Seabbatical | Beshalach

In this week’s Torah lesson found in Exodus 13:17-17:16, we find Moses and the Israelites have been “sent away” or been set free from their bondage in order to purge from them the ways of Egypt while learning the ways of God.

Upon the Egyptians being swallowed up by the crashing waves of the Red Sea after the Israelites crossed over, Scripture reveals the LORD wanted the remaining Egyptians to know Who is the One True Living God (Exodus 14:18) while those who already know of Him, being the Israelites, would know to fear Him, to obey Him (Exodus 14:31). There is a difference in knowing who is LORD and personally knowing Him. There is a difference in believing IN God and believing Him. How is belief demonstrated? The Book of James, chapter 2, verses 19-20 tell us even the demons believe in God or know Who He is, but demons refuse to obey Him (James 2:19-20). Likewise, the Apostle James writes, full of the Spirit of Holiness, “faith without works is dead”, which is the same as saying a body without spirit or breath in it is dead (James 2:26). Many are “believers”, but few are “disciples”.

One’s trust in Messiah or God is demonstrated by obedience. In other words, authentic faith always produces good works, fruit. Jesus, or Yeshua, in His original Hebrew name, said, “You will know them (who are His disciples verses who are false disciples/prophets) by their fruit.” (Matthew 7:20). He goes on to say, many will acknowledge or believe He is Lord, but what truly reveals if their hearts are circumcised is if they do the will of His Father (Matthew 7:21). Jesus clarifies just two verses later, those who believe, but disobey His Father’s law, which is His Voice, are disregarded (Matthew 7:23). This also aligns with what the Apostle Paul teaches regarding the Father’s will is found in His law (Romans 2:18; 12:2).

Upon releasing the Israelites from their captivity or bondage to the Egyptians, or put another way, their bondage to sin, God gives them His Holy Spirit to guide them through the wilderness (Exodus 14:19-20; Isaiah 63:11-14). Consequently, upon believing in God and following His Spirit, the Israelites cannot help but to worship as we see demonstrated by Moses and Miriam rejoicing in song and praise. But the LORD reveals to them, He is not simply interested in hearing their songs or seeing them dance before Him, He is interested in hearts full of a daily lifestyle of worship so He continues to lead them and teach them His Heart, His ways.

In Exodus 15, starting in verse 22, after coming across bitter or sickly waters, the people complain or lift up their voices to Moses, a savior-like person representing God, who in turn mediates to God looking for guidance on how to meet the people’s need. The LORD instructs Moses on what to do and the waters are healed. God explains in Exodus 15:26, if His people diligently (not just on occasion when it is convenient for them) listen and obey His Voice by obeying His commandments and keeping them, He will heal them. God just demonstrated He not only can save them, He not only can pour out His mercy and grace by delivering them, as well as provide them His Spirit to guide them, but He can heal them as well; however, they need to trust and obey Him in order to reap such blessings.

Today, we see God still has not changed (Numbers 23:19; Isaiah 55:11; Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8; James 1:17). He first reveals to us Who He Is, the One True Living God, then delivers us from the captivity or bondage of our sin using His Son, Jesus/Yeshua, provides to us His Spirit to guide us, and then gives us His law, His commandments in order to benefit us and fulfill His will in us.

As we continue to read the Torah portion in Exodus 16, we see the people now are complaining of hunger. So once again, they cry out to their savior, Moses, and Moses mediates unto the LORD God. God in turn provides specific instructions to gather the food He provides in the amount they need for just that day, but on the sixth day to gather double the amount of what they need, because on the seventh day it is His Sabbath rest and there will be no provision that day (Exodus 16:22-30). Essentially, God is demonstrating to them they need to rest that day because He rests that day, which corresponds with exactly what God did upon creating the world (Genesis 2:2-3). This incident in the wilderness of God providing for their needs is both instructing and demonstrating Himself the significant commandment of keeping Sabbath, which later is recorded in the Top 10 (Exodus 20:8-11). The people keep the Sabbath and do their “grocery shopping” of collecting manna the day before on the 6th day, or put in modern terms, on Friday so they can rest on Shabbat, Sabbath, Saturday.

Exodus 16 is really the first full-teaching of entering God’s Sabbath rest. Interestingly enough, right after this critical truth is revealed to His people, they once again thirst and complain. Consequently, the place where their flesh manifests is called “Massah”, which means “testing”, an “Meribah”, which means “quarreling”. Essentially, the people’s flesh are testing God by quarreling with Him. The Apostle Paul explains our flesh rejects the ways of God, the law of God (Romans 8:7-10). How do you respond to God’s Spirit telling you to obey God’s law? For in how we react to His Voice or His commands reveals the condition of our hearts – is your heart quarrelsome and diseased? Do you want to be healed?

The author of Hebrews 3:7-4:13 both explains and quotes Psalm 95:8-11 describing this incident in Massah and Meribah where the people’s flesh tested and quarreled with God’s law prevented them from entering His rest. You see we may believe in God and even personally experience His grace, His provision, etc, but if we refuse to obey Him, it reveals our lack of trust. As the Apostle James explained, to believe is to obey.

Speaking is not believing and seeing is not believing, but rather surrendered obedience is believing.

In my own faith journey, I can relate to all these stages of development. First I was introduced to Him, then baptized as a young girl I crossed over, set free from my sin, eventually I received His Holy Spirit, and was re-baptized as an adult because even though I could remember the moment I believed in Him, I could not remember being baptized (only via pictures). Just prior to being baptized in His Spirit and water, He delivered me from my sin and consequent captivity or consequences of my sin when He literally saved me from my very own Pharoah, as I found myself in a toxic and dangerously lethal marriage. Afterwards, I was like Moses and Miriam, prophetic worship leaders, utterly grateful for delivering me from Egypt! Later in 2016, He invited me to let it all go and follow Him through a type of wilderness. While sojourning from place to place, from Pennsylvania to South Carolina to now Texas, He revealed to me the healing beauty and wonder of His written Voice, His law, His Sabbath and other critical truths, which I now cheerfully and willingly obey – not in order to be saved, but BECAUSE He saved me, I want to trust and obey. Consequently, I have grown in my intimacy with Him, love God more than ever, and want to serve Him, to worship Him by being set-apart as His Spirit of Holiness leads.

Where are you at in this “horribly-amazing-purification-process”? As you ponder your relationship with God, are you simply a “believer” or are you a cheerful “disciple” willing to follow Him wherever He leads and by doing whatever He said to do? As you examine your heart and just how circumcised it is this day, I invite you to read Isaiah 8:16.

Shabbat Shalom,

Carrie R Turner, February 7, 2020

#teachesanddoes

Torah’s In Your Near Future

The moment you realize:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 Purpose of the Holy Spirit

What is the purpose of the Holy Spirit or Spirit of Holiness? What is sealed on our hearts and minds? If a person claims to believe in Jesus / Yeshua, but refuses to obey Him and Abba Father..doesn’t want to love God the way He defines love in His written word, then that reveals they either don’t have the Holy Spirit dwelling within or they are very young in their faith.

What Is the Torah Portion & Haftarah About?

Did you know when Jesus / Yeshua read Isaiah 61 in the synagogue on Shabbat (Sabbath/Saturday), which we can read about in Luke 4:16-30), He was reading from that specific week’s “Haftarah” portion? For thousands of years, those of the Judaism faith have read from the Torah and Haftarah. A major part of the Jewish worship service since the days of escaping Babylonian captivity (see books of Ezra & Nehemiah), is the public reading of the Torah.For the Jewish people learned the hard way while under Babylonian captivity to forsake God’s instructions will inevitably lead to physical and spiritual bondage. The Torah is the first five books of the Bible, also known as the Law, or God’s instructions for life. Each week, in today’s congregations of Judaism, Messianic Judaism, and many Hebrew Roots’ congregations read a certain portion of the Torah in their services. So the whole world (of those groups) is studying the same portions in unity. However, many years ago, circa 175 BC, when Antiochus Epiphanes conquered the temple, he outlawed the public reading of the Torah, replaced the holy artifacts with pagan gods within the temple, slaughtered pig, an unclean and abomination according to Leviticus 11, Deut 14, and Isaiah 65-66, as a means to mock God’s ordained sacrificial system, and even tormented and killed Jews for holding to their belief in the one true God and their desire to adhere to His laws. All of this was an “abomination of desolation”, which will happen again according to prophecies found in the Books of Daniel, Matthew, and Revelation. Consequently, the rabbis of those days researched and prescribed related passages of the Torah found in the Prophets to be read each week instead of the Torah during that tumultuous time. This became known as “Haftarah”, which means “conclude”. After that horrific time, the practice of reading from the Prophets stuck so today, passages called portions from the Torah and the Haftarah, which are related are read. In Messianic Judaism (and possibly Hebrew Roots too), related portions from the Brit Chadesha (Renewed/New Covenant) are read as well. This photo captures this week’s. The Torah portion’s title is selected from the first few words of the passage. You will notice all of these passages have to do with sending out (i.e. spies & apostles). I hope you had a peacful, wholesome #Shabbat!

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

Is Obeying God’s Law Cheating On Jesus?

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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.

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The Confusion

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.

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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!

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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).

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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.

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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

5.30.19

torahonourhearts

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.

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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