‘Distinction Theology’ or Distinguished By Love?

Upon attending a Messianic Jewish congregation for quite some time recently, I was introduced to a relatively newer labeled theology unfamiliar to me known as ‘Distinction Theology’, which sets apart Jewish people from Gentiles even if both are believers in Yeshua/Jesus. The congregation used resources from First Fruits of Zion (FFOZ), a Messianic Jewish ministry, which is how I discerned this fascinating, but what I believe to be false doctrine. Moreover, it reveals the importance of being familiar with the word of God, having the Holy Spirit, and discerning all that is being taught as well as the fruit manifesting from various doctrines. In FFOZ’s recently published Messiah Journal, they define Distinction Theology as such:

What is distinction theology? It’s the premise that there is a difference between Jewish people and Gentiles, even after they become Yeshua followers.” , D Thomas Lancaster, First Fruits of Zion, “Distinction Theology and Diversity in the Communities of Yeshua”, Messiah Journal Issue #134, Summer 2019

In the article, Mr. Lancaster goes on to explain this theology is based off of Exodus 19:4-6, which defines Israel as a holy nation and set apart priesthood. After breaking down the verse being exclusively for Israel being the chosen nation and chosen elite priests, Lancaster pens the following,

Likewise, as a holy nation, Israel is set apart. The Jewish people have special priestly duties that the rest of the nations do not. There are things they are required to do that the rest of the nations are not required to do. They also have privileges and prerogatives that the rest of the nations don’t have. That’s what distinction theology is about.

The distinction between Priest and High Priest by uniform and duties could be a prophetic clue to come.

However, when we study the entirety of Scripture along with Exodus 19:4-6, what we will find is the only ‘distinction’ God seems to stress upon believing in His Son, Jesus/Yeshua, and receiving His Holy Spirit, which is the same Holy Spirit dispersed to all of us, is that we be distinct from the worldly lifestyle as set apart people not distinct from one another. In fact, numerous Scripture reveals that once a person believes in Jesus/Yeshua as Messiah, they are considered to be united with Him and others in Him. I suspect in an effort to thwart Anti-Semitism and the false notion that Yeshua came to start a new religion, distinction theology, promoting ethnic Jews and Judaism, was birthed. But rather than emphasizing our genetic and cultural differences, and yet still esteeming Israel at the same time, Scripture seems to implore Jewish believers to no longer view Gentile believers as a lesser ‘unclean’ (Acts 10) class and for Gentiles who believe and follow Yeshua to no longer self-identity as ‘Gentiles’, for Gentiles were not of God, rather now, having been ‘brought near’ or ‘grafted-in’, Gentiles now are apart of Israel…they now are also apart of an eternal, holy nation, a greater or enlarged priesthood alongside believing Jews, and therefore, NOT distinct from Jewish believers in Yeshua. Believing Jews and Gentiles were worshiping together in the early assemblies/synagogues after Yeshua’s resurrection until the works of some UNholy spirits divided them.

Moreover, now that we are a new creation in Messiah (2 Corinthians 5:17), consisting of one unit, one body, one faith in Him, we are to be one as we are set apart or distinct from a worldly lifestyle, not each other. Compare the following Scriptures:

  • “Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh– who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands- that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who were once far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” Ephesians 2:11-13 (NKJV)
  • “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 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.” Galatians 3:26-29 (NKJV)
  • 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. ” Ephesians 4:4-6 (NKJV)
  • “You will say then, ‘Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.’ Well said. Because of unbelief (faith & obedience) they (natural Israelites) were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear (keep God’s laws). For if God did not spare the natural branches (Israelites/physically Jewish people), He may not spare you either (grafted-in Israelites/spiritual Jews/former Gentiles). Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but towards you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. And they (natural Israelites/physical Jews) also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.” Romans 11:19-23 (NKJV)
  • “Fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind, let nothing be done in selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.” Philippians 2:2-3 (NKJV)
  • 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 (NKJV)
  • “not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God;” 1 Thessalonians 4:5
  • And do not pray like the Gentiles…do not be like them..” Matthew 6:7-15
  • “This is what the LORD says: “Do not learn the ways of the nations (gentiles)…” Jeremiah 10:2 (also see Deut. 12:4,29-32; 13:1-8)
  • 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 {Note the antithesis to being right with God (righteousness) is lawlessness (not obeying God’s laws).}
  • “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

Furthermore, since Distinction Theology emphasizes the priesthood being exclusive to those of Jewish descent, let’s see what God has to say about the priesthood throughout Scripture for further insight. We see the Apostle Peter directly references Exodus 19:4-6 in 1 Peter 2:9 as well as earlier in verse 5 when He addresses believers in Yeshua are as priests.

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. ” 1 Peter 2:9 (NIV)

One could argue that the Apostle Peter, being a minister to the Jews (Galatians 2:7), was directing his letter to Jewish believers as hinted at by addressing those in the Diaspora/dispersion of Jews throughout the world in 1 Peter 1:-1-2. Fair enough! Keep in mind though, Peter writes some important truths in this letter such as “the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work..” in 1 Peter 1:17 and believers are to “Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God…” (2:17). We also see the Apostle Peter says in chapter 4:3, “For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles-when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, abominable idolatries..” So even though all of Peter’s writings can easily be applied to a believing Jew and believing Gentile, let’s just say for the sake of argument, Peter was definitely writing specifically to believing Jews and not Gentiles indicating the believing Jews are exclusively the priesthood. But then how would you explain away in Revelation 1:6 the Apostle John’s reference to the non-Jewish (Gentile) ekklesia/assemblies/churches (for they all were in Gentile areas such as Ephesus, according to Revelation 2-3) when John states Christ “made us kings and priests to His God and Father..” ? These are clearly Gentile churches he is writing to as “priests”. Or how would you explain Revelation 20:6 which defines those who made the first cut, the first resurrection, as, “priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years” as being exclusive to Jewish believers? By the argument distinction theology is trying to convey, this would mean only Jewish believers in Messiah will be resurrected, so obviously we can throw that logic out. Not to mention, as a side note, the logic of First Fruits of Zion establishing a ministry called ‘Torah Club’ teaching Torah to the Gentiles, when according to their own distinction theology, Torah is not for the Gentiles (they believe only the 7 Noahide Laws apply, but Gentiles can tag along in the other commands if they want). Also, how would one reconcile their Distinction Theology with Revelation 5:10 where it defines these believers also “reigning on earth” (with Christ/Messiah) just like Revelation 20:6 and Revelation 1:6 infer as the priests do? Additionally, the Apostle Paul writes to the Corinthian ekklesia/church, who were non-Jewish, the same exact sentiments that the Corinthians (formerly known as Gentiles) will also rule and reign judging the earth (1 Corinthians 6) imploring them to learn how to discern and judge spiritual matters now for it is all practice for what is to come. Indeed! We need to better discern through the lense of the Holy Spirit rather than fleshly spirits the entirety of the Word of God and stop fashioning doctrines off one or two verses to appease tradition and other motives while producing bad fruit of division and pride.

Now that we have reviewed a plethora of Scripture revealing there absolutely is NO distinction between Jewish and Gentile believers in Yeshua/Jesus while understanding both believing Jew and Gentile are apart of Israel as well as the priesthood, let’s examine the bigger purpose as to what the role of the chosen enlarged priesthood actually is all about. First, we have already discovered in the above mentioned verses, our set apart calling is not about our flesh or ethnicities for our flesh is temporary, but it is all about the eternal Spirit within us and what it produces in us and through us. In other words, our role in Messiah is not about how we were naturally born nor our ethnic upbringings, but it IS about how we are supernaturally born and that we be brought up to love God and others by serving them like the priest demonstrated.

If we want to understand what our purpose is and how we are to be distinct from the nations/unbelievers, being we are one nation of Israel in Him as believers in Messiah, we would be wise to look at the Biblical priesthood described for such concepts seem to be prophetic clues to our future.

–> First and foremost, we know Yeshua/Jesus is The High Priest (Hebrews 7-10).

–>Second, we know there were numerous distinct roles within the priesthood. So if you are hoping to be “distinct” in God’s perspective, then you will want to pay close attention to this next point.

–>Thirdly and moreover, the purpose of the priests were to serve God and serve others…in other words, they had to specialize in loving God and loving others while teaching others to do the same. The priests had to be experts in knowing God’s instructions, in knowing His boundaries, in knowing His laws, knowing the difference between holy and unholy, clean and unclean, and how to teach the people in such matters. The priestly role also required many other legal transactions such as judging matters that inevitably manifested.

And they shall teach My people the difference between the holy and the unholy, and cause them to discern between the unclean and clean. In controversy they shall stand as judges, and judge it according to My judgments. They shall keep My laws and My statutes in all My appointed meetings, and they shall hallow my Sabbaths.” Ezekiel 44:23-24 (NKJV)

Simply put, the priest need to lead in love…they need to be firmly rooted and matured in love or perfected in love (Ephesians 3:17, Colossians 3:14, 1 John 4:12). Since we see all throughout Torah how the priests were indeed discerning or judging delicate matters as well as teaching people God’s instructions accordingly, those historical inspired writings would seem to be a good role model for how we are to live today as the “priesthood” as well as prophetic clues to our roles in the Messianic Era when Yeshua returns to rule and reign. Perhaps when Yeshua/Jesus said in Matthew 5:17-19 that whoever teaches others not to live by His commands, His instructions, His Torah, will be “considered least in His Kingdom” could be because of the priestly roles established in the hierarchy. Under the High Priest, you had many priests, even broken down into families, each with a separate but highly important role all working as one priesthood…in the Spirit of love and authentic worship. Some were performing the sacrifices (Leviticus 1-6), some were singers (1 Chronicles 9:33), some were gatekeepers/security (1 Chronicles 9:17-21), some were taking things down and were meant to protect the sacred items (Numbers 4:4-14), some were in charge of the oil and menorah lighting (Numbers 4:16) and making ointment of spices (1 Chronicles 9:29-30), some carried the curtains, chords, screens (Numbers 4:21-28), some manages the pillars, boards, sockets (Numbers 4:29-33), some were bakers (1 Chronicles 9:31-32), some were schlepping sacred objects around (Numbers 4:15), whom I affectionately call the “schleppers”, etc. Perhaps likened to the hierarchy of the Levitical Priesthood, there will be a similar manifestation when we all are gathered to Israel upon His return to rule and reign with Him, with Yeshua our High Priest. Depending on if we are good stewards in the flesh now or how we lead in love now may determine our priestly role in our transfigured spirit bodies one fine day. So be careful what doctrines you teach and that you not devour one another in the process or you could end up a “schlepper” in the priesthood to come. Ha ha!

In all seriousness though, after a careful study of Torah and the Scriptures penned afterwards, we know the spirit of all of God’s word is to love God and love others; hence, the instructions on HOW to do so. The Apostle Paul declares over and over again the laws of God are fulfilled when we love God and one another for the Torah and all of Scripture is all about love, including tough love, discipline, self-control and overall distinction from the ways of those who don’t believe in Abba Father and His Son…who don’t have His Holy Spirit guiding them and instructing them, not distinct from those of us who believe in Jesus/Yeshua for we are to be one priesthood.

Like the Apostle Paul described, we are one body with many roles and many giftings and yet, without love, we are just clashing cymbals (1 Corinthians 13:1-5). If you want to be distinct, be distinguished by your love for God and for one another.

Shalom and Amen.

Carrie R Turner 10.24.19

Why Wormwood?

(Recorded Jan 9, 2019) In this follow up recording from the previous one (see ‘The Jesus Jackpot 777’), Carrie shares a specific revelation regarding the 3rd Trumpet, Wormwood. #Wormwood #GreatShaking #prophecy #3rdtrumpet

The “great shaking” to come is *because* of the ignorance and rebellious, bitter hearts of the grafted-in Israelites’ sin..the church’s adultery..the failure to “know” Him (Jeremiah 9:3, 13-17; Hosea 4:6) for history will repeat itself (more on that later)..The “great shaking” will come for failure to obey His Voice, which is His Torah, His commandments, His instructions for life. See Isaiah 24..notice in verse 5 why there will be a “great shaking” (vs20-21) “Because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the ***everlasting covenant***.” Also, if you take the time to read  Jeremiah 9:15-16, Jeremiah 23, as well as Deuteronomy 23-29, you will discover the same warning. Because His so-called people fail to love Him by keeping their covenant, by keeping their wedding vows, G-d’s instructions of love (the Torah), He sends Wormwood. Sound familiar? Where else do we see Wormwood? Revelation 8:10-11, the 3rd trumpet.
But what is lawlessness? Always let Scripture define Scripture, not man. I John 3:4 specifically defines sin as lawlessness… not keeping or breaking G-d’s laws. 2 Thessalonians 2 also reveals the AntiMessiah or AntiChrist spirit is opposed to G-d’s laws and called the lawless one. Similarly, Daniel 11:28,30,32 as well as Revelation 12:17 and Rev.14:12 reveal the AntiMessiah and his followers will specifically go after those who keep G-d’s “holy covenant“…He and the beastly false system and false religion will go after saints who “keep G-d’s commandments and have the faith in Yeshua/Jesus“. Likewise Romans 8:5-11 reveals the flesh will be against G-d’s laws, but the Spirit will cause you to walk in them (also see Ezekiel 36:27; Jeremiah 31:31-33). lawless
Furthermore, if a spirit is telling folks to disobey the ways of G-d, the laws of G-d, then that is NOT the holy Spirit for the Spirit of holiness dwelling within will reveal to you the law is holy (Romans 7:12, 22) and the law is truth (Psalm 119:142; Proverbs 3), the law is good doctrine (Proverbs 4:2; 1 Timothy 3:16-17) and the law should be very important to us (Proverbs 7:1-3) as the ways of G-d/laws define good and evil..they define what G-d considers to be love. Even Yeshua preached that He did not come to do away with the law and prophets, but He came to show us how to fulfill..how to keep them (Matthew 5:17-19). After all, Jesus/Yeshua IS the Living Torah (John 1). Yeshua/Jesus further said anyone who teaches others that G-d’s laws are done away with will be considered **least** in His kingdom. He even explained that unless there is a new heaven and new earth, not one part of G-d’s laws are done away with.
slide_35As if all that wasn’t enough, please understand we must refrain from not only taking verses out of context, but from reading them through a Western/Greek perspective when they are written by Messianic Jews for Peter warns many will twist Paul’s word and lead people to lawlessness (2 Peter 3:14-18). Also, ponder the fact that when Yeshua returns to reign on earth, He teaches us the laws of G-d (see Isaiah 2, Micah 4) and we keep the feasts of the Lord (see Zechariah 14) and G-d’s laws, even the sacrifices, are reinstated (see Ezekiel 36+). So, knowing all this, why would the majority of Scripture advocate the importance of honoring our Heavenly Father by obeying His Voice, His written word, His Torah, but then say in this era it is no longer relevant, but when He returns it will be?

whywormwood

Here is how history (in a sense) will repeat itself, beloveds. Despite being told and warned numerous times, despite having G-d’s word and gracious acts of redemption (i.e. freeing them from Egypt – see Numbers 15:37-41), the House of Israel and the House of Judah continually broke G-d’s covenant by not submitting to it, to His Torah / law / His way / His instructions for life, forcing Yah to cut the House of Israel (the 10 northern tribes)off through divorce while severely punishing the House of Judah by sending them into captivity (Isaiah 50:1;Jeremiah 3:8; Jeremiah 9:13-16; Jeremiah 11). Similarly, many Christians have G-d’s word in print and readily available, not to mention, the example of the Living Word/ the Living Torah, meaning Yeshua/Jesus’s life, and yet many choose to rebel and disobey G-d’s word/Torah and other critical inspired writings, which define and explain His offered covenant. But why? More on that in a moment.
imagesOver and over again all throughout the books of the prophets, the Spirit of G-d would fall on and cause the prophets to implore the Israelites (both houses, the north and the south), to repent, to turn back to following the way G-d instructed. But the Israelites (and “strangers” within their group see Exodus 12:49; Numbers 15:15) refused to obey His Voice -His Word- His Torah; rather, they committed adultery by doing what THEY thought was best – their OWN theology – their OWN doctrines instead of heeding to the Torah, the Word. They continually tweeked their faith or religion or abandoned it all together to fit their own deceived hearts, their own agendas, their own ideologies. Historically, Jews have added to G-d’s laws while Christians subtract from them (Deut 4:2; 12:32). Consequently and finally, because of their ongoing adulterous ways, G-d divorced Israel (Isaiah 50) after many many years of patiently beckoning them to honor Him and their covenant (marriage vows). Hence, why Yeshua/Jesus, the Living Word, the Torah in the flesh (John 1), perfectly lived out G-d’s Instructions/law and and even obeyed the law unto the point of death by dying for the LAWLESS ways (sin – see 1 John 3:4) of His adulterous ex-wife and world in general (John 3:16-21). When Yeshua, the perfect Passover Lamb of G-d died (lots of metaphors in the Scriptures), G-d/Yeshua provided away for Israel to again be in covenant with G-d for now upon the former husband dying, the x-wife (so to speak) being Israel could now be engaged/betrothed/eventually marry G-d again and be in a renewed covenant with Him (see Romans 7:1-12)! HalleluYah!
images (1)G-d, in His all-knowing ways and graciousness, made a way for His bride to remain in covenant with Him by providing the promise, like an spiritual engagement ring, or symbol, that being the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit of Grace, an empowering Spirit to remind her and counsel her in G-d’s desires, bringing His bride into a deeper, intimate, submissive covenant with Him for the job of the Spirit is to remind and bring His bride into all truth (John 14:15-18; 1 John 2:24-27), into a greater knowing of her beloved by causing her to honor their covenant..causing her to walk in His statutes..His laws…His Torah..His covenant vows (see Ezekiel 36:27; Jeremiah 31:33; John 14:15-21; Romans 7:4-6; Romans 8:1-10; Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:17-30; Hebrews 10:26-32; James 1:22-25; 1 John 1:4-7; 3:18, 24, 4:12-13; 5:3). After all, Scripture and Yeshua reveal His ways are not too hard or burdensome, but were designed for their/our own good.. for their own wisdom and righteousness (Deuteronomy 5:29; 6:24-25; 10:12-13; 2 Timothy 3:14-17; 1 John 5:3). This is why it says there is no fear in love on judgment day (1 John 4:17-19) because the truth, being G-d’s Torah, His Word (Psalm 119:142; John 17:17), is hopefully being perfected in us, sanctifying us, through our obedience to it as the Spirit highlights more and more intimate truths to us causing us to surrender and cheerfully give of ourselves (2 Corinthians 9:6-15) in obedience. This, dear brothers and sisters, is what Yeshua/Jesus meant when He said the Father is looking for worshippers of Spirit (John 3:3-8) and truth (Psalm 119:142). He made a way for us to live righteously, the way He intended in covenant with Him, but graciously provided a better “promise” (Acts 1:4-8; Hebrews 8:6) to teach us and empower us to do so!
how-to-know-god_833_460_80_c1As stated earlier, there will indeed be a great shaking for we fail to “know” (Jeremiah 9:3,13-16; Hosea 4:6) our Messiah, our G-d, and fail to love Him even after He offered his abundant and amazing grace. Incidentally, notice in Jeremiah 9:15, the Lord reveals He will send forth Wormwood and verses 13-14 tell us why. Where else do we learn about ‘Wormwood’? Revelation 8:10-11.
IF one genuinely has received the Spirit (Acts 19:2), the Spirit, in His time (Ecclesiastes 3:11) will cause the flesh to submit to G-d and His laws of love (Ezekiel 36:27; Jeremiah 31:33; Romans 8:4,8,9,14), not to earn salvation, but BECAUSE of His grace we will WANT to love Him the way He wants to be loved. The Torah is His love language – for G-d does not change nor lie (Malachi 3:6; Numbers 23:19; Hebrews 13:8; James 1:17) – He is not psycho, but rather, Sovereign. HalleluYah!
downloadThe Spirit will cause us to grow in an intimate and reproducing relationship with Him..fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5) for the two will become one. The husband/wife, physical/spiritual, heaven/earth, G-d/His Son, Spirit/Truth, House of Israel/House of Judah, Gentile/Jew, the two olive trees, are one. There are always at least 2 witnesses, per the Torah, for better or worse. What does the world witness in your life? Are we like the Jews only having the truth/Torah, but no Spirit, or are we like the typical Christian, having a “spirit” without the truth/Torah? The two are one and both will testify against us one day, for better or worse. You cannot add to the law like the Jews nor subtract from it like the Christians (Deut 4:2; 12:32). May we come into a greater depth recognizing we are grafted-in to the Commonwealth of Israel and the fruit as worshippers of spirit and truth is to provoke not just others to want an authentic relationship with Abba Father through Yeshua, His Son, but to provoke our elder brother Judah to also want an intimate and obedient relationship with Yeshua, The Messiah (Romans 11).
lifehopeandtruth_1_john_5_3_10_commandments_list_833_460_80_c1So long as some continue to twist Paul’s words, a Messianic Jew, by the way, false teachers pave their own destruction while leading others to the error of the lawless/torah-less (2 Peter 3:14-18), they will never provoke the Jews to be jealous of our relationship with the Father. False teachers and their lawless followers prevent the salvation of our big brother Judah for Scriptures warn to never follow a “god” that teaches them to not obey G-d’s laws (Deut chapters 13 & 18). Hence, why Jews today see “Jesus” as a false god/prophet/teacher/imposter – not because of Yeshua, but because of false teachers and their followers’ preaching He was lawless.
Unless the Spirit gives the eyes to see and the ears to hear the truth, these truths will be hidden. In the end, the world will be forced to accept The Lawgiver (Isaiah 33:22; James 4:12; Isaiah 51:4; Genesis 49:10).
Matthew 7:22-23 ; Proverbs 28:9
Selah and Shalom.
87b12ee91a8fa5c4681ffe4d97235f3a

The Jesus Jackpot 777

(Recorded Jan 9, 2019) In this interesting and groundbreaking teaching, Carrie invites viewers to look at various Scriptures and consider the possibility that the 7 seals, 7 trumpets, and 7 bowls may not be three different series of events, but rather the same event with different perspectives each concluding with the return of the Messiah.

#Revelation #prophecy #plagues #2ndComing #seals #trumpets #bowls

You have permission to download these graphics for your reference.

jesus returns with a bang

 

7 trumpets and 7 bowls