Why I No Longer Celebrate Christmas

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, according to popular culture, but is it really? Surely you have heard, “Jesus is the reason for the season”. In reality though that is far from the truth. It could be more accurately stated as the holiday we justify using Jesus’ name in vain for capital gain.

Numerous years ago, before being Spirit-filled, much less led by the Spirit to go where He says to go, and to say what He says to say, I had been leary of Christmas and it’s ridiculous traditions, much of which are designed to commercialize the name of Jesus while promoting lies and pagan rituals. When my sons were small I refused to deceive them into thinking Santa brought them gifts for I could not understand why any parent or Christian would lie to their children only for them to be disappointed at a later age – not to mention learn not to trust their own parents. Such “traditions” directly contradict the simply stated commandment which reads, “Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices .” Colossians 3:9 (NIV) as well as many other Scriptures with similar sentiments. Nevertheless, I still proceeded with all the other typical traditions – mostly to go with the flow of everyone else.

Later, when I researched the origins of Christmas, I was not only surprised to learn it’s pagan history, but I was surprised to learn Christmas was illegal in early United States history for early settlers believed Christmas to be a Satanic, unholy custom:

Publick Notice

For the preventing of disorders, arising in several places within this jurisdiction by reason of some still observing such festivals as were superstitiously kept in other communities, to the great dishonour of God and offense of others. It is therefore ordered by this court and the authority thereof that whosoever shall be found observing any such day as Christmas or the like — either by forbearing labour, feasting or any other way, upon any such account as aforesaid, every such person so offending shall pay for every such offense five shilling as a fine to the county. Massachusetts Bay Colony, 1659.

as well as a second notice, which reads:

Publick Notice

The observation of Christmas having been deemed a sacrilege, the exchanging of Gifts and Greetings, dressing in Fine Clothing, Feasting and similar Satanical Practices are hereby FORBIDDEN with the Offender liable to a Fine of Five Shillings.

In fact, did you know the origins of Christmas actually have nothing to do with the birth of Christ Jesus, but rather have everything to do with the Roman pagan festival known as ‘Saturnalia’? According to the History Channel’s History.com site,

“Saturnalia, held in mid-December, is an ancient Roman pagan festival honoring the agricultural god Saturn. Saturnalia celebrations are the source of many of the traditions we now associate with Christmas.

Saturnalia, the most popular holiday on the ancient Roman calendar, derived from older farming-related rituals of midwinter and the winter solstice, especially the practice of offering gifts or sacrifices to the gods during the winter sowing season.

The Christian holiday of Christmas, especially, owes many of its traditions to the ancient Roman festival, including the time of year Christmas is celebrated…by the fourth century A.D., Western Christian churches settled on celebrating Christmas on December 25, which allowed them to incorporate the holiday with Saturnalia and other popular pagan midwinter traditions. ” Saturnalia, History.com

Did you also know the pagan holiday known as Saturnalia has been described by other sources likened to Mardi Gras with no morals, drunkenness, orgies, and other lawless activities? Did you know the reason we give gifts during Christmas isn’t because of the wise men, but rather because gift-giving was a custom of Saturnalia where the Romans gave one another gifts representing human sacrifices originally given to the temple god, Saturn?

“On the last day of Saturnalia celebrations, known as the Sigillaria, many Romans gave their friends and loved ones small terracotta figurines known as signillaria, which may have referred back to older celebrations involving human sacrifice.” Saturnalia, History.com

I strongly encourage you to research the origins of Christmas and Saturnalia as article after article I read portrayed nothing but pagan practices later repackaged as ‘Christmas’.

I know what you may be thinking, perhaps you are thinking, ‘Well, that’s not what it means to me, Carrie. It’s just a nice tradition my family has been doing for years…’

A beach-themed Christmas tree dominates the lobby of Hampton Inn of Myrtle Beach, SC. (2017)

In my opinion, customs or traditions, which could also be known as doctrines of men, are acceptable so long as they do not violate certain parameters:

  1. The tradition or doctrine cannot contradict God’s word, His written voice and instructions for our lives.
  2. The tradition or doctrine cannot have pagan origins glorifying other gods or pagan practices that encourage violating God’s word.
  3. The tradition or doctrine cannot supercede God’s word.

While the beautiful lights decorating homes are alluring, in addition to singing famous Christmas songs, as well being bedazzled by Christmas trees of various creative themes, these practices are designed to delight our senses. These sensual festivities on the surface seem harmless, but the fact is, they violate all three of the parameters above. We’ve already discussed their pagan origins, now check out what God’s word says about participating in pagan, Gentile practices. The prophet, Jeremiah scribes in Jeremiah 10, what sure does sound like a Christmas tree, a wooden idol:

“Hear the word which the Lord speaks to you, O house of Israel.

Thus says the Lord:

Do not learn the way of the Gentiles;
Do not be dismayed at the signs of heaven,
For the Gentiles are dismayed at them.
For the customs of the peoples are futile;
For one cuts a tree from the forest,
The work of the hands of the workman, with the ax.
They decorate it with silver and gold;
They fasten it with nails and hammers
So that it will not topple.

They are upright, like a palm tree,
And they cannot speak;
They must be carried,
Because they cannot go by themselves.
Do not be afraid of them,
For they cannot do evil,
Nor can they do any good.’

6 Inasmuch as there is none like You, O Lord
(You are great, and Your name is great in might),
Who would not fear You, O King of the nations?
For this is Your rightful due.
For among all the wise men of the nations,
And in all their kingdoms,
There is none like You.
But they are altogether dull-hearted and foolish;
A wooden idol is a worthless doctrine.

Silver is beaten into plates;
It is brought from Tarshish,
And gold from Uphaz,
The work of the craftsman
And of the hands of the metalsmith;
Blue and purple are their clothing;
They are all the work of skillful men.
10 But the Lord is the true God;
He is the living God and the everlasting King.
At His wrath the earth will tremble,
And the nations will not be able to endure His indignation….

25 Pour out Your fury on the Gentiles, who do not know You ..”

Whether you realized it or not, the custom of dragging a dead tree in your home is establishing a wooden idol and participating in pagan practices. I have heard others preach you are even offering sacrifices/gifts to it when you kneel down and place them under the tree, unknowingly.

According to an article titled ‘All about the Christmas Tree: Pagan Origins, Christian Adaptation, and Secular Status’ on religioustolerance.org, “During the Roman celebration of the feast of Saturnalia, Pagans did decorate their houses with clippings of evergreen shrubs. They also decorated living trees with bits of metal and replicas of their god, Bacchus.”

In numerous passages, the LORD says to not adopt the traditions or customs of the pagan Gentiles. As believers in Jesus, or Yeshua, in His Hebrew original name, we are apart of Israel spiritually, regardless of your physical DNA, according to Scripture, a type of adopted Israelite (Galatians 3:26-29; Romans 11), no longer identified as a Gentile, but having been born-again, having crossed-over, which is what ‘Hebrew’ means, we are a new creation in Him…no longer a pagan Gentile. To learn more, read https://flipflopfellowship.com/2019/04/23/walk-like-an-egyptian/

  • “And you shall know that I am the LORD; for you have not walked in My statutes nor executed My judgments, but have done according to the customs of the Gentiles which are all around you.” Ezekiel 12:12 (NKJV)
  • “So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; 19 and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. 20 But you did not learn Christ in this way, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, 22 that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, 23 and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. ” Ephesians 4:17-24

For me, in recent years, I avoid any resemblance of participating in the typical Christmas traditions like exchanging gifts, decorating trees, etc. for I now understand they violate God’s word, His call to be set-apart, and similar to Halloween, have pagan origins. But I welcome opportunities to spend time with family and friends such as sharing a meal similar to Thanksgiving around or on Christmas Day (unless exchanging of gifts will be present – pun intended). 😉 Even so, my parents still give me something for Christmas, but they would be highly offended if I refused to graciously receive them. So I have discerned for the sake of love, to pick and choose my battles. Being set-apart is designed to make you be a light to the world, not an explosive bomb, although it will most likely shake things up!

Being set-apart is designed to make you be a light to the world, not an explosive bomb, although it will most likely shake things up!

Furthermore, throughout the year, I celebrate God’s holy holidays prescribed in the Bible (see Leviticus 23, as one passage discussing them), since they are commanded, prophetic, and centered on our Messiah, Jesus/Yeshua. It is believed, but not proven, based off clues found in Scripture, Jesus may actually have been born during the ‘Feast of Tabernacles’, the final Fall feast known in Hebrew as ‘Sukkot’. It also is speculated for those same reasons, Jesus most likely was conceived during or near Hanukkah. In addition to God’s holy holidays, I also celebrate the tradition of Hanukkah since it meets the parameters discussed above, though that holiday is not commanded to celebrate like the others. However, even Jesus celebrated Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights (see John 10:22-23).

Keep in mind, coming to such observances was a long process of cooperating with the Spirit of Holiness dwelling within me for He specializes in removing the unholy and replacing it with holy, hence, God labeling His Spirit, the Holy Spirit. I respect your decision to celebrate Christmas even if you still choose to do so now knowing it’s pagan origins and what I believe are contradictions to God’s word. I hope you too can respect me as I choose to no longer celebrate Christmas.

To learn more about God’s holidays, Hanukkah, and my perspective regarding other holidays, click on the following links for various articles or videos I have published.

Holy Holidays: Why I Celebrate The Feasts of the LORD

Mom, Why Don’t You Say Happy Easter Anymore?

Halloween: Just Don’t Do It

Why I Am Celebrating Hanukkah

Regardless if you agree or disagree with my faith, I love you still.

Blessings & Shalom,

Carrie R. Tuner

12.8.19

Seabbatical: Toldot | Video

Better late than never! I have been battling a pesky and inconvenient sinus infection all week so I apologize for the delayed ‘Seabbatical’, which I normally publish on YouTube on Friday evenings. Due to my illness, I recorded it, edited it, and published it today, Saturday. Nevertheless, I hope it blesses you richly. This recording is themes and lessons I gleaned from this week’s Torah portion (Genesis 25:19-28:9 | Malachi 1:1-2:7).

Does Your Faith ‘Go Forth’?

Hubby and I did a little Bible Study this evening. In addition to these passages listed below, we also discussed the ‘everlasting covenant’ introduced to Abraham and his descendants in Genesis 17 as eventually being the ‘new covenant’ as defined in Ezekiel 16:60, 34:25, all of Eze 36 thru 37:26, Jeremiah 31:31-33. We also discussed how the Apostle Paul wrote anyone who believes in Jesus/Yeshua is considered a (spiritual) descendant of Abraham in Galatians 3:29 and how Jesus attempted to explain to the Pharisees in John 8:37-47 that just because the religious leaders were physical descendants of Abraham did not mean they were children of God…they lacked the faith of Abraham by believing in Yeshua/Jesus. Jesus later said He is the only way to Abba Father not lineage or any other means (John 14:6).

We also noticed as a sign or perhaps you could say the fruit or outward expression of the internal aspect of being in covenant, Abraham was instructed for him and his son as well as any physical descendants and foreigners aligned with him in his household to be circumcised. All of which is yet another example of how God’s commands/instructions aren’t just for physical descendants but for all those who are in covenant…apart of Abraham’s spiritual descendants…aligned with Israel. Moreover, first and foremost, it is about being circumcised in the heart by receiving the Holy Spirit and cooperating with God’s Spirit of Holiness as it aligns your crooked, uncleanness with His straight and narrow will for you found in His Holy Word…hence, the point of receiving a HOLY Spirit, right? Ezekiel 36:27. We all get the same Holy Spirit, but you are either growing or shrinking depending on if you are listening and obeying Him. Luke 8:18 Will your faith be like that of Abraham? Would you leave it all behind to go where He says to go? Would you circumcise yourself immediately upon hearing God’s Voice at age 99, your 13 yr old son (Ishmael), and convince the other guys in your household to do the same eventhough you never met a circumcised soul let alone heard of such a thing? May our obedient faith ‘Go Forth’…Lech Lecha in Hebrew! Shabbat Shalom

Nov 8|2019: ‘Seabbatical’ Torah Portion

This Friday, November 8, 2019, and on a bi-weekly basis going forth, Carrie and Jerry are hosting a fellowship gathering on their boat they liveaboard full time. Since the Sabbath starts Friday evening at sunset through Saturday at sunset and we are hosting this fellowship on our boat (or at the marina depending on how many people attend), we are calling this aspect of our ministry ‘Seabbatical’ to play off the term ‘Sabbatical’.

Who: Adults interested in learning more about applying all of the Word of God to our lives today, a Spirit-led lifestyle, and perhaps a thing or two about boat life! 🙂 {sorry, due to the nature of a sailboat/water and lack of childcare, this gathering is not suitable for children}

What: We will gather to study the Bible’s weekly designated Torah (1st 5 books of Bible) and Haftarah portions (prophets and other OT Scripture) as well as any relatable New Testament Scriptures.

How: The agenda of the gathering is to light the Shabbat candles, worship in a song or two led by Carrie on her guitar, study and discuss the Word, and pray for one another. Carrie will email you the weekly Torah/Haftarah portions in advance for you to read prior to our gathering.

Why: To grow up in God together as He matures us in the truth of all of His word and the abundance of His love. **We don’t claim to be perfected in love just yet nor have all the answers, but we know the One who does!

When: Every other Friday night starting at 6:30-9pm

Where: Kemah, Texas – Call/Text Carrie @ 281-717-0622 or email us at flipflopfellowship@gmail.com to learn more and get specific directions.

In this week’s study, we will be discussing the ‘Lech Lecha’ portion and any applicable Bible passages. Please read and reflect on the passages prior to your arrival. Bring a snack, song, or applicable passage to share!

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.

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/

A Storm Is Brewing – Will You Listen to Men or Me?

This photo captures when we lived in Myrtle Beach preparing for Hurricane Irma in 2017. God told me a few weeks in advance of her arrival that a storm was coming, to get ready, and that we didn’t need to evacuate, but it would be intense. He said on 9/9 the storm would shift, which on 9/9 is when it took the western track up Florida’s Gulf Coast, and that even Charleston would be affected. Turns out Charleston, being on the northeast side of that ernormous hurricane was slammed with fires, tornados, and flooding. I told the Lord Jerry is never going to believe me, but He said, “I’ll take care of Jerry.” So about an hour later I summoned the courage to tell Jerry (considering I would need his cooperation to prepare) and he somberly replied, “I know, the Lord told me about an hour ago.” He’s a good, good Abba.

Consequently, we started preparing by creating a hurricane bin full of supplies and boarding up our windows. We warned our neighbors and management to not listen to weather reports but to board up the front office full of glass and the indoor pool full of glass. Meanwhile, the local weather kept saying we won’t be affected. At first, people thought we were crazy like Noah building the ark. But a few neighbors did also. Unfortunately, management listened to the weatherman and consequently most of the indoor pool’s large glass windows were blown in and shattered as well as the front office windows and glass above leaked heavily flooding the office for failure to board up. They were scrambling during the storm to board up from the inside. A small suspected tornado passed through picking up pool furniture slamming it into things, a huge wooden welcoming sign completely blew away never to be seen again, brick veneer pulled away from the building’s structure, etc. I also warned Charleston on social media prior to the storm and was called a false prophet, but I guess they realized otherwise when the city was affected.

After all that, the management/board of directors heeded my voice and eventually made me President until I called board members out on their fiscal corruption, then the deceitful campaigned to silence me and terminate me from the BOD. Funny thing is about 6 months in advance, the Lord also told me I would be President of that Board and it would be a test. Without me having to campaign or do any striving in of myself, the former President, who was resigning due to selling his condo, sent out a mass email to all the homeowners and the current Board campaigning for me to be his replacement due to my property management experience. So that is how I got to be President of the Board. The test was if I wanted the power/authority more than integrity…Would I comply to the corruption of the good ole boys or would I stand up for truth? Would I endure “the storm”..the backlash for what was right or love the title more? It was not fun being hated, but it was necessary. Even so, God used it all for me to not just fix up my condo, but we upgraded much needed areas around the entire resort as a board member. Months later, when Abba said, “List it NOW.”, we got a contract 10 days later and nearly doubled our money.

Moral of all this is :Always listen to God and refuse to care what mankind says.

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

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.