Such A Heart

Whether on social media or in person, discussing one’s religious beliefs is often a passionate, heart felt, and worthy topic.

Naturally, if folks are unwilling to set aside what they were told a particular verse of Scripture means as well as unwilling to surrender their own Western mindset, then no amount of discussion, articles and videos I or anyone else post on social media will help one come into a more accurate understanding. Even so, in order to come into any spiritual truth, it truly is a work of the heart crafted by the Holy Spirit

Allowing Scripture to define terminology used in Scripture, reading it within context, understanding the author and audience while not reading into text what we want it to say versus what it is actually saying is certainly an issue plaguing us today.

For me, I have found it fascinating to see believers believe they don’t need to believe in the word of the God they believe in. The irony! Much of the confusion comes in due to the Apostle Paul, a lawful, Jewish Pharisee’s peculiar writings, which he and other apostles forewarn are difficult to understand (Romans 7:1; 2 Peter 3:14-18).

Throughout many of Paul’s writings he compares the law of sin and death, which is the consequence of breaking God’s laws versus having the Spirit of Holiness, whose purpose is to remind us and cause us to want to obey the law of God (Ezekiel 36:27), that which is holy (Romans 7:12) – ***not as a means to salvation***, which Paul rebuked numerous times, particularly in Galatians and the book of Acts (chp 15) due to a denomination or sect called the Circumcision Party telling people they must believe in Jesus/Yeshua and obey God’s laws IN ORDER TO BE SAVED. Rather, we obey God’s laws BECAUSE we are saved..Because we are grateful and genuinely grieved with a repentant heart for grieving God and His Holy Spirit by rebelling against God’s heart for us defined in His laws of love, we return unto our Father and His ways. A foreign concept I’ve tried to convey over and over again in various posts, articles, video teachings.


**This is important: The desire to obey comes from a pure and secure place full of love for God and His obedient Son, who was so obedient to His Father’s Torah, He died for us, versus a heart motivated by fear or guilt/condemnation trying to secure their salvation <3.**

In fact, the laws written down later coined as the Mosaic Covenant were given, taught, and encouraged BECAUSE of God’s grace..Because He redeemed them from Egypt…Because of the relationship between God and His people, God provided instructions to avoid going back into bondage AGAIN, back into a culture of sin. Notice the similarities of being set free, having to cross over through a body of water, being cleansed of their former identity as slaves to sin, slaves to Egypt. They were set apart from Egypt and those wanting to bring them back into captivity (not by coincidence the same theme manifests with the tribes of Israel hundreds of years later due to the Assyrian and Babylonian captivities). While in their wilderness journey, which took 40 years due to the Israelites’ ongoing ignorance and rebellion, many never reached the Promised Land. God even provided numerous tangible tools to help as reminders so they would keep His commands by having them create the tzit tzit ( tassels from their garments – see Numbers 15:37-41), celebrate the Passover feast, and adhere to the sacrificial system, etc.

Thousands of years later, God is doing the same thing- giving us His Spirit to help us remember Him and His commands, His love for us, His grace for us, His desire to bless us and dwell with us, as well as tangible reminders like Passover, which some call communion (see Luke 22), as we sojourn our very own wilderness journeys before reaching the Promised Land. Such gifts are to remind us NOT TO GO BACK TO PROVERBIAL EGYPT, a culture, a lifestyle of sin/lawlessness.

May we allow the Holy Spirit to cultivate hearts willing and ready to let go of our idols, our Egypts, and our man-made traditions, while we sojourn this life.


The Spirit cries out,

“Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would fear Me (respect Me) and always keep all My commandments, that it might be well with with them and with their children forever!” Deuteronomy 5:29

” ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.’ ” Matthew 5:18


Abba Father has always been after our rebellious, stubborn hearts. ❤ Blessings & Shalom.

Carrie R. Turner, 6/19/19

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What Does Worshipers of Spirit & Truth Mean?

If you’ve been in the Christian culture, then you have probably heard the expression of being “worshipers of spirit and truth”. But if you are like me, perhaps you have yet to hear a clear explanation as to what Jesus, or Yeshua in His original Hebrew name, meant in John 4 when He says to the Samaritan woman that God is looking for “worshipers of spirit and truth”.

“But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:23-24 (NKJV)

Such a statement seems to elude most believers as a mystery. In order to properly interpret anything recorded in the New Testament, one has to understand the only “Scriptures” Yeshua or His Apostles had access to was the Tanakh, or Old Testament; hence, why they often referred to “the law and the prophets” in their teachings. Keep in mind, the Apostle Paul tells us the Tanakh, the only Scripture he and others had at that time, is useful for reproof, correcting, and instruction in righteous and makes us complete.

“But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by the Inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:14-17 (NKJV)

http___scrolls4all.org_scrolls_wp-content_uploads_sites_6_2014_09_lithuania.clearJPGIn other words, the Apostle Paul was writing to Timothy saying what many refer to as the Old Testament, which includes the law of God, the books written by various prophets, the psalms, etc., are an excellent resource if we want to understand the spiritual matters of Abba (‘Abba’ is Hebrew for Father God). So when we seek to interpret the meaning of various things spoken of by Yeshua or matters penned by His followers, all of whom were Jewish, we need to let the Old Testament interpret the New Testament. In other words, let Scripture interpret Scripture. Just as the Holy Spirit will not approve or lead you to that which is UNholy, the New Testament cannot contradict the Old Testament for if truth is truth, then it is absolute and cannot change; otherwise, it wasn’t truth.

With that said, let’s see what Scripture says about spirit and truth.

What Is Spirit?

According to Scripture, the Spirit that Yeshua referred to in that passage, is God’s Spirit (John 4:24 ; Romans 8:9), the Spirit of Holiness, also known as the Holy Spirit (John 3:3-6; Acts 2; 8:14-17; 19:2-6; Romans 1:4), and if you’re willing to go deeper, the Spirit of life (Romans 8:2), the Spirit of adoption (Romans 8:15-17), the Spirit of Jesus/Yeshua (1 Peter 1:11), the Spirit of grace (Hebrews 10:29; Zechariah 12:10), the Spirit of truth (John 14:15-18; 15:26), all of which are the same eternal Spirit (Hebrews 9:14; Romans 8:1-17). In various records of the Tanakh (Old Testament), we learn that God’s Spirit came upon a select few people (Here are a few examples: Numbers 24:2; Judges 6:34; I Samuel 10:6,10; 2 Chronicles 15:1; Ezekiel 11:5) and the Holy Spirit used His prophet, Moses, and signs like a cloud by day and fire by night to lead the Israelites through their wilderness journey (see Isaiah 63:10-14). In the days of the Apostles and today, the Holy Spirit still leads us(Romans 8:14). Interestingly enough, the Holy Spirit also filled Elizabeth, John the Baptist’ mother (see Luke 1:39-45), before it was poured out during the Feast of Shavuot (Pentecost) in Acts 2. As we can see from Scripture, the Holy Spirit has been influencing and communicating the will of God to people and through people for thousands of years. In fact, THAT is the Holy Spirit’s purpose: To influence people to live a lifestyle of holiness for we are called to “Be holy as He is holy” (Leviticus 11:45; 20:26; 1 Peter 1:13-19) and moreover, to do the will of God. Part of the ‘better promises’ (Hebrews 8) prescribed in the New Covenant is that after Jesus’ / Yeshua’s death, resurrection, and ascension to heaven though, the Holy Spirit became prevalent and available to receive that is to anyone (not just a select few) who believes Yeshua is the Messiah, according to Acts 2:38-39, which reads:

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During the Feast of Shavuot or Pentecost, which celebrates the giving of God’s laws, the Holy Spirit was poured out on that same day in Acts 2. [As a side note, if the laws of God are irrelevant or done away with since the cross, as many teach today, then why were the disciples celebrating the Feast of Pentecost (Shavuot), a command found in the law (Leviticus 23)? Because God’s commands are still for us today even after the cross.] So both the law of God AND the Holy Spirit were poured out on the same day just thousands of years later! How fascinating!

To those who believe Yeshua / Jesus is the Son of God, the Messiah predicted by prophets of old, the perfect Passover sacrificial lamb of God, who died to pay the debt of our sin, our lawlessness, once and for all, they will at some point receive the Holy Spirit, a promised gift (John 16:5-15; Acts 1:1-8; 2:38-39). Receiving the Holy Spirit is a noticeable and distinct event in a believer’s life (Acts 2; 8:14-17; 9; 19:2-6 as a few examples). Just as the law and Holy Spirit were given quite noticeably, I assure you, you will know when you’ve been baptized in the Spirit, which is the same as receiving the Holy Spirit!

Unfortunately, many have been taught that not only is the Holy Spirit given as if in secret once you believe, but “to believe” means just believe that a guy named Jesus walked the earth, died and rose again and go on living your life like usual. In reality, according to the Bible, to believe is to repent, to turn from your sin, to turn from your lifestyle of being without God and His ways. In other words, in the Hebraic mentality, which is inspired by God, to believe is to do. And yet, we can do nothing lasting apart from God’s Spirit of Holiness! God is tired of a people that only profess Him with their lips but their hearts, their lifestyle is far from Him and His will (Isaiah 29:13; Matthew 15:8), which is why in the New Covenant, He promised to put a Spirit of Holiness within us all the time which will help us know truth and that which is holy (Romans 7:12) causing us to do them! Check out these promises of the New Covenant found in the Tanakh (Old Testament) describing the purpose of God giving us this Spirit of Holiness dwelling inside us.

  • “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah— 32 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the Lord33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” Jeremiah 31:31-33 (NKJV)
  • “Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh, 20 that they may walk in My statutes and keep My judgments and do them; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God. 21 But as for those whose hearts follow the desire for their detestable things and their abominations, I will recompense their deeds on their own heads,” says the Lord God.” Ezekiel 11:19-21 (NKJV)
  • I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.Ezekiel 36:27 (NKJV)

Now that we know that being a worshiper of Spirit is receiving the Spirit of Holiness within our hearts so that we may lead an empowering lifestyle of holiness, which is obeying the commands of God, let’s see what the Scripture reveals truth is.

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What Is Truth?

Truth is God’s word, all of it, including the parts some modern day preachers say is “done away with” or “not relevant” or “barbaric”. Quite specifically, the Tanakh reveals the law of God, His commandments, statutes, or judgments are truth!

  • “I have chosen the way of truth; Your judgments I have laid before me.” Psalm 119:30 (NKJV)
  • “Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, And Your law is truth.” Psalm 119:142 (NKJV)
  • “You are near, O Lord, And all Your commandments are truth.” Psalm 119:151 (NKJV)
  • The entirety of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever.” Psalm 119:160 (NKJV)

Additionally, truth is Yeshua! In the same chapter where Jesus / Yeshua describes the purpose of the Holy Spirit (see John 14:15-18), He described Himself as The Way, The Truth, and The Life.

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’ ” John 14:6 NKJV

But did you know upon using those phrases, He essentially was saying He IS the perfect Torah (the law of God, the law of liberty- Psalm 19:7;-9; 119:45; James 1:25)…the Living Torah in the flesh for all the world to read (John 1)? How cool is that?! Here are verses about the way reference:

  • He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel.” Psalm 103:7 NKJV
  • Blessed are the undefiled in the way, Who walk in the law of the Lord!” Psalm 119:1 NKJV
  • “Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes, And I shall keep it to the end.” Psalm 119:33 NKJV
  • “And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:24 NKJV

So we’ve seen what truth is as well as what the way is, but what is life?

  • “I will never forget Your precepts, for by them You have given me life.” Psalm 119:93 NKJV
  • “and he said to them: ‘Set your hearts on all the words which I testify among you today, which you shall command your children to be careful to observe—all the words of this law. 47 For it is not a futile thing for you, because it is your life, and by this word you shall prolong your days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to possess.’ ” Deuteronomy 32:46-27 NKJV

It’s been my experience and something I have witnessed in other believers that first the Holy Spirit woos you unto the Father through the Son and even often goes through great lengths to prove to you God is real and personally knows you and your circumstances. Once you accept such factual, spiritual truths, you then begin to trust and obey Him. At some point, the Holy Spirit is given to those who obey Him (Acts 5:32), which is why Peter preached REPENTANCE because to repent is to obey. In His time, as you submit to truth (Luke 8:18), the Spirit of Holiness reveals to you more and more truth through God’s word as well as through your experiences. The Spirit of Holiness guides you into that which is holy and true, cautioning you, correcting you, and causing you to obey all of God’s word. Out of a grateful, circumcised heart, you will want to follow Yeshua’s example, the Living Torah, so that those around you can also read and understand God’s love language pouring out from the pages of your life!

Summary

In summary, we have discovered and decoded to be a worshiper of spirit and truth means to be one who has not only received the Spirit of Holiness (Holy Spirit), but who also is led by the Spirit to live an empowering lifestyle of holiness as defined and described by the truth of God’s written voice, His word. In doing so, we will have lived and loved like Yeshua, like sons and daughters should!

 

 

 

 

Torah Portion: Nasso

In Messianic Judaism, Hebrew roots congregations, as well as various forms of Judaism, there is a weekly Bible reading plan that the whole world (of those groups) studies in unity. This week’s Torah portion is called “Nasso”, which means in Hebrew “Take Up”. Can you find a theme or connection between these various passages?

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[Note: Torah is the first five books of the Bible, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, also known as the Law. Haftarah is “partings” or portions of the prophets. The Gospels are the written recordings about the life of Yeshua / Jesus, the Messiah, found in the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Messianic Judaism, as well as those in various Hebrew roots congregations, believe Yeshua or Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah and includes the Gospels as well as the rest of the New Testament in their studies whereas Judaism does not.]

Is Obeying God’s Law Cheating On Jesus?

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While in my car driving this afternoon, I heard a voice on a local Christian radio preaching to any willing listeners that the law of God is evil and causes people to sin. After hearing a couple of verses the preacher quoted, I found myself vexed in my being saddened that still too many have been so easily deceived into thinking something God calls truth (Psalm 119:30,60,142), a blessing (Psalm 119:1-2), wondrous (Psalm 119:18), a delight (Psalm 119:14-16,47), liberty (Psalm 119:44-45; Galatians 5; James 1:25), good doctrine (Proverbs 4:2), knowledge/understanding (Psalm 119:33-34, 73,100; Proverbs 2; Hosea 4:6), a light or lamp (Psalm 119:105-106,129-130; Proverbs 6:23; Matthew 25:1-13), the apple of our eye (Proverbs 7:1-3), for our good (Deut.5:29; 6:24-25; 7:9-26; 10:12-13; Proverbs 3:1-4), for our righteousness and instruction (Deut.6:24-25; Psalm 119:60,142,172; 2 Timothy 3:13-4:3), His will (Romans 2:17-18; 12:1-2), and holy, just and good (Romans 7:12), and spiritual (Romans 7:14) as evil and actually causes one to sin. Not too long ago, a different pastor posted on Facebook that obeying God’s commands is actually cheating on Jesus. After seeing such outlandish rebellion and deception on Facebook as well as hearing this latest attack on God and His word under the guise of faith, it was then while still driving in the car, the Scripture penned by the Apostle Peter, whom our Messiah founded His assembly on, stirred within my spirit. 1 Peter 3:14-18 reads:

Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. 15 And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. 17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability.18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.” 2 Peter 3:14-18 (ESV)

Just as Jesus speaks in the Book of Revelation of areas various churches excel at as well as areas the church fails at and need to repent of (Rev. 2-3), I, too, have noticed a few important facts about today’s modern, mainstream Christianity church. One thing mainstream Christianity excels at is understanding Jesus, or Yeshua in His original Hebrew name, is the Messiah of the world as foretold throughout the Tanakh, also known as the Old Testament (Psalm 22; Isaiah 7:14; 53; Zechariah 9:9). Christianity indeed excels at spreading the good news of our Savior’s first arrival, His amazing grace, and many understand He will return to rule and reign in His second arrival. However, one big thing much of Christianity seems to fail at is understanding our Messiah was/is, begotten of the God of Israel, was/is still Jewish as were all of the Apostles, and our Messiah will return and reign still as Jewish or one from the tribe of Judah (hence, the slang term for the tribe of Judah being ‘Jew’), and the fact that in the New Jerusalem there is no gate for ‘Gentiles’ to enter (Read ‘Walk Like An Egyptian?‘) nor is the new covenant made with Gentiles (read Jeremiah 31:31-33 – notice the new covenant is with the House of Israel & House of Judah). Again, please read, ‘Walk Like An Egyptian?’ for more clarification. Furthermore, our Jewish Messiah taught that he came to fill up or show us how to be the Living Torah as He is the Living Torah (John 1; 1 Peter 1:22-25) and that not one jot or tittle (writings/grammar/highlights) of the law of God, His Abba (Father in Hebrew) and ours, is done away with or abolished until there is a new heaven and earth (Matthew 5:17-19). Jesus even goes on to say in that same passage that anyone who teaches God’s laws are done away (and even worse to present them as evil) will be considered least in God’s kingdom! Additionally, many do not know that the reason He returns to Earth for a second time is to restore the Earth as He and our Abba Father intended it to be. Specifically, Yeshua teaches us God’s laws (see Isaiah 2, Isaiah 51, Micah 4) as do His priests in the millennium reign of Yeshua before the New Heavens and New Earth are established (Ezekiel 44:23-24). The last chapter in the book of Zechariah, reveals after Yeshua returns to Earth to reign, all the world must participate in the Feast of Tabernacles (see Zechariah 14:16+). Similarly, various passages of the Tanakh (Old Testament) reveal the Israelites and strangers within the faith (even in the New Testament too – see John 12:20) sojourned to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover (‘Pesach’ in Hebrew), Pentecost (‘Shavuot’ in Hebrew), and Feast of Tabernacles (‘Sukkot’ in Hebrew). The Book of Ezekiel seems to indicate the world will also celebrate these feasts of the LORD (Leviticus 23) by traveling to Jerusalem during the millennium reign of Yeshua. To read more about what life will be like during the 1,000 year reign and rule of our Messiah, Yeshua, study Ezekiel 36-46. Likewise, Isaiah 64-66, reveal how Yeshua, the Messiah, feels about violations of God’s laws, such as eating swine or breaking Sabbath, at His return and what true worship looks like (hint: cheerful obedience to our Father’s laws). Clearly, if we celebrate the feasts of the LORD in the millennium and are also taught God’s laws in the Messianic Era, not to mention we currently are not yet in a new heaven and new earth just yet, then how can one seriously argue God’s commands are temporarily done away with, much less evil, or cheating on Jesus? To learn more about such critical truths, read Why Wormwood? and Will We Again Perform Sacrifices? If So, Why? 

In other words, much of Christianity excels at making converts but fails at making disciples of Jesus Christ or Yeshua HaMaschiach, for being a disciple of the Jewish Jesus means to do just as He did as the walking, talking Torah (1 John 2:6; John 1; James 1:22-25), honoring His heavenly Father. After all, did Jesus not say in the last verse of the ‘Great Commission’, “Teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” in Matthew 28:20 (NKJV)?

Speaking of teaching, human nature is to simply believe what we are taught to believe and do what we are told to do without really investigating the doctrines being spoon fed to those of us sitting in the pews. Most preachers and seminary’s simply spew what they have been taught or what they read in commentaries. Many don’t know that out of a hatred for the Jews, thinking Jews are the sole perpetrators of Jesus’ crucifixion (when in actuality the Jews [1 Thess.2:14-15], the Romans [Matt.27:35], you & I [Rom.3:23;6:23], and the Father [Acts 2:23] killed Him), a bitter root of anti-semitism developed hundreds of years after the first century Messianic Jewish and grafted-in believers (former Gentiles) began following ‘The Way’ (Acts 9:2; Acts 11:26) when the Emperor Constantine and the Council of Nicea made doctrines and rules ostracizing anything remotely Jewish from the Roman Catholic Church (circa 325 AD). Without having the word of God for themselves to study, as well as  palpable fear of persecution and wanting to belong, many church goers accepted the authority of the Emperor’s and Catholic Church’s guidelines and doctrines. Even today, with prevalent access to Bibles, many Catholic and Protestant Christians still abide by such doctrines founded in the 4th century rather than seeking the Father with all their heart and minds while allowing His Spirit of Holiness (Holy Spirit) to teach them what is holy (Romans 7:12). Many hearts are closed to hearing anything other than what they’ve been taught. Why? Because to discover something different would mean three humbling and potentially devastating facts: 1) They were deceived. 2) They were wrong. 3) You will be set apart from others and consequently, misunderstood and persecuted. Take heart, beloveds, being angry and grieved upon realizing the gross distortion of God’s voice, His word, as well as scared is totally normal as you come out of proverbial Babylon or Egypt.

If you are still reading, then perhaps you are one of the few that Call to Me, and I will  answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” Jeremiah 33:3 (NKJV). It’s been my personal experience, the more one is willing to come to Him like a child, while abandoning your preconceived notions and traditions, forgetting everything you think you know about Him, the faster one will grow into a mature son or daughter of Abba in Yeshua and hopefully, start producing lasting and delightful fruit!

Tragically, as evidence of various media outlets, many have been taught that to be ‘under the law’ is being in bondage, legalistic, or even cursing themselves as it is cheating on Jesus. Many believe such things primarily from cherry-picking a few verses out of the Book of Romans and Galatians or various books scribed by the Apostle Paul. I know I certainly was taught that and at first glance at such Scriptures, I can see why one would come to such conclusion. Now, however, when I hear such things I am not sure if I want to cry or laugh at such gross, but clever twisting of Paul’s writings.

For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law, but under grace.” Romans 6:14 (NKJV)

It would seem when reading Romans 6:14, particularly if you simply cherry-pick verses, that being under the law is being under sin. But are God’s laws sin? No. Or is breaking God’s law sin? YES! Whenever one studies a verse, one needs to read it in context as well as compare it to the rest of Scripture. Let’s examine I John 3:4, which reads,

Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.” 1 John 3″4 (NKJV)

So according to the Jewish Apostle John, under the unction of the Holy Spirit, sin is breaking God’s law or not obeying God’s commandments. The Apostle John also writes in 1 John 2:4,

He who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” I John 2:4 (NKJV)

and how the persecuted saints in the Book of Revelation are described as those who not only believe in Yeshua as their Messiah, but they keep the commandments of God as well.

Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” Revelation 14:12 (NKJV)

In I John 2, the Apostle explains the commandments he is inferring are ones from the Torah (see 1 John 2:7), which Jesus especially taught and walked and even raised the standard on (i.e. think about the adultery commandment – Jesus said if you even THINK about a woman lustfully, you have committed adultery – Matt.5:27-30). Did Jesus ever say, don’t worry about such commandments like ‘Thou shall not commit adultery’ (Exodus 19:14,17)? No, rather, Jesus often is found showing grace to those who violated the law, but then saying, “Go and sin no more.” (John 8:11). In other words, Jesus often taught even though I forgive you and am showing you my grace, don’t continue to break My Father’s commands..His law (read Hebrews 10 and Matthew 7).

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The Confusion

The confusion in the letters of Apostle Paul, who wasn’t just a Jew, but a law-abiding Pharisee even as a disciple of Yeshua (Acts 23:6; 24:14-16; 26:5), manifests in many Christians today because Paul described two opposing laws at play: The Law of God (also described as the Law of the Spirit/Christ) verses The Law of Sin and Death (also described as the Law of the flesh/sin/death). When we look at the following verses after Romans 6:14, Paul explains now that we are no longer under the curse of breaking God’s law, which is the law of sin and death, but rather grace. But he writes that just because we now get to experience grace, we should still strive to not sin by breaking God’s laws or being without God’s laws or put another way leading a ‘lawless’ lifestyle as many Christians do today out of ignorance. Hence, why Jesus warns, He will one day say to believers who cast out demons, prophesy, and heal the sick, “Depart from me you workers of lawlessness.” (Matthew 7:21-23). Furthermore, Paul implores we be slaves to righteousness, slaves to God’s law or put another way because we are saved by the grace of God, we should want to obey His ways by becoming slaves to His righteousness..His law.

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Throughout Romans chapters 6, 7, and 8, Paul goes to great lengths attempting to explain these two opposing laws, but says in Chapter 7, verse 1, unless you know the law this will be very confusing. For me, it became much clearer in Romans 7:21-25:

Vs 21: “I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good.” (The law of God is designed to give us knowledge of what is good verse evil..to know the will of God – see Romans 2:17-18. For how can we experience God’s grace if we don’t know what is sin?)

Vs 22: “For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man.” (But aren’t most modern day preachers teaching the law of God is evil? Rather, breaking the law of God is evil and has a serious consequence – death according to Romans 3:23 and 6:23; hence, the law of sin and death! Breaking God’s law = Sin = Evil = Law of Sin and Death)

Vs 23: “But I see another law in my members (flesh), warring against the law of my mind (Law of God/Spirit), and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin (Law of Sin & Death/flesh), which is in my members (flesh).”

Go to verse 25: “I thank God- through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with my mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.” (Law of God vs. Law of Sin)

So you see Paul isn’t saying the Law/Torah/Commandments of God are evil or bad in any way, but rather the consequence or curse (Deuteronomy 30:11-20; Revelation 21:4,7-8; 22:3,14) in breaking the law is a type of bondage or captivity (as proven by the Babylonian captivity when the Jews broke God’s Sabbath and Sabbath rest for the land every 7 years – see 2 Chron.36). He also goes on in Romans 8:2 saying, “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.” We have died to the curse of breaking the law, the law of sin and death upon believing in Jesus (Paul explains this also in the Book of Galatians). And that the flesh, or the carnal mind is against the law of God, because the flesh wants us to remain in captivity or bondage to sin – only the Spirit can bring us to delight in the law (Romans 8:4-8). Christ’s shed blood freed us from the curse or wages of sin and death, which is the law of sin and death (Romans 3:23; 6:23). All throughout the Torah, the first 5 books of the Bible, referred to by Jesus and the Apostles as the ‘Law’, warns if you break God’s commandments, which is His voice, you will be cursed (Deut.27:26; Lev.18:5; Rom.10:5; Gal.3:10-14). If you unintentionally broke God’s laws, by accident or not knowing it was a sin, the Levitical High Priest could make atonement for your trespass. Whereas, if a person intentionally sinned, they would be killed. You can read some examples of such practices in Numbers 15. Either way, blood would be shed. When Jesus/Yeshua became the perfect, spotless Passover lamb, He bled to death on the cross to make atonement for our tresspasses so that both the Jew and Gentile could experience not just the blessings of keeping God’s covenant/law (see Galatians 3:13-14; Romans 11), but freedom from the curse of breaking God’s law, whether it was an unintentional sin or intentional, an even better blessing! Specifically, upon His ascension to heaven, He became a spiritual High Priest currently mediating on our behalf to Abba Father in heaven as we ongoingly repent for our latest trespasses against God and others (Hebrews 8). Hence, God’s grace and Christ’s role in heaven. The One who died for our trespasses is actively lobbying God on your behalf – talk about grace, not to mention, credibility!

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Sadly, in modern day churches, some preach that if you obey God’s law, which we now know is not sinning, you are cheating on Jesus, due to the verse discussed in Romans 6 as well as some verses in Galatians. Ironically, if you break God’s law, you are actually cheating on God/Jesus or rebelling against your Abba Father’s household rules (whichever way you prefer to think of it is the same concept). All throughout the various books in the Bible written by the prophets, YHVH describes those who break God’s commandments/His laws as whores..as adulterers..as those who break His holy covenant (read the Books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Hosea, Daniel, etc). When the 12 tribes of Israel as well as the thousands of ‘mixed-multitude’ (former Egyptians/Gentiles who left Egypt alongside the Israelites/Hebrews) committed themselves saying, “We Do” to God’s covenant (Exodus 24:3), much like us grafted-in Israelites (Romans 11) do upon accepting Christ or re-dedicating ourselves to Him, they essentially married God (to put it in a human understanding). Hence, why He often had the prophets declare those who aligned themselves with the One True God, but defied His laws and their vows, as adulterers. Today, we are betrothed or engaged to Yeshua, His son, about to be in an even better covenant, a new covenant, where we will be married to Him for eternity! He is coming back for His Bride who has a stain-free, blemish-free, spotless wedding dress (2 Corinthians 11:2;Ephesians 5:25-27; Revelation 7:13-14; 19:7-9; 21:1-2,9-10) to make her His lawfully wedded wife, which is why the Book of Revelation says in the New Heaven and New Earth, there is no unclean thing, no lawlessness, no sin and death for the glorious (Rev.21), New Covenant has been consummated – all things are made new without spot or blemish (unclean/lawless/sin).

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Moreover, if one’s heart is in love with God/Yeshua, in cooperation, His Spirit will circumcise your heart (Deut.10:14-16;30:6; Jeremiah 4:4; Romans 2:28-19), writing God’s Torah/law on our hearts (Jeremiah 31:31-33; Romans 2:13-16; Hebrews 10:14-17). In other words, because of receiving such a generous gift of dying for our sins (breaking God’s laws), we will WANT to obey God’s laws out of a circumcised, heart full of gratitude…a heart of thanksgiving.

The law without the Spirit produces works of the flesh – dead works…and cannot save you (see Acts 15; Book of Galatians; Ephesians 2:8-13). Just as a body without God breathing into it is dead and a spirit without a body is unproductive as well, so is faith without evidence, without fruit, for in Hebraic mindset, to believe is to do (James 1:21-27; 2:14-26). Think of the law like a structure, or body, or systems in place to function, but without the wind in your lungs causing the blood (of Yeshua) to flow through you, that body is meaningless, useless, and dead. Likewise, we cannot see the Spirit or wind, but we can see the effects of His Spirit, the wind, as it transforms the physical. That is where the two, law and Spirit, become one and in that covenant they produce something beautiful – fruit of the Spirit DAILY not just once in awhile like in the Old Testament when the Spirit of the LORD would fall on people on occasion! Having the Spirit write God’s law on your heart, causing you to obey Him (Ezekiel 36:27), brings life!  In fact, it’s believed the law of God given to Moses and the people of God was given on Shavuot or Pentecost; hence, one reason why such a festival is commanded to be celebrated. Likewise, the Spirit of Holiness, whose purpose is to guide you into holiness, was given on Pentecost/Shavuot (see Acts 2). What is your motive? Are you begrudgingly obeying God’s commands hoping you can earn your salvation or are you wanting to obey Him out of a great love for Him because He first loved you..BECAUSE of your salvation? Abba is looking for cheerful givers!

Religion views obedience as legalistic. Relationship views obedience as love.

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So you see, betrothed ones, out of a circumcised heart, a heart in love, you will no longer be “cheating on Jesus”, rather you will commit and submit unto Him and His way allowing Him to make your heart and your dress beautiful in His time (Ecclesiastes 3:11). The Torah IS The Living Torah’s love language. Learn His Voice (Deuteronomy 30; John 10:10), then follow His way, His truth, and reproduce His life.

Shalom and Amen,

Carrie R. Turner

5.30.19

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Holy Holidays: Why I Celebrate The Feasts of the LORD

While most Americans celebrate Christmas and Easter, even if they are not particularly religious, I have slowly transitioned away from celebrating the common holidays of our society to celebrating God’s holy holidays known as the ‘Feasts of the LORD’. The catalyst in doing so was albeit a slow one…

How I Came To Celebrate God’s Holy Holidays

I remember as a young girl hearing about someone who didn’t celebrate Christmas or other holidays because they were Jehovah’s Witness, but never gave it much thought other than, “Humm, that’s weird.”  Close to twenty years later though, when my boys were small in the early 2000’s, I was careful never to deceive them into believing in a fictional character that stalks children named Santa Claus. After all, Jesus was the reason for the season – or so I thought. Moreover, now that I had kids, I felt like I should be able to explain why we do what we do even though they weren’t asking just yet!

Being a nerd at heart, I went digging on the world wide web for answers. While I was surprised to learn many of the holidays’ had pagan origins, nothing particularly struck me as evil or caused me to think I really shouldn’t celebrate these, rather it just added to my overall unexplainable Scrooge like perspective on most holidays – except Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving has been my favorite holiday for no apparent reason other than the great food and company and of course, the general concept of being thankful! Much later in my life, I learned the Pilgrims’ Thanksgiving Feast was replicating the Feasts of Tabernacles…No wonder I love Thanksgiving! 😉 Whereas, it was obvious to me that most other holidays like Valentine’s Day, Easter, and Christmas were just great marketing ploys to further the economy and cause people to go unnecessarily into debt!

One particular day though, while visiting my mom (and waiting on her before we went somewhere), I was thumbing through a Bible when I stumbled upon Jeremiah 10, which certainly grabbed my attention.

“Hear the word which the LORD speaks to you, O Israel. Thus says the LORD, ‘Do not learn the way of the Gentiles..For the customs of the people are futile; for one cuts a tree from the forest..they decorate it with silver and gold; they fasten it with nails and hammers so it will not topple..’ ” Jeremiah 10:1-4

I felt pricked in the heart and even showed the passage to my mom. “Mom, doesn’t this sound like a Christmas tree?” She agreed it did sound like that, but neither of us knew how to reconcile our common and well-accepted tradition to this peculiar truth. Naturally, like most Christians, we brushed it off and went about our day. Tradition trumped truth because we simply didn’t know better.

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If you want to download your own, click here: https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/gods-holy-day-plan-the-promise-of-hope-for-all-mankind

Later, sometime in 2010-2011 time frame, I interviewed for a Property Manager job in Philadelphia, about 2 hours from home at that time. The apartment community was owned and managed by Orthodox Jews so they informed me due to their religious holidays (the Feasts of the LORD) there are many days the company and leasing offices are closed typically in September as well as other days throughout the year. Due to deciding not to relocate to Philadelphia, I turned down the job. Nevertheless, the testimony of those faithful Jews inspired me all these years later to also honor Abba Father by not working and not having my subcontractors work on God’s Holy Holidays either (Exodus 20:10; Deuteronomy 5:14).

In 2011 somehow a YouTube TV show popped up on my laptop called ‘Beyond Today’, a program produced by United Church of God. I watched the program in its entirety and it was then I was introduced to the “Feasts of the LORD”. I even downloaded a free packet published by the group and printed it on my color printer. To this day, I reference that packet usually around the prescribed feast days as there is still so much to absorb.

Meanwhile, I had previously attended a charismatic church where a Jewish man and his wife, who believed in Jesus as the Messiah, attended. Through him, I saw a shofar as he introduced it to the church as well a prayer shawl. He and his wife even orchestrated the church’s first seder dinner, all of which I found fascinating. I kept the Seder Haggadah that was handed out to each of us attending for I found it enriching and interesting. The Haggadah basically means “telling” the Passover story. 20190503_123427 It, like the ‘Feast of the LORD’ packet, went into a special “spiritual ” container bin where I kept various notes from sermons, encouraging cards given to me, and anything meaningful and religious in nature. Over the years, I would on occasion read through these materials casually pondering these mysterious feasts.

You may recall, in 2014, the Blood Red Moons were all the rage in the media and especially certain Evangelical circles because they corresponded with the “Jewish Feasts” and seemed prophetic in nature. It was around this time, I was introduced to Jim Staley’s teachings on YouTube. Again, somehow his videos just manifested. Consequently, I found myself listening to eye opening and puzzling teachings over and over again trying to decipher all the foreign, yet oddly familiar or comforting, concepts he would share. I enjoyed listening to his teachings as not only is he an excellent teacher, which I admired as one who had formerly taught computers, but what he so passionately shared with his audience brought a peculiar peace, a settling shalom to my vexed soul (another story for another time). While I hadn’t particularly changed my normal Christian lifestyle to be anything Hebrew or Jewish related at the time, the truths he shared most definitely got me seeking the word and God in pursuit of truth and understanding. In my humble opinion, anyone who causes me to seek the Father’s heart by digging more in His word for myself is a winner!

A couple of years later, in 2016, God spoke to me through a dream and directly to my husband (in his mind/heart), the same day informing us we were to sell our home of 10 years, give away or sell most of our belongings, and go where He says to go and do whatever He says to do. Much like the Israelites did when they left Egypt, we were leaving proverbial “Egypt”. We understood we would be mobile and dependent on Him following His proverbial cloud and fire. Although a seemingly unusual call at the time, Abba (Father God) confirmed it to us through another unknowing soul. At the church we “randomly” attended that day, a pastor was preaching, looked at us directly, and almost verbatim said what the Lord spoke to us earlier that morning! Shortly after getting the message from the Spirit we were to relocate, although we had no idea where to at the time,  I heard God whisper to me in my being that we need to list the house during the Feast of Tabernacles that year. Honestly, I was like, “What? The Feast of Tabernacles? When is that? And Why then?”20190503_123446 So I went to my super “spiritual” bin to dig out that packet I printed 5 years earlier to look up the Feast of Tabernacles. It even had a chart outlining the various dates of the feasts for years to come. So at that point in my life, I could see the Feast of Tabernacles would be rapidly approaching as it was only a couple of weeks away according to my saved packet. I verified the dates on the internet and then presented this weird word to my husband, who amazingly, was like, “OK, let’s do it!” After we indeed listed the house on the last day of Feast of Tabernacles, which I didn’t know then is the “8th day” of the feast and means “New Beginnings”, I got another word from the LORD telling me the house will sell in April, but write it down in my journal (I journal often) so I wouldn’t doubt hearing Him. Sure enough the house sold in April of 2017.

Little did I know then, what I know now about the Feast of Tabernacles and the other Feasts nor how much He would incorporate that particular feast into our journey (see our story ‘Walk His Way’). Although, if there is one thing I have learned over the years, it is this: There is always more to learn in Yahweh – after all, it’s not my way, but Yah’s way!

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Here are Three Reasons Why I Celebrate The Feasts of Yahweh:

1. Not Just Jewish

With all that said, first, I have learned that these feasts described in various passages of the Old and New Testament are NOT just “Jewish feasts”, but rather, like Leviticus 23:1 says they are “The feasts of the LORD, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts.” In other words, this isn’t something the Jewish people invented nor are these holy holidays just for the Jewish people, but they are for all who believe in the One True God. (To learn more about that subject, check out the article I penned called ‘One Law For All’). We even celebrate the Feasts, God’s appointed times, in the millenium reign of Christ (Ezekiel 45:18-25; 46:9,11; Zechariah 14:16-21). To learn more about the Feasts of the LORD, here are a few passages to read: Leviticus 23; Exodus 23:14-19; Deuteronomy 16; 2 Chronicles 29-30; Nehemiah 8-10; Matthew 24:30-31; Matthew 26:2,17-30; Mark 14; Luke 22; John 4:45; John 7; John 10:22-23 {refers to Hanukkah, not a prescribed Feast of YHVH, but one even Jesus celebrated, evidently}; John 12:1, 12-13, 20 {notice Greeks worshiped at the Feast of Passover too} Acts 2; 18:21; 1 Corinthians 5:7.

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The unleavened bread is wrapped in the afikomen (linen) just as Jesus / Yeshua’s sinless body was wrapped in linen in His burial.

2. Prophetic In Nature

Secondly, each of the seven feasts are prophetic in nature and reveal profound truths about the Messiah and God’s ultimate true love story. The Spring Feasts being Passover, Unleavened Bread, and Firstfruits were fulfilled when Jesus, or Yeshua in His actual Hebrew name, became the Passover Lamb slaughtered on actual Passover, His unleavened (sinless) body broken and buried in the tomb during Unleavened Bread like the seder dinner tradition of the afikomen, where the unleavened bread is wrapped in linen just as Jesus was, and He rose again on the feast of Firstfruits, which is why the Apostle Paul refers to Jesus as a type of firstfruits being the first to be resurrected (I Corinthians 15:20). Yahsome, right?!

The final Spring/Summer feast, is Shavuot also known as the ‘Feast of Weeks’ or Pentecost. It’s been said in Jewish interpretation or tradition that the the law of God was given on Mount Sinai, and we know later, on the same day, the Holy Spirit was given (see Acts 2). As a side note, reconcile the possibility that both the law or Torah of God AND the Spirit were given to His people the same day just centuries apart. Why? Because the Spirit writes the Torah on our hearts eventually causing us to walk it out, or live that lifestyle, just as the Living Torah, Jesus lived (see Hebrews 8:8-10; Jeremiah 31:31-33; Ezekiel 36:27). The Holy Spirit or put another way, the Spirit of Holiness was given as a gift of grace to pay the debt for not obeying Torah while helping us be able to do so..to overcome sin and death, the consequence of breaking Torah (I John 3; Romans 3:23; 6:23)…not to earn our salvation, but BECAUSE He first loved us, we will want to love Him and others the way He defines love and holiness in His Torah, the ultimate love letter. Isn’t God genius?!

Lastly, the final 3 feasts being Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement/Yom Kippur, and Feast of Tabernacles that occur each Fall are yet to be fulfilled. Many believe, including myself, that these Fall feasts will be fulfilled at our Messiah’s second coming when He returns as a ferocious mighty Lion verses the gentle, servantly Lamb He cames as the first time here on Earth.

3. Required & Set Apart

http___www.thejoshlink.com_7Feasts2Thirdly, I celebrate the Feasts because I understand as a believer of the One True God, YHVH, and His Son, Yeshua, the Messiah, I am apart of Israel…I am an Israelite, a child of God called to be a light and set apart from the world (Isaiah 49:6; Matthew 5:14; John 8:12; Psalm 119:105-106; Ephesians 5:7-14) and consequently, I recognize and want to submit to God’s authority. Because my Abba Father commands, not suggests, we celebrate His Holy Holidays, the Feasts, as His kid, I’m going to comply to His household rules or put another way as a citizen of the commonwealth of Israel, I’m going to comply to His nation’s or kingdom’s laws. Such concepts of believers actually being either native-Israelites and others grafted-in Israelites, formerly known as rebellious wayward Gentiles, may be a foreign way to be identified, but alas, it is ‘The Way” and important you understand your true identity in Him. To learn more about your identity and responsibilities as a believer, read ‘‘Walk Like An Egyptian?’ and ‘One Law For All’.

http___i.ytimg.com_vi_T1qTfrtATvA_maxresdefaultFurthermore, it’s no coincidence we have witnessed in our nation, and world in general, people are experiencing an identity crisis, identity theft, the confusion of genders, meanwhile, the issues of illegal immigrants as well as we hear of or read in the news about all the ‘lawlessness’ going on for it all speaks! Remember the Broward County Florida school shooting in 2018? The media kept saying ‘lawlessness’ while ‘the law’ was Sheriff Israel! Can the Ruach HaKodesh/Holy Spirit make it anymore obvious?

The body of Messiah, the church, is experiencing all of the above, the confusion and lawlessness, but could produce fruit that won’t burn up like hay and straw (1 Corinthians 3:12-17) when we not only start to understand who we are, but when we start being worshipers of Spirit (John 3:3-6) and truth (Psalm 119:142,151) like Jesus / Yeshua sought and taught (John 4:23-24) and the Apostles and Messianic Israelites demonstrated in the early days! Watch my brief video teaching ‘Serving The Ekklesia | Don’t Be Afraid’, where I discuss how some Christians are all about the law, but afraid of the Spirit, while others are all about the Spirit, but rebellious towards the law.  When we allow the Spirit to guide us like a GPS while still abiding by the laws of the road, we can finally reach our destination in one accord (Not the Honda! Ha ha!).

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In closing, the feasts are for the most part, joyous celebrations, that we will want to obey upon the Spirit being written on our hearts (Hebrews 8:8-10; Jeremiah 31:31-33; Ezekiel 36:26-27). Ultimately, by celebrating the feasts, we are reflecting on our Messiah and striving to honor our Abba Father; moreover, we are being like Jesus, like Yeshua, the word, the Torah in the flesh for all the world to read. Hopefully, in doing so, the world will also want to come out of the dark and into His marvelous light too!

“They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they were appointed. But you are a chosen generation , a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness and into His marvelous light!” 1 Peter 2:8-9 (NKJV)

Dear God, Can You Hear Me Now?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shalom and Amen,

Carrie R. Turner

4.30.19

What Exactly Did You Repent From?

https___darrellcreswell.files.wordpress.com_2010_10_repent4Many are familiar with the term “repent” particularly us Christians. We’ve heard the term “repent” preached by men behind pulpits or declared from various signs. Many even know repentance means to turn away or to change one’s mind. But what exactly did you repent from, dear Christian?

Those of the Christian faith would proclaim they have repented of their sins. In fact, one classic verse found in the Book of Acts sums up the gospel in one straightforward verse:

“Then Peter said unto them, ‘Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.'”  Acts 2:38 (NKJV)

Likewise, the well-known evangelistic tool, ‘Roman’s Road’, famously outlines verses explaining the need to repent from one’s sins. Several verses found in the Book of Romans essentially state that we all are ‘sinners’ who fall short or miss God’s glorious mark (Romans 3:23). But what is God’s mark and what is this so-called sin we are repenting from in order to experience God’s amazing grace?

What is God’s Mark?

TORAH, which are the first five books of the Bible, in Hebrew means ‘to hit the mark’ or put another way, the ‘instructions’ for life. So to miss the mark is to not honor our Heavenly Father’s instructions found in His Torah. In a different article to come, we can compare God’s mark verse the ‘mark of the Beast’ referred to in the Book of Revelation.

What Is Sin?

According to the inspired word of God, sin is defined as breaking God’s commands…breaking His law…not practicing His ways or being without His laws.

  • “Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.” I John 3:4 (NKJV)
  • “All unrighteousness is sin, and there is sin not leading to death (unintentional sin).” I John 3:17 (NKJV)
  • “In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother.” I John 3:10 (NKJV)
  • “Then it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to observe all these commandments before the LORD our God, as He has commanded us.” Deuteronomy 6:25 (NKJV)
  • “And what other nation is so great as to have such righteous decrees and laws as this body of laws I am setting before you today?” Deuteronomy 4:8 (NIV)

–> Sin = Without God’s Laws // Sin = Lawlessness // Sin = Not Practicing God’s Laws// Sin = Unrighteousness // Righteousness = God’s Laws // Righteousness = Keeping God’s Laws <–

According to Romans 3:20, God’s laws provide us with the knowledge of what is sin. In other words, the laws or commandments of God teach us what is evil. Not that His law is evil, as many have been erroneously led to believe, but breaking His law, His commands is what is evil and likened to rebellion, stubbornness, idolatry and even witchcraft (see 1 Samuel 15:23)! If that isn’t enough to alarm you perhaps the fact that the Anti-Christ or Anti-Messiah is labeled as ‘the lawless one’ will get your attention as to the importance of God’s laws. Also, notice in Matthew 7, believers cried out to the Lord for they prophesied, cast out demons, and did other miracles in His name, and yet the failed to obey God’s laws and were rejected by Jesus. More as to why below…

  • “Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin” Romans 3:20 (NKJV).
  • “Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft, and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols.So because you have rejected the command of the Lord, He has rejected you as king.” I Samuel 15:23
  • “The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan…that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness (sin/lawlessness).” 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12 (NKJV)
  • “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’” -Jesus, Matthew 7:23-24 (NKJV)

http___slideplayer.com_9333856_28_images_24_O.T.+Archery+Terms+Torah+from+Hebrew+word+yareh+which+is+an+archery+term+to+aim+an+arrow+to+hit+a+mark.The following sample of verses tell us God’s laws not only define what God considers evil and those who fail to observe His way/His law as  the lawless or sinners, but the law also teaches us what is good…what is right and is designed for our own benefit.

  • “Therefore, the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.” Romans 7:12
  • “Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would fear Me and always keep all My commandments, that is might be well with them and with their children forever.” Deuteronomy 5:29 (NKJV)
  • ” ‘And the LORD commanded us to observe all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that He might preserve us alive, as it is this day. Then it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to observe all these commandments before the LORD our God, as He has commanded us.’ ” Deuteronomy 6:24-25 (NKJV)

Scripture goes on to tell us God’s laws are not only instructing us as to what is evil verse good, but the laws of God are spiritual whereas mankind is carnal, fleshly, and rebellious to God’s laws. Scripture even defines ‘saints’ as those who not only believe in Jesus, but who keep God’s commandments/laws.

  • “For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin.” Romans 7:14 (NKJV)
  • “and know His will, and approve the things that are excellent, being instructed out of the law..” Romans 2:18 (NKJV)
  • “For I give you good doctrine: Do not forsake my law.” Proverbs 4:2 (NKJV)
  • “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those, who are in the flesh cannot please God.” Romans 8:7-8 (NKJV)
  • “Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith in Jesus.” Revelation 14:12 (also see Rev.12:17)

So, again, I ask, dear Christian, what exactly did you repent from? If you repented, that is changed your mind and lifestyle by turning from sin, then that would mean you changed your mentality, your heart, soul and consequent lifestyle from breaking God’s law.  HalleluYAH!

The Apostle Paul, the author of the Book of Romans, pens these words:

“Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.” Romans 3:31 (NIV)

happypassover (1)Therefore, we can conclude that our faith in Jesus/Yeshua, as the perfect, sinless Passover lamb of God, bled to death on a cross to pay the debt or wages of our lawlessness. As we discovered through various Scriptures, we learn repentance means to stop breaking God’s law…to stop sinning for our circumcised, grateful hearts full of God’s gift of grace will WANT to obey the law, which are God’s commands not suggestions (Deuteronomy 10:12-17; 30:6-10; Romans 2:28-29).

  • “And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live…And you will again obey the voice of the LORD and do all His commandments which I command you today.” Deuteronomy 30:6-8 (NKJV)
  • “but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.” Romans 2:29 (NKJV)
  • “Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would fear Me and always keep all My commandments, that is might be well with them and with their children forever.” Deuteronomy 5:29 (NKJV)
  • “And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments of the LORD and His statutes which I commanded you today for your good? Therefore, circumcise the foreskin of your heart and be stiff-necked no longer.” Deuteronomy 10:12,13,16 (NKJV)

–> Circumcised Heart = To Love God With All Your Heart = Keeping God’s Laws <–

http___3.bp.blogspot.com_-2WIEVeMF7R8_UJhPOfSZoOI_AAAAAAAAGPs_0gMdfZdX96Q_s1600_heart.from+stone+to+flesh.circumcised+heart.gifBut by embracing God’s laws of love found throughout the Torah and repeated in the prophets and demonstrated by Jesus,the lawful one (see Matthew 5:17-19), and later proclaimed by the Apostles, our obedience to Abba Father does not save us or put another way, justify us for we are justified by God’s grace through the gift of His Son’s death and resurrection (Romans 3:24; Ephesians 2:8).

However, our failure to obey, our rebellion, our idolatry, or our witchcraft towards our Heavenly Father’s instructions for life does in fact reveal the condition our diseased hearts. For a heart refusing to cheerfully give of themselves to the mark or way of God by submitting to Abba’s authority found in His Torah (and all of His word) after they have been shown such critical truth, reveals that they have not truly accepted the costly gift of grace or not  comprehended or carried the weight of the authority of God’s grace and justice through the blood stained cross (1 John 3:7,10,24; Matthew 7). Whereas a circumcised, repentant heart in process has not been made aware of such important truths just yet is unintentionally sinning or unknowingly breaking God’s laws (I John 5:16-17; for most of us were not taught such things, but just to say “the sinner’s prayer” and live as before).

Furthermore, upon our heart’s circumcision, or perhaps better described as part of the process of our heart becoming circumcised,  Scripture reveals God will write His Torah, His law on our ever-repentant hearts causing us to WANT to obey Him as His Spirit reveals more and more of His truth.

  • “Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah- not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in my covenant, and I disregarded them, says the LORD, for this is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people” Hebrews 8:8-10 (NKJV)

Friends, Jeremiah 31:31-33 says the exact same thing as does Ezekiel 36:27(NKJV):

  • “I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.”
  • “that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh (sin/lawlesness) but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:4 (NKJV).
  • “My son, keep my words, and treasure my commands within you. Keep my commands and live, and my law as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart.” Proverbs 7:1-3 (NKJV)
  • “Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.” I John 3:24 (NKJV)

–> To Have The Holy Spirit = Spirit of Holiness = Holiness = Righteousness = Torah On Our Hearts = Obeying God’s Laws = Abiding in Him <–

So you see when we have a truly repentant heart and embrace God’s Spirit of Holiness, also commonly known as the Holy Spirit or Spirit of Grace, His Spirit dwelling within us will cause us to keep His holy laws as He makes us more and more aware of His mark , of His truth (John 14:15-18; 1 John 2:24-27). Incidentally, what does God define as ‘truth’?

  • “Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and Your law is truth.” Psalm 119:142 (NKJV)
  • All your words are trueall your righteous laws are eternal.” Psalm 119:160 (NIV)
  • “My son, do not forget my law, but let your heart keep my commands; for length of days and long life and peace they will add to you. Let not mercy and truth forsake you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart, and so find favor and high esteem in the sight of God and man. Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding…” Proverbs 3:1-5 (NKJV)

–> Truth = God’s Eternal Laws = Righteousness <–

If our heart’s have repented of our lawless, evil deeds, we will indeed turn from breaking God’s heart by rejecting His commands and abusing His grace (Hebrews 10:26-39). Instead, our hearts will be made more and more whole, clean, sanctified as we cooperate with God’s Spirit of Grace (Hebrews 10:29; Zechariah 12:10), His Spirit of Holiness as He longs to blot out our stains, sins, our pain, and suffering with the washing of His Word…His Torah (John 1:1; 17:17; Ephesians 5:26).

In summary, hopefully, we have repented from breaking God’s word, His Torah, for He gave His Living Torah to die for us so we can have the Spirit of Torah, the Spirit of Grace, the Spirit of Holiness scribed in our hearts for all the world to read. If this is the first you are hearing such heart transforming truth, understand it’s a process as He makes all things beautiful in His time. Moreover, Jesus wasn’t interested in making converts; He was, however, interested in making disciples. It’s not too late to repent and more accurately follow Him as He and His Spirit teach you how to hit the mark!

“Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples.” Isaiah 8:16 (NKJV)

“But be doers of the word (Torah), and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” James 1:22; 2:14,17 (NKJV)

Shalom and Amen.

Carrie R Turner,

eve of Passover, 4.18.19

5 Traits of the Anti-Messiah / Anti-Christ Spirit

The Holy Scriptures give us a few traits or clues to beware of when discerning the Anti-Messiah or Anti-Christ spirit. As we sojourn the halls of various places of worship, carry on conversations with others, or peruse social media, be on the look out for any of these 5 traits:

  1. The most obvious clue is anyone who denies the fact that Yeshua/Jesus of Nazareth was/is the Son of YHWH (God), died for the sins of the world, and was resurrected on the 3rd day. Anyone who rejects Yeshua as Messiah is a carrier of the Anti-Messiah spirit. 1 John 4:1-3.
  2. The Anti-Messiah spirit will seem to be culturally “cool”, very likeable, popular, persuasive, and intriguing, even offering people many lucrative incentives, but inwardly he/she/they are infected with a dangerous spirit. Daniel 8:25; 11:21,23,24,25.
  3. The Anti-Messiah spirit will seek/has already sought to speak against, change and distort YHVH’s laws. The Anti-Messiah spirit is even referred to as ‘the lawless one’ (one without Yah’s laws). The Anti-Messiah spirit will proclaim their will, their laws, their way is the correct interpretation verses God’s will, laws, and ways written in His word. Essentially, the Anti-Messiah does away with the One True God and His will by replacing God with a god of their own ideologies. Daniel 7:25; 11:28,36-39; 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12; 2 Peter 3:14-18; Revelation 11:1-2.
  4. The Anti-Messiah spirit will slander, shun, persecute, torment, and eventually seek to kill those who keep or practice YHVH’s holy covenant, namely those who keep YHVH’s commandments and believe Yeshua is Messiah. This vile spirit is very anti-semitic/anti-Jew/anti-Israel/anti-Hebrew in all forms conceivable for the Anti-Messiah spirit knows not only was Yeshua a chosen Jew from Israel, but those who are chosen as native Israelites as well as the grafted-in Israelites, who both believe in Yeshua the Messiah and keep their Heavenly Abba(Father)’s commandments, are being a light to the ever-increasing dark world. Isaiah 49:6; Isaiah 51:4,7-8; Daniel 8:24; 11:28,30; Revelation 7:1-8; 12:13-17; 14:1-13.
  5. Conversely, the Anti-Messiah spirit will reward those who don’t keep God’s commands, are against God’s temple, and sacrifices, which are a part of God’s covenant in the Torah. Daniel 11:30-35; Revelation 11:1-2; 13:4-18; 17:8,15.