The Gift of Grace: Do You Have It? How Do You Know?

Christian culture is centered on the concept of G-d’s gift of grace made possible through His Son, Yeshua/Jesus’ death and resurrection. If you have been exposed to such important concepts, surely you have heard the famous toted verse found in Ephesians 2:8-9:

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”

These two verses, and these verses alone, are what most Christians think of when they think of grace. However, the very next verse (10) in that same passage seems to be encouraging good works as if grace and good works are related by saying, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” The following verses go on to tell the new believing Gentiles in Ephesus (Ephesians 1:1, 3:1), who Paul calls “saints” (Ephesians 1:1) not to behave like the lawless Gentiles because now through believing Yeshua is the Messiah, Gentiles are also part of the covenants (see verses 2:11-13). He emphasizes Yeshua’s death and resurrection provide a way for unity (Ephesians 2:13-19) while seeming to re-emphasize although genetically you are non-Jewish, you are considered a “saint” in G-d’s eyes. The Apostle Paul goes on to explain in the following verses of Chapter 2, Yeshua the Messiah’s death and resurrection paid the debt or the consequence or curse of breaking the One True Living G-d’s covenant or relationship by disobeying Him (see Deuteronomy 28-29) now providing the eventual promise of eternal life through our own resurrection one fine day. HalleluYAH!

Could “grace” somehow cause us to do “good works”?

Earlier in the book of Ephesians, the Apostle Paul writes that upon trusting and believing in the gospel message, you will be sealed with the Holy Spirit (see Ephesians 1:13). Acts 2:38-39 says essentially the same thing stating the promised gift of the Holy Spirit is for all who repent and are baptized in the authority or identity of Jesus/Yeshua The Messiah.

But did you know receiving the Holy Spirit is a distinct event in a believer’s life? I did not know this either until it happened to me unexpectedly in 2009 many years after believing Jesus is the Messiah (some 26 years later!). Many preach that receiving the Holy Spirit is an automatic, seemingly secret event that occurs instantly upon believing Yeshua is the Messiah, but according to Scripture, it is a distinct, separate, and undeniable event in one’s life.

Acts 2 revealed receiving the Holy Spirit is a noticeable spiritual event that causes a physical reaction. Likewise, in Acts 8:14-17, we see some in Samaria believed in the gospel message and had even been baptized, but they had not yet received the Holy Spirit until the Apostles laid hands on them and prayed for them, then the Holy Spirit fell on the believing people. Evidently, it caused some form of physical reaction for them to observe and record the Holy Spirit falling upon them to where they could surely verify the had received the Holy Spirit. Similarly, in Acts 10, the Holy Spirit provided a vision and the interpretation of the vision to the Apostle Peter, who typically ministered to Jews (Galatians 2:7-8). Through that vision and interpretation, Peter came to understand that the Gentiles were just as loved and wanted by G-d as well as the Jews and no longer considered unclean (Acts 10:34-36; Galatians 2:6) and shortly thereafter, the Spirit provided an opportunity for Peter to minister to the Gentile household of Cornelius and the Holy Spirit also fell on Gentiles causing a physical reaction (Acts 10:44-48). Additionally, in Acts 19:1-6, the Apostle Paul asked some Gentile believers in Ephesus if they had received the Holy Spirit yet, but they answered they hadn’t even heard of the term Holy Spirit prior to then and evidently they had not been baptized yet either. Moments later, they decided to get baptized, Paul laid hands on them, and the Holy Spirit came upon them just like it fell in Acts 2, for the Samaritans, for Cornelius’ crew, and now for these believers in Ephesus, causing a physical reaction to what was happening in the spiritual.

Let’s unpack this:

1) First, we can see receiving the Holy Spirit is a distinct separate event to occur sometime after a person believes Yeshua/Jesus is indeed the Messiah.

2) Secondly, we see receiving the Holy Spirit is not limited to some formula of first believe, then be baptized, then receive the Holy Spirit for although some of those believers had already been baptized (Acts 8:14-17; 19:5-6), others had not (Acts 10:44-48) and yet they received the Holy Spirit. Incidentally, this is what manifested in my case as well (first received the Spirit then baptized by immersion into Him). We can deduce from this that not only is receiving the Holy Spirit a separate, noticeable, and distinct event that occurs sometime after trusting the fact that Yeshua is Messiah, but it is not limited to first being baptized or another outward expression of faith.

3) Thirdly, we can see them receiving the Holy Spirit was no act or choice of their own, an event that could not be forced or manipulated, but rather, an event given only by the grace of G-d, in His time, and His way, after they simply trusted Yeshua is their Messiah, their Redeemer, who paid for the cost of their lawlessness, and were open to receiving His Spirit of Grace.

4) Fourthly, we learn from these passages that receiving the Holy Spirit causes some sort of physical reaction to what is transpiring in the spiritual (i.e. speaking in tongues, but not limited to speaking to in tongues). Similar to when G-d, who is spirit (John 4:24), spoke, then something physical manifested (Genesis 1). What transpires in the physical often reveals what is happening in the spirit realm.

5) Lastly, we can discern from these passages, that G-d does not discriminate for the Holy Spirit was poured out on both Jews and Gentiles.

Did you know the Holy Spirit is not just referred to as the ‘promised gift’ (of the Father- see Acts 1:4-5, 2:38-39), but also the ‘gift of grace’ (Ephesians 2:8), and ‘the Spirit of grace’ (Zechariah 12:7; Hebrews 10:29)? So it would seem to me, when various authors in Scripture refer to G-d’s grace, they are referring to not just believing Jesus/Yeshua is Messiah, but the manifested promise of believing in Yeshua through receiving His Holy Spirit, which did not become readily available to all until Yeshua the Messiah rose from the dead (see Galatians 4:6)!

Did you know even though the Holy Spirit has existed from the beginning (Isaiah 63), it is what makes the new/renewed covenant distinct from the other covenants? Jeremiah 31:31-33, as well as Ezekiel 11:19-20, and Ezekiel 36:26-27, and Hebrews 10 as well as other passages like Joel 2, informs us while various chapters in Acts demonstrate to us Abba Father will pour out His Holy Spirit on those who believe (Yeshua is Messiah) as a sign of a new covenant made, similar to physical signs He has provided other times when He made a spiritual covenant with His people (Romans 4:9-14) and that the purpose of that Holy Spirit being deposited within us, also known as the ‘Spirit of Holiness’ is to cause those who believe to do that which is holy (Romans 7:12), to seal G-d’s laws on the hearts of His disciples (Isaiah 8:16), and to educate, encourage, and empower us to obey His Kingdom Constitution or put another way, The Father’s household instructions being found in the Torah and elaborated on throughout the rest of Scripture.

In other words, the gift of grace is receiving the Holy Spirit, who then takes us from living a lawless, unholy lifestyle to a lawful, holy lifestyle in His time little by little, step by step. In our natural selves we cannot to do so nor want to (Romans 8:7), but the supernatural being within our flesh causes a physical reaction to do the good works Ephesians 2:10 refers to! HalleluYAH!

But I Thought The Law Was Just For The Jews, Not Gentiles?!

Many believe, however, that obeying Abba Father’s instructions only applies to Jews and not Gentiles, but my Bible does not seem to teach that the Jewish people receive a different Holy Spirit than the Gentiles. In fact, the Bible seems to reiterate there is no partiality or difference in Abba’s perspective between His natural kids (Jews) and His adopted kids (Gentiles), He loves us all the same and His household rules applies to all His kids. Just the very essence of referring to the G-d of the universe, the One True Living G-d, as Father, infers He is our authority, our parent. Just as children are taught to honor their father and mother by obeying them, Abba Father’s spiritual kids must do so also. Unfortunately, there is an ugly spirit of sibling rivalry among believing Jews and believing Gentiles seeming to assert one’s status over another.

I have discovered along my faith journey that there are various teachings found in the Body of Messiah that seem to teach a different lifestyle of holiness or infers (perhaps unknowingly) that a different Holy Spirit is poured out onto Jews than Gentiles. Here are the 3 common teachings regarding obeying G-d’s laws in summary: 1) We are not under law so neither believing Jew or Gentile in Messiah ought to keep Torah anymore; 2) Only the Jews in Messiah are required to keep Torah, being the Jews are the chosen priesthood, but for the Gentile obeying Torah is optional; 3) Upon receiving G-d’s grace and being filled with the Holy Spirit, a believer in Messiah, whether genetically a Jew or Gentile will be Spirit-led to obey Torah in His time.

It’s About His Blood, Not Our Blood

From what I have discerned from Scripture thus far is the gospel message that is repeated over and over again (within the pages of the Bible) is not only that we become apart of G-d’s family through faith in Yeshua alone through His blood, not our blood, not our genetics (Romans 3:28-30, 5:9, 9: 6-8, 10:9-13) but that Abba Father shows no partiality between genetic Jews and genetic Gentiles. I invite you to grab your Bible and join me as I share with you numerous verses leading me to this conclusion.

Since we were just discussing Ephesians, please investigate Ephesians 4:4-6 which reads,

There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

Does it say there are different faiths or a different Holy Spirit given depending on if you are Jewish or Gentile? Do we have a different Father?

In Acts 10, the Apostle Peter, who typically ministered to Jews (Galatians 2:7-8) came to understand after seeing a vision that Abba is after the hearts of not just the Jews, but the Gentiles as well. “Then Peter opened his mouth and said, ‘In truth, I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.” Shortly thereafter, as discussed earlier, Peter witnessed first hand the Holy Spirit falling on the Gentiles (Acts 10:44-48).

{warning: theology rant}

The Apostles expressed numerous times that there is no difference between His genetic Jewish kids and His genetic Gentile kids for we are one family in our Father’s house upon believing Yeshua is Messiah; hence, the tearing of the veil (Matthew 27:51), the breaking down the barrier between Jew and Gentiles (Ephesians 2:14) for Yeshua is our High Priest (Hebrews 5-10) and all in Him, including Gentiles, are His Chosen Priesthood (1 Peter 2:5-12; Romans 11). He is not concerned with your physical dna, per se, rather He is more concerned about your spiritual DNA…your circumcised heart, your spiritual maturity gleaned through your spiritual giftings and overall role in His body. Do you have different backgrounds, different experiences, different genders, eye color, shapes and sizes, and natural tendencies? Of course! But neither your past or your flesh have a place in the kingdom in light of eternity for He is making you a new creation in your identity in Him (2 Corinthians 5:17). Stop making it be about genetics for that is carnal. In the end, our DNA is a fading flower. The flesh is temporary, the spiritual is eternal. Put another way, it’s not about your physical temporary body, it’s about HIS spiritual eternal body.

Likewise, do you have different spiritual gifts? Different spiritual roles in G-d’s kingdom (i.e. apostles, prophets, teachers, evangelist, pastoral, etc)? Of course, and yet, you are still one, according to 1 Corinthians 12. Just as there is no one gift better than the other or how no one body part in the human body can properly function without all the others working in unity, neither is woman better than man (1 Corinthians 11:11), man better than woman (I Corinthians 11:11), Jew better than Gentile, or Gentile better than Jew. “Distinction Theology”, a relatively newly defined theology circulating in some of Messianic Judaism and some even more limited circles of Christianity, fosters division elevating Jews above Gentiles, by teaching Torah is required for Jews, being they are G-d’s special chosen people, His actual priesthood, but the Gentiles can do their less serious role by adhering to the moral laws of Torah. It like “Replacement Theology” are false doctrines that foster division and discord. “Replacement Theology”, the most predominant theology circulated for centuries throughout Christianity, creates division by elevating Gentiles above Jews and typically teaches the Torah is irrelevant to both Gentiles and Jews. Both of these contradict Scripture and demonstrate sibling rivalry at its best or more accurately, worst! If I had to pick a theology that best describes my perspective regarding unity and honoring Abba Father’s instructions for His kids, it would be “One Law Theology”, circulating in the Hebrew Roots Movement as well as Messianic Judaism, but even that could use better clarification because it implies every single command in Torah applies to every single person, which it does not. For example, can a man obey the commandments provided in Torah specifically for woman (i.e. her menstrual cycle)? Do the commandments intended for farmers or the military apply to everyone? Do the commandments pertaining to the Levitical Priesthood apply to the average person (i.e. what clothing to wear or not to touch dead people)? Moreover, it is clearly difficult to label and explain the mysteries of G-d and His family dynamics plus we are all at different mile markers on the same narrow path (hopefully). I certainly can appreciate attempting to explain various revelations, but we must do so being founded in the entirety of G-d’s word and in His love while fostering the atmosphere of being in one accord. Is our theology demonstrating fruit of the Spirit, demonstrating love or are we creating doctrines that place one over another? Is that the Spirit of Grace? The Spirit of Holiness? Yeshua taught us to serve others, to be humble, to love. He ministered to all walks of life lowering Himself even to the point of death for ALL of us. Perhaps a better label could be “One Family Theology” or “One Love Theology” or “One Father Theology” or “The Functional Faith Family Theology”. It grieves me to see those who claim to believe in One G-d be so divided.

It grieves me to see those who claim to believe in One G-d be so divided.

Some of the Messianic Judaism communities seem to attack the Hebrew Roots communities while some of the Hebrew Roots communities seem to attack Christianity and some of Christianity seems to attacks its own variations/denominations…it is never ending division. Hopefully, you are hearing my heart on these important matters for when the trumpets start blasting in the end (see Revelation 8-11), I promise you, you won’t care what your theology is called, you will need each other and finally start fulfilling the heart of Torah by BEING love, as the Body of Messiah, simply to survive.

I invite you to explore the following verses that foster wholeness and the heart of our Father…

“..God shows no personal favoritism to no man..” Galatians 2:6

For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise….And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, ‘Abba Father!’ Therefore, you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.” Galatians 3:26-29, 4:6-7

Now therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.” Ephesians 2:19

Incidentally, do you remember Paul referenced believers in both his letters to the Ephesians and Romans as “saints”? Did you know the Apostle John in the Book of Revelation refers to “saints” as those who both believe in Yeshua as Messiah AND keep G-d’s commandments (see Revelation 12:17 & 14:12)? It doesn’t say the “beast” makes war with just the Jews or just the Gentiles, does it? But Scripture says in 2nd Thessalonians and Revelation, the LAWLESS one, the beast, goes after those saints who believe in Yeshua and do G-d’s Torah/Law! Let that sink in for a bit.

Back to being one family obeying the Parent…

that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel.” Ephesians 3:6

Set your mind on things above and not on earthly things for you died and your is now hidden with Christ in God….Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all in all.” Colossians 3:2-11

But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality.” Colossians 3:25

Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: ‘The Lord knows those who are His,’ and ‘Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.‘ ” 2 Timothy 2:19

..for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, stife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? For when one says, ‘I am of Paul,’ and another, ‘I am of Apollos’, are you not carnal?…For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building.” 1 Corinthians 3:3-9

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” Romans 1:16 (see note below)

But to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness- indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For there is no partiality with God.” Romans 2:8-10 (My interpretation of this phrase ‘to the Jew first’ mentioned here and in Romans 1:16 is the Jews were offered salvation and blessings of obedience first and then such things were also made available to the Gentiles – see Romans 9-11).

For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. ‘For whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.‘ ” Romans 10:12-13

For if God did not spare the natural branches (Jews), He may not spare you either (Gentiles).” Romans 11:21

Or is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. Do we then make void the law the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.” Romans 3:29-31

Before I proceed, notice Paul writes in the last phrase of Romans 3:31 “we establish the law”. But if the Jews are already well-acquainted with Torah, having had it established thousands of years prior, then who were the Apostles focused on establishing the law with in addition to the Jews? The Roman Gentiles (Romans 1:1-7). Not to earn their salvation, but because of their salvation..because of their repentance for sin, which sin is Biblically defined as breaking Torah or being without Torah (1 John 3:4) and then the eventual receiving of the Holy Spirit, who in turn, causes those who have believed and received to obey Torah. Paul writes in Romans 1:5-6, “Through Him we have received grace and apostleship FOR OBEDIENCE TO THE FAITH among all nations for His name, among who you also are the called of Jesus Christ..

I see believing Jews as being the “oldest” in the family, the firstborn, the ones who know better and who can help instruct the younger siblings in what Abba Father expects. That seemed to be my role as oldest and best explains this family dynamic too.

We have learned thus far, we are in a new covenant and a sign of that covenant is the outpouring of Holy Spirit onto both Jew and Gentile alike. But why make a Holy Spirit anyway as a sign or gift? Why not make a glowing cross in the sky when a person believes Yeshua/Jesus is the Messiah like G-d made a rainbow when He made a covenant with Noah? The purpose of the Holy Spirit is to help us honor Abba Father by obeying Him, by obeying the terms of all the previous covenants (to those that apply anyway) since clearly without the Holy Spirit, it could not be done – Welcome to the Renewed/New Covenant (see Ezekiel 36:27). In addition to it’s not about if you are genetically Jewish or genetically a Gentile, it’s also not about converting to Judaism, not that there is anything wrong with being a Jew, Gentile, or practicing Judaism, in fact, I do practice Messianic Judaism the best I know how at this time in my faith journey. Overall, dear reader, in my interpretation of Scripture, it is about making disciples and cultivating an authentic lifestyle of holy worship upon receiving G-d’s gift of grace.

In summary, having obtained grace is having obtained the Spirit of grace/the Holy Spirit, in G-d’s time and His way, through no merit or doing or manipulating of our own, other than simply choosing to believe Yeshua is the Messiah. We will receive the promised Holy Spirit when G-d deems it time – His grace. That Spirit of Holiness, once received, will begin spiritually circumcising our spiritual hearts, removing the unholy and replacing it with holy, eventually causing our flesh to follow accordingly. In other words, the inward spiritual workings of the Holy Spirit, will produce physical outward works, good works (Ephesians 2:10), which if led by the Spirit, will produce love, joy, peace, patience, self-control, etc (Galatians 5:22-23). Similarly, G-d’s presence and law are centered in Jerusalem, likened to a heart, but will be circulated and enforced throughout all the nations one fine day likened to the body when He returns and the Spirit of Holiness encamps the whole earth bringing us into shalom, into wholeness, unity, and one accord (see Isaiah 2, 51; Micah 4; Zechariah 14:16+). Can’t wait! 🙂

Moreover, upon receiving the ‘gift of grace’ or ‘Spirit of holiness’, which is the Holy Spirit, He begins to teach us the heart of the Father, and what love looks like as exampled by His Son. The Spirit flowing in us and through us, explains, educates, encourages, and empowers His kids to walk like our big brother Yeshua walked, to follow Him, and to love G-d, His word (all of it), and consequently, we will love others for love is the summary of Torah- it’s what His Torah and the Gift of Grace is all about!

Shalom and Amen.

Carrie R. Turner, 10.6.19 and 10.9.19

*Please note these conclusions are my own and don’t necessarily represent the beliefs of Messianic Judaism.

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Intentional Sin VS Unintentional Sin: KNOW the Difference

(Recorded Sep 23 2019) In the last episode of Season 3, Carrie provides you with a plethora of scripture revealing how G-d views intentional sin verse unintentional sin. Loaded with eye-catching GIFS and graphics, you’ll want to grab a pen, paper, and you Bible! May the Spirit of Holiness renew your mind and transform your heart through this critical teaching.

To read the lengthy article discussed in this video, visit this link (warning it will make you think):
https://flipflopfellowship.com/2019/03/13/will-we-again-perform-sacrifices-why/

***Are You In Covenant Yet With Abba Father Through His Son? Read About God’s Plan of Salvation with a nautical twist! https://flipflopfellowship.com/plan-of-sailvation/

Never Forget 9-11 or Romans 9-11

If there is one thing Americans and Israelis have in common is the unwanted hateful attention from certain populations. Americans old enough to remember the horrifying events of 9-11-01 will never forget the needless terror and murder of the innocent that tragic day.

In much different terms, but eternally important, is the call of Romans 9 -11, where the Apostle Paul beckons those who believe Jesus is the Messiah, but who are not of Jewish DNA (Gentiles) to never forget their role in God’s plan for Israel. Unfortunately, most Christians don’t realize their duty and how God desires to use them as believing Gentiles, also known as ‘grafted-in Israelites’ or likened to ‘spiritual Jews’ (Romans 2:28-29) to provoke the Jewish people to jealousy (Romans 11:11)! Are they jealous because Christianity typically teaches Jesus taught against God’s Torah? Certainly not for to the Jew, Jesus is an idolater and false prophet according to Deuteronomy 13. Would Jews be jealous of Gentile believers breaking Torah or God’s instructions for life? Certainly not for most Jews believe Gentiles only need to adhere to 7 Noahide Laws (very similar to the 10 Commandments) in order to be considered righteous – not the 613 commands of Torah as were given to the Israelites and those aligning themselves with Israel believing in the One True Living God. Would preaching a law-hating grace-loving gospel accompanied by sensational miracles said to be of the “Holy Spirit” make them jealous? Certainly not for Jews know in the new covenant, according to the prophets, God will give a new Spirit, which will cause one to WANT TO DO Torah (Jeremiah 31:31-33; Ezekiel 11:19-20,36:27) not hate Torah! So how are Christians to fulfill Romans 9 – 11? Watch this brief video to learn your role in God’s plan and how you can be part of the fullness of the Gentiles as the Apostle Paul references as do many prophets!

The Redeemed Obey

[This photo was taken in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, a land, sea, and people I love. My heart’s prayer is instead on waves of destruction as prophecized, that Carolinians and all of America’s coastlands will come to be refreshed in waves of righteousness rather than waves of destruction due to lack of true repentance.]

Many believers are familiar with our Messiah’s phrase stated in Revelation 1:8, 21:6-7, 22:13, when Jesus, or Yeshua in His original name, states He is the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end. Unfortunately, many have been erroneously taught that God’s word, His commands, His instructions for life, found in His Torah, are no longer applicable after Yeshua / Jesus died on the cross and therefore, many “believers”, ironically, don’t believe in all of God’s word from beginning to end. Many have interpreted various verses penned by the Apostle Paul from a Western Greek perspective rather than a Hebraic mentality, which the Apostle Peter warned the Apostle Paul’s letters are difficult to understand and many would interpret them to lead others into lawlessness or being without Torah..being without God’s laws much to their own demise (2 Peter 3:15-17).

Recently, I learned of another passage, where Jesus / Yeshua is speaking in Isaiah 48 imploring the redeemed to obey God’s commands. It is clear from the beginning of the Bible to the end, the message is: The redeemed obey. Whether you have been redeemed from Egypt, Babylon, or proverbial Babylon, the Spirit of Holiness beckons us to come out of her my people (Rev.18:4)…come out of a lifestyle of lawlessness…a lifestyle of thinking you can live however you want intentionally sinning under the guise of grace…a lifestyle of spiritual adultery…lest you share in her plagues…lest you experience God’s disciplining judgments designed to bring you to true repentance by returning to Abba Father, through Yeshua, and abiding in covenant by submitting to God’s instructions for life found in His Torah and all of His word, from beginning to end! Here in Isaiah 48, we see Yeshua saying the the same thing.

We don’t obey in order to be saved; rather, we obey because it is our heart’s response upon receiving the Spirit of Holiness, the Holy Spirit, the lawful Spirit of Christ, grateful for Him bleeding to death on a cross for breaking Torah (I John 3:4; Romans 3:23, 6:23). Simply stated: The Redeemed Obey.

#myrtlebeach #southcarolina #northcarolina #beaches #tsunami #waves#righteousness #repentance #redeemed #grace #Torah #love #Yeshua#Jesus #coastlands #California

Prophecy May Look Different Than You Expect

Carrie shares what true prophecy is all about as well as a few real life experiences she had demonstrating how a prophecy indeed manifested, but may look different than you expect! You don’t want to miss this one!

#prophecy #visions #dreams #California #earthquake #salvation #prophets

Another “234”

If you have read my blog or watched videos on my YouTube channel, then you know I have been seeing the numbers “234” every day. In a previous blog, I wrote that it would seem my husband and I need to “spy out” or research the panhandle of Florida, specifically areas between Pensacola and Destin. For whatever reason, it would seem the Spirit has highlighted that area to me. Not sure if it will by number #4 of our 2-3-4 wilderness journey, but that area is on our radar. Since writing that blog, I discovered the boating mile-marker #234 along the Intracoastal Waterway, the waterway mariners use to travel safely along the shores of the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic, is in the Destin area! How bizarre! Could that be a confirmation?

Additionally, last evening, while watching a video about the importance of Sabbath, the video presented this verse in 1st John 2:3-4 grabbing my attention by the sequence of 2-3-4 yet again. I found the verses to be on point with the message I feel called by God to present to “believers” for many believe in His Son, but ironically not all of God’s word. Even the demons believe in God and His Son (as we can see from the accounts of the Gospels) and yet they, like many “believers”, do not obey God’s commands, which are His voice (Deuteronomy 30; John 10). Oh, how important it is to actually do God’s word! We don’t obey God to earn God’s grace, but our heart’s response is to obey God’s word because of His amazing grace. In other words, we are saved by grace FOR good works…to further reproduce love, joy, peace, patience and other results by doing that which is holy creating further generations in God’s family. Likewise, in a marriage there is 2, then the two become one, producing fruit, producing a 3, and perhaps a 4. As you become one with your Heavenly Husband (Isaiah 54), what are you producing? Do you believe enough to do God’s word?

The Plan of ‘Sailvation’

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.

The Refit

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

 

Such A Heart

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

Dear God, Can You Hear Me Now?

Many strive to hear the voice of God for themselves, but haven’t considered the fact that God may not be hearing their voice either.  In order to effectively communicate and produce positive results both parties need to be able to hear one another. In this article, we’ll investigate the possibility that God may not be hearing you and why.

dearGod

Believers are familiar with the famous verse found in James 5:16, which reads:

Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

Notice the Apostle James connects being aware of one’s trespasses and confessing them to others for the prayers of one who is considered ‘righteous’ evidently gets their prayers answered. This verse also speaks to the importance of being sensitive to the Holy Spirit or Spirit of Holiness as He strives to make us holy by revealing to us our offense (trespass/sin). After being made aware of our offense to God, by confessing our trespass/sin/guilt to others, it also helps keep us accountable.

But before we can really dig into what spiritual truth the Apostle James is revealing to us, we must remember, in order to appropriately interpret any Scripture, we need to understand the background of the author and the culture of the author’s intended audience while letting Scripture define Scripture.

http___scrolls4all.org_scrolls_wp-content_uploads_sites_6_2014_09_lithuania.clearJPGSo where did James or any of the Apostles learn these important truths they conveyed to others? What many refer to as the “Old Testament”, was referred to by Jesus, or Yeshua in His actual Hebrew name, and His Apostles as the “Law ” or the “Law and Prophets”(Matthew 5:17-19; Matthew 7:12), which were the only Scriptures they had access to at that time (Romans 15:4; 2 Timothy 3:14-18; 1 John 2:7). After all, the “New Testament” was still in the process of unfolding and being penned through letters much less translated and packaged together for all the world to read like we have it today. So we can see from those verses (Romans 15:4; 2 Timothy 3:14-18; 1 John 2:7), the law and prophets, the Scriptures they had from the beginning, are useful for instruction, reproof, and revealing what is right – also spoken of in the word as “righteousness”.

Now that we know Jesus / Yeshua and His Apostles’ teachings are founded on the law and prophets, or what is labeled today as the “Old Testament”, let’s look at similar verses found throughout the law and prophets, which correspond with James’ statement in James 5:16.

  • “Then they will cry out to the LORD, but He will not hear them; He will even hide His face from them at that time, because they have been evil in their deeds.” Micah 3:4 (NKJV)

Wow, so we see in Micah 3:4, the prophet Micah explains God won’t hear people who cry out to Him in their time of need because of their evil deeds. That sounds like what James was getting out when he encouraged the reader to confess their evil deeds, their guilt, their trespasses to others. Meanwhile, the “righteous” will get their prayers answered.

Check out how the Apostle Paul defines the “righteous”, or those right with God, or put another way, those who do what is right according to God:

  • “Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and LAWLESSNESS, or what fellowship has light with darkness?” 2 Corinthians 6:14 (NKJV)

Note the antithesis to being right with God (righteousness) is lawlessness (not obeying God’s laws) or being in the light verses continuing to live in darkness blinded by sin. For 1 John Chapter 3 reveals to us to sin is the same as lawlessness or being without God’s laws, or even more straightforward, those who don’t “practice righteousness” or God’s laws is one and the same as being without God, but rather being of the devil!

  • “Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.” I John 3:4 (NKJV)
  • “Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who sins is of the devil..” I John 3:7-8 (NKJV)
  • “In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother.” I John 3:10 (NKJV)

Now that we know to sin or being unrighteous is being without God’s laws or not obeying God’s commands or being in the dark or of the devil, verses a person who practices God’s laws is considered righteous, being in the light, and of God, because they are demonstrating their belief in God and His Son, let’s take a look at some other verses in both the Old and New Testaments that correspond with James message in James 5:16.

  • One who turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination.” Proverbs 28:9 (NKJV)
  • “But your iniquities (trespasses against God’s laws) have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.” Isaiah 59:2 (NKJV)
  • “Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.” 1 Peter 3:7 (NKJV)
  • Let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers; but the face of the LORD is against those who do evil.” 1 Peter 3:11-12 (NKJV)
  • Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will (His law/His Torah), He hears him.” John 9:31 (NKJV)

http___www.gospelherald.com_data_images_full_5965_the-power-of-prayerMany verses throughout both the “Old Testament” and what was said and scribed by Jesus and His Apostles later collected as the “New Testament” reveal God doesn’t hear the prayers of those who intentionally sin or intentionally break God’s laws. (To learn more about the difference between intentional and unintentional sins, read “Will We Again Perform Sacrifices? If So, Why?”)

Notice, this concept of God not hearing our prayers due to our sins is even after Jesus bled to death on a cross for our lawlessness…even after the cross and after His gift of grace. (For further reading, check out “What Exactly Did You Repent From?”)

Conversely, Scripture reveals God rewards those who hear God’s laws and obeys them. Here are a few examples:

  • “And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.” I John 3:22 (NKJV)
  • “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My  name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. If you love Me, keep my commandments.” John 14:12-15 (NKJV)
  • “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” John 15:7 (NKJV)
  • “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” 1 John 5:14 (NKJV) {read Romans 2:18; 12:1-2, to discover God’s will …His Torah)
  • Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly…But his delight is in the law of the LORD and in His law he meditates day and night…and whatever he does shall prosper…For the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the ungodly shall perish.” Psalm 1:1-6 (NKJV)

In other words, dear believers in Jesus, the spiritual truth we can glean from James 5:16 as well as these other Scriptures listed above is this:

If you say you believe in Jesus / Yeshua and His Father, but refuse to hear and submit to the way and the will (see Romans 2:17-18) of Abba (Father God) found in His commandments, His law, His Torah, which is His Voice (Deuteronomy 30 ; John 10), then you should expect He will not hear your voice either. Rather, be obedient in whatever the Spirit of Holiness is teaching you through His word today and in doing so, may your prayers be heard.

Shalom and Amen,

Carrie R. Turner

4.30.19