Seabbatical | Shemot

Shabbat Shalom, friends! I trust you are having a relaxing and delightful Sabbath. After a busy week of cleaning yachts here in Kemah, Texas, I am delighted for it to be Sabbath!

What’s In A Name?

In this week’s Torah portion, we start a new book: Exodus and are studying Exodus 1:1-6:1. As always, much could be discussed in this Torah portion, but today I want to focus on clarity and courage, something Abba has been personally teaching me in everyday life. Inevitably, life will present many precarious scenarios that we will need clarification on and then much courage to pursue whatever it is we needed help discerning. Moreover, what does our names and more importantly God’s Name have to do with clarification and courage?

Early on in the Book of Exodus, we see two midwives, Shiphrah and Puah, who ancient Jewish sages have speculated may actually be the names of Moses’ mother and sister, but we don’t know for certain. Since the assigned title of this week’s Torah portion is “Shemot”, which means “names” in Hebrew, it may be worth mentioning the potential meaning of Shiphrah as “beauty, harmony” and “Puah”, means something similar “splendid, radiant”. Both these ladies were commissioned to kill the Hebrew baby boys at birth, but instead these women bravely saved them. Consequently, the Lord viewed their obedience as beautiful, in harmony with His will, and splendid so He blessed them accordingly (Exodus 1:20-21). In order to have that amount of courage, Shiphrah and Puah must have had much clarity and motivation for rebelling against Pharaoh by saving the Hebrew babies. Some historians have said this was the first act of recorded civil disobedience.

One such Hebrew baby Shiphrah and Puah saved was Moses, who was named by Pharaoh’s daughter upon finding him in a tiny ark at the banks of the river. She named him “Moses” because it means “pulled out of the water” or “drew out” or “delivered out of the water”. Fascinatingly enough, Moses’ entrance into Pharaoh’s realm was the same as his exodus being delivered by water. After all, we know in later chapters of Exodus, Moses and all those who followed him, were indeed delivered out of the water many years later in the crossing the Red Sea incident. Through it all, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob not only reveals Himself to Moses, but He shares His Name, and gave Moses clarification on how God wants to use him to save not just Hebrew babies, but all the Hebrews dwelling in Egypt at that time. Unlike Shiphrah and Puah though, Moses is not willing to challenge Pharaoh. He often attempts to persuade God he is not the guy for the job. However, God specializes in selecting unlikely candidates to fulfill God’s “to-do-list”. God’s plan was to use a man named “delivered out of water” to deliver His people through water.

Names are significant and can be prophetic. For example, when living in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, a couple of years ago, I was on a God “to-do-list” assignment looking for a specific individual, at a specific event (Carolina Country Music Fest), to give a specific word. In the process of waiting for that divine encounter, Jerry, my husband, and I met a man name Luke meandering outside a bar listening to the country music being blasted from a stage nearby. While Jerry was being his typical jovial self, my eyes continually scanned the crowd looking for the gal I was supposed to find and give a word to. But while my eyes were scanning the people around us, my ears were surprisingly tuning into a word for Luke. The Holy Spirit was reminding me of Luke in the Bible, who was a doctor by profession and clearly an author or writer (to have written that book of the Gospel). I sensed the Spirit wanted me to encourage the Luke in my presence to write the book he’s been afraid to write for it will heal people. So despite the loud music and drunken obnoxious people partying in our midst, I said what I was implored to say to dear Luke. Upon saying such things, Luke began to tear up wondering how I knew that he had been fearful about writing his idea for an book. All of which allowed for me to share with him (while Jerry was there) the love God has for Luke and God’s plan for him. All Luke needed was divine clarification and courage. I guess God could check that one off His list that night.

Similarly, all Moses needed was clarification and courage even after he stepped out of his comfort zone and attempted to confront Pharaoh. In Exodus 5:22-23, Moses goes back to God to essentially say, “Yeah, this crazy assignment of Yours isn’t looking the way I think it should, so why are we doing this again?” Sound familiar? I confess I have had similar rebuttals with God. And yet, God reminds Moses of His plan of making His Name known to the Hebrews in it all (Exodus 6:3). Why is it important to know God’s identity, His Name? Because as His people, we are called to bear God’s Name as His representatives bringing heaven to earth. How do we bear God’s Name? By obeying Him. So whether you are instructed to save Hebrew babies or lead people out of captivity or simply compelled to rest on the Sabbath, you are bearing God’s Name to a confused, lost world. By obeying God in His written instructions and personal specific instructions for your life, you are bringing others into clarification and courage as well as being delivered in the process.

Could your name be a prophetic clue as to how you can best share God’s Name here and now? Does your new name given after overcoming this world reflect how well you beared God’s Name over your lifetime or represent how you will serve Him in the world to come (Revelation 3:17)? In other words, is your name giving His Name shame or does it represent His latter rain? Something to pray about and ponder this Shabbat.

What Kind of Priest Are You?

Read what Jesus/Yeshua said about those who don’t do and teach God’s laws. Now, compare what Jesus said in Matthew 5:17-19 to this passage in Ezekiel 44:10-15 describing priests in the Messianic Era/Millennial Reign of Christ. Notice the priests who didn’t teach the people to obey God’s laws ended up being “least in the kingdom” tasked with maintaining the temple; whereas the priests who did teach the people to obey God’s laws are tasked with directly ministering to God Himself and being in His presence. Lastly, read Ezekiel 44:23-24 and 1 Peter 2:9-10. What kind of priest are you? #doesandteaches

Seabbatical: Vayechi

This week’s Torah and Haftarah portions, Vayechi, reminds me of the proverb, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21 (NKJV).

The title of this week’s Torah portion is “Vayechi”, which in Hebrew means “and he lived”. If you have followed along my YouTube ‘Seabbatical’ Bible Studies or are familiar with weekly Torah portions in general, then you know the title of that week’s passage comes from the first few words of the first verse in the listed passage. For example, Genesis 47:28 is the first verse of this week’s Torah portion and the first few words read “then Jacob (he) lived”.

The last few weeks we have followed the life of Joseph, the favored son/hated brother, who was a victim of human trafficking, ended up in prison due to the betrayal of his brothers, and yet eventually thanks to his spiritual gifts of dream interpretation became a high official of Egypt, who saved not just Egypt, but his brothers, father, and extended family from starvation all the while trusting God and forgiving his treacherous brothers. Ironically, despite being titled, “and he lived”, this week’s portion highlights the death of both Jacob, also known as Israel, Joseph’s father as well as Joseph starting in Genesis 47:28.

However, before Jacob, father of the twelve tribes of Israel, dies he blesses not only his own twelve sons, but Jacob also blesses and adopts Joseph’s two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim (Genesis 48). Much could be said about this prophetic significance, but for now, I believe the Holy Spirit is having me focus this particular Seabbatical on being mindful of our words as we address others, particularly our families/spouses…

As Jacob continues to give his final words just prior to his death, he “blesses” some of his sons, but much of his blessings seem more like curses or perhaps accurate prophecies. For example, when addressing his eldest son, Reuben, Jacob says, “unstable as water, you shall not excel, because you went up to your father’s bed; then you defiled it…”(Genesis 49:3-4). Jacob is referring to the incident when Reuben foolishly slept with one of Jacob’s wives, Reuben’s half-brother’s mother or like a step-mom figure (Genesis 35:22). Gross! Similarly, Jacob speaks more like a curse or rebuke over Simeon and Levi (Genesis 49:5-7) whereas he prophecizes the Lawgiver/Messiah will come from Judah’s lineage. Jacob hints the Messiah will first manifest like a young cub and then later as a mighty lion (Genesis 49:8-12). Interestingly enough, Jacob also prophecizes Dan will be like a judge and venomous snake that bites and causes harm. Jacob says immediately following as a part of Dan’s prophecy, “I have waited for your salvation, O LORD!”. It would seem Jacob could be hinting the Anti-Messiah/Anti-Christ may come from Dan’s lineage, which could also be why in Revelation 7, the tribe of Dan is not mentioned as part of the Israelite tribes sealed with God’s name on their forehead towards the very end. Moreover, Judah and Joseph have the most lengthy blessings and positive prophetic words of all the sons.

Likewise, in the Haftarah portion found in 1 Kings 2:1-12, we see King David blessing his son, Solomon, and providing him instructions namely to be careful to keep God’s instructions, His laws, commandments, etc. so that he will not only prosper, but that prophetic promises may be fulfilled through their lineage.

On a personal note, this passage of 1 Kings 2:3-4 is yet another “2-3-4” confirming the meaning of the numbers 234 I have been seeing frequently especially upon moving to Texas. In last week’s Seabbatical (posted on Flip Flop Fellowship’s YouTube channel), the Lord revealed to me the meaning of all the 234’s I have been seeing. Again this week, it’s as if Abba Father is reinforcing to me how important it is to make disciples, to be fruitful, to produce and instruct future generations in the results, the blessings of being obedient, being holy, to live it out, etc. Moreover, He seems to be encouraging me to continue to do and teach others to obey God’s instructions for life, His laws, His commands, etc. just as Jesus/Yeshua said in Matthew 5:18-19,after all, heaven and earth are still here as are God’s instructions for life.

With all that said, I am reminded in this week’s Torah portion our words (and actions) matter to God and how critical it is we take the time to bless and instruct our children, our spouses, our families, as well as others in the ways of God- primarily, by living it ourselves first. Perhaps in doing so, by doing and teaching the ways of God, we will have experienced the “abundant life” Jesus spoke of in John 10:10. After all, is not much of John 10 about hearing and following His voice? Is not the written word, specifically God’s commands, His documented voice (Deut 28:1;30:2)? Perhaps we aren’t really living life to the fullest until we surrender to the instructions, all of them, found in Scriptures. Upon doing so, perhaps angels will record what we are teaching and doing summarizing our obedience to His Voice similar to the beginning words of this Torah portion “then (s)he lived”. May we think before speak pondering carefully God’s instructions as we respond to and instruct others to also ponder and obey Abba’s instructions for life.

Engaged, But Not Married Just Yet

💍Engaged, But Not Married Just Yet👰

It’s a new year! But is it a new heaven, new earth, or new covenant? Regarding the New Covenant, one important truth I realized earlier in 2019 upon evaluating all the Scriptures is it would appear we are betrothed to (similar to engaged or promised/committed) the new covenant, but it isn’t fully consummated yet…

I noticed all the references in Scripture to “new” seem to be connected so I believe the New Covenant isn’t consummated till the marriage supper of the Lamb/wedding reception/honeymoon, which is when *New* Jerusalem is introduced (Rev 21:2-3, 9-10) and the *New* heavens and *New* earth (Rev 21:1-2) appear. I believe this is why there are verses that say there is no more sin, death, etc (Rev 21:4; 22:3) at that time, Jesus/Yeshua as well as His priests and whomever are no longer needing to teach His laws (Heb 8:10-12; Isa 2:1-4; Micah 4; Eze 44:23-24) at that time because everyone knows them and obeys them cheerfully having the Spirit, and there is no need to shut the gates of New Jerusalem (Rev 21:25,27; 22:14-15) because there is no threat of evil anymore…Sin, which is violation of God’s laws (1 John 3:4), simply doesn’t exist. It is back to the garden before sin.

This is also why Jesus says not the slightest part of God’s laws are done away with until the *new* heaven and earth are made manifest and anyone who teaches others to obey God’s laws will be considered great in God’s kingdom (Matt 5:14-19).

2nd Corinthians 11:2 says we are betrothed (engaged) to Christ as pure virgins (clean, lawful, holy).

I believe this is why the author of Hebrews says in 8:13 regarding this current/old covenant “is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.” But hasn’t just yet…until all of the *new* is made manifest. 🌍

So all of us who have received His Spirit of Holiness,whose entire job is to cause us to do/obey that which is holy being God’s instructions/laws (Rom 7:12; Eze 11:19-21, 36:27), is just a preview or deposit or foretaste or sample of what’s to come in the New Covenant when it fully encompasses the entire globe (His Spirit). Like we have been given 20% of our inheritance in advance to help us in the meantime or a dowry or engagement ring reminding us to be faithful, to get our wedding dress ready free of blemishes, spots, and wrinkles all symbolizing uncleanliness, unholiness, breaking God’s holy laws (willfully). His Spirit of Grace is like “Shout” or detergent removing the stains, removing sin while teaching us holiness, washing us by His word (John 17:17; Ephesians 5:26-27).

Anyway, I found all those connections to “new” revealing and was reminded so this new year. I hope it prompts you and others to keep seeking Abba Father as there is always more to discover in Him. 📖 Blessings!

Torah’s In Your Near Future

The moment you realize:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Another Big Earthquake Coming Soon To California? Get Ready To Love!

Our #California brothers and sisters should ‘get ready to love’ one another (even more). Likewise, we are preparing to go #serve as well should another large #earthquake manifest like we think it will in the near future. Please share this video with friends and family you may have in CA.

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Shabbat Shalom

“Barch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melch ha-olam Asher kideshanu bemitzvotav vetzivanu liheyot or la-goyim ve-natan-lanu et Yeshua Meshicheinu Or ha-olam.””Blessed are You, O LORD, ruler of the universe, Who sanctifies us with His commandments and commanded us to be a light to the nations and who gave to us Yeshua our Messiah the Light of the world.”

‘Distinction Theology’ or Distinguished By Love?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • “Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh– who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands- that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who were once far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” Ephesians 2:11-13 (NKJV)
  • “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Galatians 3:26-29 (NKJV)
  • There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. ” Ephesians 4:4-6 (NKJV)
  • “You will say then, ‘Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.’ Well said. Because of unbelief (faith & obedience) they (natural Israelites) were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear (keep God’s laws). For if God did not spare the natural branches (Israelites/physically Jewish people), He may not spare you either (grafted-in Israelites/spiritual Jews/former Gentiles). Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but towards you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. And they (natural Israelites/physical Jews) also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.” Romans 11:19-23 (NKJV)
  • “Fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind, let nothing be done in selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.” Philippians 2:2-3 (NKJV)
  • Now therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.” Ephesians 2:19 (NKJV)
  • “not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God;” 1 Thessalonians 4:5
  • And do not pray like the Gentiles…do not be like them..” Matthew 6:7-15
  • “This is what the LORD says: “Do not learn the ways of the nations (gentiles)…” Jeremiah 10:2 (also see Deut. 12:4,29-32; 13:1-8)
  • Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and LAWLESSNESS, or what fellowship has light with darkness?” 2 Corinthians 6:14 {Note the antithesis to being right with God (righteousness) is lawlessness (not obeying God’s laws).}
  • “So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; 19 and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. 20 But you did not learn Christ in this way, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, 22 that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, 23 and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. ” Ephesians 4:17-24

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shalom and Amen.

Carrie R Turner 10.24.19

Someone To Blame

If you have followed our faith journey, you know Abba Father had me start a cleaning business in whatever area He has called Jerry and I to. In doing so, He has taught me to discern and identify unholy spirits so while physically disinfecting a space, I sometimes am also disinfecting the unholy germs from that space (if I sense any). In other words, while cleaning I may be praying for that couple’s marriage or asking the Lord for financial blessings for the client or to help them with addictions or depression or any other potential spirit. I do the same while cleaning for a faith-based pregnancy resource center. Additionally, He has had me discern unholy spirits holding larger body of believers in captivity. Consequently, He instructs me to lovingly correct and encourage sometimes individuals and or groups on how to be healed from toxic germs infecting them. The reactions vary, but one thing I have been taught by the Spirit is that it isn’t my problem so to speak with how people respond to His Spirit of Holiness, but rather my problem is if I will step out in faith and obey the Spirit by indeed sharing with that individual or body of believers what the Holy Spirit wants to bless them with.

Through it all, while comparing my own experience of allowing the Holy Spirit to disinfect me, I realize the biggest obstacle the Holy Spirit encounters in us is blame. Whenever confronted with some form of evil, we as individuals and a society since the beginning of time in the Garden of Eden have blamed others hoping to thwart the consequences of evil. In Genesis 2:16-17, God instructed Adam on not to eat of a certain tree in the garden for in doing so, it would be sinning against God and consequently introduce death. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death.” Upon Adam being confronted by God about this grievous act of rebelling against God’s instruction not to eat of that tree, Adam blamed God Himself for giving him that woman, he also blamed Eve, and Eve blamed the deceiving serpent(Genesis 3:12-13). As a result of Adam, Eve, and the serpent going against God’s instructions, God’s command, God’s voice, all three suffered serious consequences, that still manifest today (i.e. woman still have pain in childbirth). By blaming one another, they had hoped to avoid suffering.

Out of a deceived heart, Eve and Adam rebelled against the instructions of God. How were they deceived? How are any of us deceived? If Satan can get us to doubt God’s word for us found in the Bible, we will reflect on Satan’s word, not God’s, and ultimately choose whom we will serve. Unfortunately, Adam and Eve chose to serve Satan, an unholy spirit, in that moment as do many of us today when we doubt and ultimately, reject God’s instructions for living. Adam and Eve violated God’s boundaries and had to live with the consequences. When God gives instructions for how to live and love, He means them. Tragically, due to deception conceived in doubt, mankind tends to violate God’s instructions thereby elevating themselves above God.

When God enforces His boundaries, which is still love, being tough love, designed to bless us, not harm us, mankind tends to blame others or other ideologies or even objects in attempt to avoid God’s disciplining love.

We create legislation or more boundaries as if God’s boundaries aren’t enough. We want to blame religions, blame theologies, or create counter theologies. We establish non-profits, ministries, and causes all striving to somehow feel in control when in reality only God is in control.

Rather than realizing it’s due to our own deceived hearts as the source of all evil, we prefer to blame others for in doing so it is easier than looking deep within. Due to our own spiritual captivity, we find ourselves held captive to the victim-mentality and so out of our pain we choose to blame.

Due to our own spiritual captivity, we find ourselves held captive to the victim-mentality and so out of our pain we choose to blame.

However, so long as we continue to deceive ourselves not recognizing the root source of evil, we will never truly be set free, we will never truly experience peace, wholeness, shalom.

By continuing to blame objects, others, or ideologies, all we are really doing is further putting ourselves and others into captivity.

When I was in my upper twenties, after living a decade of selfishness and rebellion to God’s instructions, I found myself in physical captivity. I was married to an abusive man. It is only by the grace of God hearing my desperate literal cry of, “JESUS, SAVE ME!” upon being suffocated and strangled by the hands of my then husband, that my eyes were opened to the unholy spirits lurking within my home and heart for at the very moment, my husband, full of an UNholy spirit, immediately let me go, saying in a different voice, “Don’t cry out to Jesus!”. It took many years, overall, with only the help of the Holy Spirit, to realize my own spiritual captivity led to that form of physical captivity. For I was like most other young ladies in my twenties, simply having sexual relations with men outside of the context of marriage. Deceived and unable to discern unholy spirits blinded by lust, in the name of love, I would dismiss the red flags subtly presented in the course of a relationship. Even if one relationship wouldn’t work out, I would find myself in yet another abusive relationship that violated my boundaries. I repeated this pattern of hooking up with boundary-busting men, not realizing that I too was a ‘boundary-buster’ because I would violate God’s boundaries as well as others’ boundaries it just manifested differently than these unhealthy men I was sleeping with. Perhaps you could say due to my deceived, boundary busting heart, I was sleeping with the enemy, an unholy spirit. Various variables manifested causing all sorts of twist and turns further leading me into an eventual dangerous captivity, but God in His goodness used it all, to reveal to me truth and love.

Once I was set free from that abusive marriage and received the Holy Spirit just weeks after our divorce, I eventually felt led to start a Domestic Violence ministry that specialized in helping pregnant victims of domestic violence housing. I had a 5 bedroom house at the time in the city in Pennsylvania so I took in pregnant young ladies fleeing from abusive relationships. Prior to doing so, I became a certified domestic violence advocate through the YWCA as well as a certified faith-based domestic violence support group leader through Focus Ministries, based out of Chicago. All of it was revealing and healing. One such critical issue I realized in time, through the Holy Spirit’s help, was that so long as I blamed my x-husband or my upbringing or whatever else, I was still not addressing what led to my captivity, which ultimately was my deceived heart. I also had to address the motive in establishing a 501(c)3 non-profit domestic violence ministry for I realized even though it was a very good thing and I sincerely wanted to help people, I was also motivated by my own hurt, fear of it happening again to others, as well as wanting to prove I am a good enough – I am a good person. In other words, my motives were not from a pure heart and I was still being held captive by a victim-mentality. In His time, Abba Father used it all to reveal me the unholy spirits rooted deep within that needed to be evicted. In doing so, His purpose was to make all things beautiful in His time (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

(my other site)

The Holy Spirit did what He usually does by first addressing the lie about sexual immorality being permitted outside of marriage. I argued with Him that I don’t have a problem, but He quickly showed me otherwise. Once my eyes were open to the truth of my deceived heart, I wept and wept genuinely repentant. Now the Holy Spirit was finally getting somewhere within my heart. By comparing myself to other young ladies I knew, my behavior seemed saintly. But we must stop comparing ourselves to others and instead compare ourselves to the word of God- His standards. Many don’t realize, upon initiating the new covenant, Yeshua/Jesus raised God’s standards of holiness, for He of all people could being He died so we can be holy, like God is holy. Notice, Jesus/Yeshua taught just looking at another lustfully is considered adultery and a violation of God’s commands versus simply the act of adultery as a violation.

Until there is a new heaven and new earth, evil will always linger. People will continue to be deceived and propagate deception. We cannot control other people’s deceived hearts. No amount of legislation, no amount of education, no amount of non-profits or ministries can thwart an unholy spirit. Not that various efforts to do so are wrong, but just realize only the Holy Spirit in each of our hearts can effectively thwart evil.

Do you want to quell abuse, violence, terrorism, anti-semitism, discrimination, pride, entitlement, unhealthy relationships, abortion, and other evils manifesting in the flesh? Allow the Spirit of Holiness to uproot the unholy spirits hiding deep within your deceived heart. It’s an ongoing ‘horribly-amazing-purification-process’, a term I often use in my blogs and vlogs, but until each of us do so, we will always experience evil. May we cry out, “Jesus, Save Me! Abba, create in me a clean heart.” ❤

Shalom and Amen.

Carrie R. Turner, 10.23.19