I have found it concerning and even alarming some Christians are pridefully quoting various verses such as “there is no fear in love” (I John 4:17-19), for example, out of context and rather attempting to use it as a magic charm to prevent the discomfort and potential spiritual growth of themselves or other believers. Conversely, I wrote an article (actually several) in recent days combating false teachings spreading on social media while using verses such as the one in 1 John 4:17-19, Psalm 91, and others. In Scripture, particularly the book of Jeremiah, we see more issues would befall the nation of Israel, for example, because of false prophets rising up saying similar things promising peace and security rather than repentance and obedience. It would be wise for more ministries/Christians to write or speak about that on social media then using God’s word as a magic charm to avoid tribulation and trials such as these.
For example, some are quoting 1 John 4:17-19 famous verse which in part says “there is no fear in love” ignoring the context of that phrase.The entire book of 1st John describes true love as obeying God’s commands. The author reiterates over and over again that you can distinguish those who are authentic believers abiding in God verses those who aren’t by who is and isn’t cheerfully, willfully obeying God’s laws, which ultimately defines how to love God and others (to list a few: 1 John 3:4, 7, 10, 22, 24, 4:12, 20, 21; 5:3). In fact, 1 John 3:4 defines sin as breaking God’s laws or being without God’s laws (rebellion). So by the time the author arrives up to the verses being commonly quoted during this pandemic in 1 John 4:17-19, it is understood that believers do not have to be afraid of God’s judgment because they are operating in perfect love by being living sacrifices laying down their flesh to a lifestyle of loving obedience to God’s commands, which ultimately is loving God and others. This is why we don’t have to fear. It has nothing to do with other circumstances and isn’t a misquoted magic charm to protect you from God’s discipline or judgment (unless of course, you are operating and led by His lawful Spirit of Holiness and being obedient as He brings you into more and more truth). Conversely, it would be more enlightening and productive to quote 1 John 3:22 in regards to this pandemic:
Furthermore, the verses to follow the misquoted passage of “There is no fear in love” defines love as obeying God’s commands and why we need not fear (see 1 John 5:3). We need not fear God’s judgment because we are obeying God’s commands, which are pretty easy and hopefully, most Christians are doing much of them without even thinking about it. If you aren’t obeying God, well then you are not being perfected in love and yes, you should fear very much (fear God).
Just something to ponder and dig into during these days of rest and reflection. Much love!
In recent days, I have seen various social media posts and videos spreading false teachings all in the Name of Jesus during this coronavirus pandemic. I wanted to take a few moments to remind readers that the Holy Spirit will never speak against God’s Holy documented voice found in the Bible. So as you come across various voices online and in person, be aware there is a spiritual, highly-contagious virus spreading during this coronavirus pandemic that you need to spiritually distance yourself from. Let’s go over some important truths that apply to this plague as well as other events like hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, war, etc.
God does not change, we do. He was the same yesterday as He is today. He and His nature were the same thousands of years ago as He is today and will be tomorrow. In other words, truth is absolute and does not change or it was never truth from the start. Some “prophetic” voices with large followers are teaching God changed how He operates since the cross. Let’s look to see what God says about Himself and how He operates then and now.
“For I am the LORD, I do not change…” Malachi 3:6
“God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken and will He not make it good?” Numbers 23:19
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines…” Hebrews 13:8-9
2. Some are quoting passages like Psalm 91, Isaiah 54’s “No weapon formed against you shall prosper” as well as quoting 1 John 4:17-19 while glazing over critical contextual elements connected to these blessings as a means to thwart this plague from affecting them. I have another article called “Community Spread | Community Cooperation” addressing Psalm 91 and Isaiah 54, but wanted to touch on the quote from 1 John 4. The entire book of 1st John describes true love as obeying God’s commands. The author reiterates over and over again that you can distinguish those who are authentic believers abiding in God verses those who aren’t by who is and isn’t cheerfully, willfully obeying God’s laws, which ultimately defines how to love God and others (to list a few: 1 John 3:4, 7, 10, 22, 24, 4:12, 20, 21; 5:3). In fact, 1 John 3:4 defines sin as those who break God’s laws. So by the time the author arrives up to the verses being commonly quoted during this pandemic in 1 John 4:17-19, it is understood that believers do not have to be afraid of God’s judgment because they are operating in perfect love by being living sacrifices laying down their flesh to a lifestyle of loving obedience to God’s commands, which ultimately loves God and others. This is why we don’t have to fear. It has nothing to do with other circumstances and isn’t a magic charm to protect you from God’s discipline or judgment. Conversely, it would be more enlightening and productive to quote 1 John 3:22 in regards to this pandemic:
“And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight.” I John 3:22
Furthermore, the verses to follow the misquoted passage of “There is no fear in love” yet again how God defines love as obeying His commands and why we need not fear (see 1 John 5:3). We need not fear because we are obeying God’s commands, which are pretty easy and hopefully, most Christians are doing without even thinking about it. If you aren’t obeying God, well then you are not being perfected in love and yes, you should fear very much.
3. God is always in control and Creator, who often sends and/or allows what we perceive as evil, unfortunate, or badto judge, discipline, mature, and potentially bless His people depending on their cooperation as well as make Himself clearly known and seen. This is 2020 afterall. A timely year to adjust all of our vision to focus on God!
Furthermore, God intentionally sends or allows disease, war/captivity, famine, or “natural” disasters or “acts of God” like earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, tornadoes, various storms, etc. as a means to judge, discipline, test and or mature people- namely, those who believe in Him, as well as to get people where He needs them to be for His purposes and glory. He even creates and allow such disasters to bless people! From the beginning of the Bible to the end, the top 4 events the LORD intentionally sends is: disease, war/captivity, famine, and ravaging beasts (Leviticus 26; Deuteronomy 28-30; Read the various books of the Prophets; Book of Job; Matthew 24-26; Luke 21; Revelation 6-11) . Moreover, He creates and allows such events as a means to make Himself known to those who don’t know Him and/or those who claim to know Him, but refuse to listen and obey Him, or to mature and bless those who do intimately know Him, His word, and obey it.
So please stop spreading the lie that this virus cannot be from God and is the doing of Satan. Why would we as worshipers of the One True Living God give Satan so much power, credit, and glory? Please, for the sake of everyone, and especially yourselves, stop spreading such spiritual viruses and instead study the following passages as a few examples while remembering even Satan had and still has to get permission from God to have any power on this earth (Job 1:6-12) so regardless, such events are still from God while others like Satan or King Nebuchadnezzar (Jeremiah 43:10-13) do God’s bidding.
“I am the LORD, and there is no other; There is no God besides Me; I will gird you, though you have not known Me, that they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting, that there is none besides Me. I am the LORD, and there is no other; I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the LORD, do all these things.” Isaiah 45:5-7
“But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. Now, therefore, do not be afraid..” Genesis 50:20-21
“But the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not let the children of Israel go.” Exodus 11:20
“Thus Israel saw the great work which the LORD had done in Egypt; so the people feared the LORD, and believed the LORD and His servant Moses.” Exodus 14:31
“I will walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people..But if you do not obey Me, and do not observe all these commandments, and if you despise My judgments, so that you do not perform all My commandments, but break My covenant, I also will do this to you: I will even appoint terror over you, wasting disease and fever which shall consume…I will set My face against you, and you shall be defeated by your enemies…Then, if you walk contrary to Me, and are not willing to obey Me, I will bring on you seven more plagues, according to your sins….when I have cut off your supply of bread…I will lay your cities waste…” Leviticus 26
“But I will spare a few of their men from the sword, from famine, and from pestilence, that they may declare all their abominations among the Gentiles wherever they go. Then they shall know that I am the LORD.” Ezekiel 12:16
3. Contrary to the teachings of many false prophets and teachers, God still judges or chastens people – particularly His own. To not do so, would be a neglectful Father. Believers have a stricter judgment than non-believers, because we intentionally or unintentionally vainly bear His name (see Ten Commandments- Exodus 20:7), which means we do not represent Him as we ought to a dying, dark world. Tough love is still true love. Additionally, in the end, we all will be judged for everything we have done. So please do not fall for the blatant lie that we no longer will be held accountable nor have to repent ever again for our behavior (upon believing Jesus died on the cross) for God says otherwise over and over again. In addition to the following examples, read all of Hebrews 10.
“For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?” 1 Peter 4:17
“For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment…” (then why do you think you will not be judged too?) 2 Peter 2:4
” ‘My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.’ If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons.” Hebrews 12:5-8
“For whom the LORD loves He corrects, just as a father the son in whom he delights.” Proverbs 3:12
“For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ…So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.” Romans 14:11-12
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Knowing therefore, the terror of the LORD, we persuade men..” 2 Corinthians 5:10-11
“Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent…He who overcomes…and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life..” Revelation 3:3-5 (Why is Jesus telling believers to repent if they aren’t held accountable after believing in Him? And why is He threatening to remove believers from the Book of Life if they fail to change their behavior?)
“And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give every one according to his work.” Revelation 22:12
Lastly, if you want to pray Psalm 91 over you and your household or annoint one another or your home, fine, please do so. However, in the event this plague does come to your household, despite your prayers or even your diligent obedient faith, please do not get frustrated with God since a plethora of false “prophetic” voices promised you otherwise reading the idols of your heart or telling you what you want to hear as they did in Jeremiah and Ezekiel’s day too possibly further provoking God’s discipline on themselves and others (read Jeremiah 14, 20, 23, 28-30; Ezekiel 13-14). Instead, trust the Father’s intention for you and your loved ones and ask Him what those intentions are – How is He using this virus in 2020 to remove specks from our eyes? He told His people over and over again (in the Bible) after declaring the above mentioned judgments, He has a plan in it all (Jeremiah 29) and also, through this trying time, let us remember Romans 8:28.
May shalom fill your heart and home during this pandemic and others events to come. Trust God.
If you have been exposed to Judaism, Messianic Judaism, Hebrew Roots, or some variant of those branches, then you will most likely be familiar with the weekly Bible readings known as the Torah portion, also referred to as the parashah, which simply means a passage or section of the first five books of the Bible, as well as the Haftarah portion. The Torah and Haftarah portions are typically read publicly and studied each Sabbath. Often times, in Messianic Judaism as well as Hebrew Roots congregations, aligning portions from the New Testament, also known as ‘Brit Chadashah’, are publicly read or studied as well to compliment the Torah and Haftarah portions. If you are relatively new to hearing such unfamiliar terminology, this brief article has been scribed to give you an overview.
Brief Torah Portion History
The tradition of reading a passage from the Torah, which is also known as the law or teachings or instructions of God and can be found in the first five books of the Bible being Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, is believed to have began in 6th century BC immediately after the Jews were released from Babylonian captivity. Upon being allowed to return to Jerusalem to re-group and re-claim their God-ordained promised land (Ezra 1-2), which they were evicted from by God for failing to obey God’s voice documented throughout the Torah, Ezra, the Levitical priest, “had prepared his heart to the seek the Law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel” (Ezra 7:10) so as to not repeat history and be cursed by God for failure to heed His written Voice. Once the temple was rebuilt and dedicated unto the LORD, in the seventh month (Tishri, on the Hebrew calendar), “all the people gathered together as one man” so Ezra could read to them the “Book of the Law”. Each day during the Feast of Tabernacles, known as ‘Sukkot’ in Hebrew, also during the seventh-month, portions of the Torah were read to the people (Ezra 8). And so it is believed the custom began in order to prevent the calamity of the curses brought on God’s people for their rebellion in not obeying God’s written voice. At some point, the Torah portions were divided up into 54 weekly parashahs or specific passages. Still today, the entire globe (of those branches) are studying the same Bible passages in unity as “one man”.
Brief Haftarah Portion History
No one knows for certain how the Haftarah, also pronounced Haftorah in Ashkenazi communities, portions began, but many believe the tradition started circa 175 BC when Antiochus Epiphanes conquered the temple. At that tragic time, Antiochus Epiphanes 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, Deuteronomy 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 determination 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.
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? Did you know Jesus said that whoever does and teaches God’s laws will be called great in the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:18-19)?
To learn more about the weekly Torah portions, subscribe to my blog and YouTube channel. Each week, I strive to write a blog post or publish a video teaching regarding that week’s Torah portion.
(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.
Over the last six weeks or so, I have developed a teaching series called ‘Signs of a False Prophet’. Throughout the Bible we see some interesting encounters with false prophets. As one who has operated in the prophetic, been called and sent to deliver various messages from the Lord to others, this teaching series captures what I have learned along the way as well as counterfeits I have witnessed along this peculiar faith journey. The playlist consists of 12 teachings ranging from 2 minutes to 20 minutes in duration. I pray it enriches your covenant with Abba Father. Shalom!