God’s law on your heart, causing you to obey Him (Ezekiel 36:27), brings life! In fact, it’s believed the law of God given to Moses and the people of God was given on Shavuot or Pentecost; hence, one reason why such a festival is commanded to be celebrated. Likewise, the Spirit of Holiness, whose purpose is to guide you into holiness, was given on Pentecost/Shavuot (see Acts 2). What is your motive? Are you begrudgingly obeying God’s commands hoping you can earn your salvation or are you wanting to obey Him out of a great love for Him because He first loved you..BECAUSE of your salvation? Abba is looking for cheerful givers!
Religion views obedience as legalistic. Relationship views obedience as love.
So you see, betrothed ones, out of a circumcised heart, a heart in love, you will no longer be “cheating on Jesus”, rather you will commit and submit unto Him and His way allowing Him to make your heart and your dress beautiful in His time (Ecclesiastes 3:11). The Torah IS The Living Torah’s love language. Learn His Voice (Deuteronomy 30; John 10:10), then follow His way, His truth, and reproduce His life.
Shalom and Amen,
Carrie R. Turner
In Messianic Judaism, there is something called a weekly “Torah portion” which takes a passage from the first 5 books of the Bible, as well as a portion from the books scribed by prophets, and portions from the “Brit Hadasha” or “Renewed Covenant”, which in English Bibles has been translated as New Testament. As of May 18, 2019, this weeks Torah portion is the Hebrew word “Emor”, which means “Speak” or “Say”. What is our Heavenly Father speaking to us through these passages? Can you find the connections?
Blessings and Shalom!