Soul Food

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Calmly pause and think about the following food for your soul:

It is written:

18 This is where wisdom is needed; those who understand should count the number of the beast, for it is the number of a person, and its number is 666. ~ Revelation 13:18

The above verse is one reason we cannot substitute our western world’s English names for the days of the week for the numbers YeHoVaH gave to them. I explain what I mean here in the end note. 

Revelation 13:18 says the Mark of the Beast is the number of a man (a person) and that number is 666. Now many people have tried to decipher this verse by using their own interpretations when Scripture tells us that only the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) knows all truths and reveals YeHoVaH’s Truths that are in His Word. The biblical truth, then, is that YeHoVaH gave us the answer to Revelation 13:18 in the Old Testament.

It is written:

26 Then YeHoVaH said, “Let us make humankind in our image, in the likeness of ourselves; and let them rule over the fish in the sea, the birds in the air, the animals, and over all the earth, and over every crawling creature that crawls on the earth.”

27 So YeHoVaH created humankind in his own image;
in the image of Elohim he created him:
male and female he created them.

. . .

31 YeHoVaH saw everything that he had made, and indeed it was very good. So there was evening, and there was morning, a sixth day. ~ Genesis 1: 26-27, 31

It is written:

7 Then YeHoVaH, God, formed a person from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, so that he became a living being. ~ Genesis 2:7

(Note: Verse 4 in Genesis 2 tells us that Genesis 2 is the history/generations of how the heavens, the earth, and mankind began.)

Now, in the Hebrew languages, the singular form of Elohim is Eloah. In Genesis 1:27, Elohim, the plural form, is used here to not only describe the one and only God of Israel, whose personal name was revealed to Moses as YeHoVaH, but also to tell us that the image of Elohim is a Father, Son, and Holy Spirit image – a Godhead image, which means YeHoVaH’s image is a triune (three in one) or tripartite (consisting of three parts) image.

The Scripture says this triune God created man in His three-in-one image on the sixth day. Therefore, Revelation‘s 666 should be seen for what it is – the number of a tripartite man/person. 

Man (i.e., the first Adam) was created on the sixth day, and Scripture says the sixes in Revelation‘s 666 represent a man/person. The number 6, then, is mentioned 3 times in Revelation 13 because, just like the image of Elohim is a triune image, so is the image of man because he was made in Elohim’s image. Therefore, 666 represents the man (the first beast that comes out of the sea – out of the Gentiles, specifically, out of the Muslims because Abraham’s first son, Ishmael, was by the Muslim woman Hagar), and this first beast is the anti-Messiah. It is his image that people worship, and his image that 666 represents. Furthermore, the second beast is the False Prophet, the one who comes out of the earth – out of the Middle East, possibly Israel. He is the one who makes people worship the image of the anti-Messiah, and it is the False Prophet who creates the Mark of the Beast, which is the number of a man.

The anti-Messiah initially is a man, and all men come from the original man (Adam) who was made on the sixth day. It was on the sixth day that Adam was given: 1. a BODY (created from the dust of the earth), 2. a SPIRIT (breathed into his body), and 3. a SOUL (became alive, a living being or living soul because YeHoVaH gave him a functioning brain or a soul that consists of his personality; this personality is created in man’s mind and by his will or desires and his emotions).

A tripartite man (created with a body that houses his spirit and soul) who will be a Muslim anti-Messiah – Revelation 13’s beast from the sea – is what 666, the number of a man, means. Selah!


End NOTE:

Clearly, since man was made on day 6th of Creation, Revelation‘s 666 cannot be interpreted as Friday, Friday, Friday. (For the people who think they can give YeHoVaH’s numerically described days of the week in the Bible our western world’ English names for our days of the week. Ref. The Christians and non-Christians who declare the seventh-day Sabbath is on Saturday.)

Invisible – A Common Phenomenon

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So if you were raised along with the Messiah, then seek the things above, where the Messiah is sitting at the right hand of [YeHoVaH].Focus your minds on the things above, not on things here on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with the Messiah in [YeHoVaH]. When the Messiah, who is our life, appears, then you too will appear with him in glory!

Therefore, put to death the earthly parts of your nature — sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed (which is a form of idolatry); for it is because of these things that [YeHoVaH’s] anger is coming on those who disobey him. True enough, you used to practice these things in the life you once lived; but now, put them all away — anger, exasperation, meanness, slander and obscene talk. Never lie to one another; because you have stripped away the old self, with its ways, 10 and have put on the new self, which is continually being renewed in fuller and fuller knowledge, closer and closer to the image of its Creator. 11 The new self allows no room for discriminating between Gentile and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, foreigner, savage, slave, free man; on the contrary, in all, the Messiah is everything. ~ Colossians 3:1-11

Female blacks have been dehumanized and depersonalized for centuries. My maternal grandmother and her sisters have known about these seeds of slavery, but they buried the atrocities their ancestors faced right after the last remnant migrated northward.

My maternal grandmother and her sisters moved to Pennsylvania from Georgia. However, their belief that they were free from slavery’s horrible aftereffects was not enough to keep their ancestors’ atrocities buried. It also was not enough to obliterate the Deep South’s psychological invisibility – the feeling blacks get when their individual abilities, personality, and worth are disregarded because of the dominant culture’s imposed prejudice.

Feeling invisible is a common phenomenon for black females. The southern dominant culture had always disregarded or devalued female slaves’ unique traits that did not reflect whites’ privilege status. Whites hid blacks’ conflicting attributes behind the cloak of psychological invisibility. When female black slaves realized their real worth, personalities, and incomparable abilities were hidden, each individual developed an inner intuition – a sixth sense – that was activated whenever the dominant culture set up an invisibility barrier.

Though my grandmother and her sisters were almost a thousand miles north of the Deep South, they soon discovered that those seeds of slavery they had hoped they would escape were watered more in Wilkes-Barre and Philadelphia than the seeds of freedom. There, in the North, they learned that the same stereotypes that were forced on them and their ancestors in the Deep South still continued to conceal their true identities and values. As a result, my grandmother and her sisters were forced to decide how they would make themselves visible.

***

During most of my life’s first seven years, I pondered what was wrong with me. I wondered why most of the people who loved my white friends didn’t love me the same way. My answer finally came in the still of the night when darkness was thick, oppressive, and almost unearthly.

On the longest, darkest night, I was unexpectedly awakened by the commotion that was coming from the neighboring driveway. I sat up. My eyes scoured the room, hunting for something familiar. Nothing was visible – not even my hands in front of my face. The darkness had enveloped me, so I groped about blindly. Seconds later, I found the light switch above my bed. Immediately, the light masked the blackness but not before the darkness showed me that I was invisible.

My hiddenness did not result from a sleight-of-hand trick. No sorcerer’s prestidigitation could ever be responsible for the exclusions and marginalizations that were later explained to me. Certainly, my invisibility would need more than a waved magic wand or verbal summons to make me visible. My hiddenness would also need more than the flip of a switch to shed light on why the dominant culture failed to see me.

***

While my value and identity went undetectable for the nine consecutive years that followed my first seven years, solitude became my closest friend. I chose to retreat to my sanctuary of solitude – my bedroom – after school. It was the only place I could feel visible. It was the only place I could find peace. It was the only place I could feel safe to ugly cry.   

Although I had friends and was close to several cousins, I never felt accepted or important. I never was popular or part of the in-crowd.

My parents were poor. My parents were also alcoholics for most of my childhood. That is why I often didn’t eat healthy food and didn’t wear fashionable clothes or shoes. I also didn’t have the necessary school supplies or other things many children my age never had to give a second thought.

I was laughed at for not having any Christmas gifts to bring to school for show and tell, laughed at for bringing soiled brown paper bag lunches to school, laughed at because I wore outdated Salvation Army and Goodwill clothing, or laughed at for wearing clothes I stitched together from McCall’s, Simplicity, Butterwick, and other such patterns.

I was called a crybaby because I had my maternal grandmother’s teary eyes that ran whenever there was too much wind (freezing, warm, or hot), too much sunshine, or too much pollen. My eyes teared whenever they were too tired or whenever I looked at something too long.

Other strikes against me were my plainness, independence, morality, and wise and mature attitude toward life. I could not comprehend why any of that intimidate the same age and older people in my hometown, but it did.

***

Nine years after the night my invisibility was revealed I was crushed when, in the main hallway beside high school lockers, all my friends were talking about their dates to the annual spring dance. I was the only silent one because the boy I hoped would ask me asked someone else. Even though I smiled as if it was no big deal, inside I felt mortified.

That evening, in the solitude of my sanctuary, I vented in unfiltered honesty. With my face pressed against my safe haven’s window, my squinted eyes swam in tears. I ugly cried while praying to my God.

I wailed, “I don’t get why You did this to me. Why did You make me so unlovable and unattractive? Why am I always the only one who is left out?” Pink-eyed and lachrymose I pleaded, “Please make me loveable and likable to everyone I know. Surround me with family and friends who really see me and absolutely love who they see. Also, please send me a special guy who will love me and want me, forever.”

Just then I was startled by a sudden brightness. I opened my eyes in time to see the dazzling streak of light that had pierced through the smothering clouds. The light shocked me because when I started praying the sky was gray, cloudy, and stormy – like my emotions.

At the same moment that the radiant light appeared unexpectedly, so did the wealth of love I soon saw and felt. The sky paraded my God’s Love while He spoke to me. The Voice that I heard told me that I would be loved the way I deserved to be loved. I was speechless and filled with joy.

***

In the 55 years that followed the evening YeHoVaH spoke His Words to me, a then sad 16-year-old girl, I have remained invisible to most Americans. I am still unpopular, unfashionable, and unimportant. No one listens to the wealth of wisdom I received in those 55 years, and I have no man in my life who loves me the way I deserve to be loved. However, my life is the best it has ever been, in spite of a divorce and the loss of Ade, my oldest son.

How is that possible? Well, with YeHoVaH, all things are possible.

Suffice it to say, it was not until I understood that, from the day I accepted Yeshua as my Lord and Savior, it was YeHoVaH who loves me, and had always loved me, the way I deserve to be loved. In fact, He loves me more than I deserve to be loved. Knowing this truth is why I am more content than I have ever been. 

I actually enjoy my current solitude and singleness because I know that my new identity and new value come from YeHoVaH through His Son, Yeshua. So, even though I also know that being treated as invisible by the dominant culture is a common phenomenon for black females, it is my spiritual hiddenness that I embrace.

Now, since my spiritual life is invisible, that makes being treated as a joint-heir in the Kingdom of YeHoVaH by my fellow spiritual sisters and brothers another common phenomenon – one that all black females who are in Yeshua have come to know. However, because my spiritual life’s new identity and value are hidden with Yeshua HaMashiach in YeHoVaH, there isn’t anybody who could see the real me without first seeing YeHoVaH and then seeing Yeshua.

This spiritual discernment won’t mean that a reborn and saved Yeshua believer cannot or should not desire earthly things. It simply means that since he or she is one with Yeshua, and Yeshua is One with YeHoVaH, the saved and born-again believer’s focus and desires should be on and about this person becoming the best child of YeHoVaH he or she was reborn to be.

This truth was why I had to learn to focus on living my new life the way YeHoVaH wants me to live it. It was possible to do because it was not in His Will that the dominant culture’s invisibility barriers (physical or psychological) would have power or authority over my spiritual life’s reborn and saved new identity and value.

For sure, the Kingdom of YeHoVaH’s spiritual hiddenness is more powerful and has more authority than every earthly dominant culture’s racially unjust and unholy cloak of psychological invisibility. Then too, the Kingdom of YeHoVaH’s spiritual hiddenness elevates Yeshua believers’ privilege status above every earthly dominant culture’s spurious privilege status.  For me, what that means is, as long as I remain faithful and obedient to YeHoVaH and His Law, my God will allow me to be the head instead of the tail. Selah!

Psychological Invisibility​ (Why Mental Health ​Is an Everyday Issue)

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For with [YeHoVaH] nothing is impossible. ~ Luke 1:37

I’m invisible. I am unseen but only because most of America’s men and women refuse to see me. ​​Furthermore, far too many of the world’s inhabitants refuse to see me because to them I really do not exist.  

The world’s dominant culture​s’​ imposed stereotypes are why I am invisible. As a result, I am easily misunderstood, disrespected, and loathed.

I was six years old when I first realized I was undetectable. Now, my invisibility was not the result of a sleight-of-hand trick. No sorcerer’s prestidigitation could ever be responsible for the seven decades of exclusion and marginalization. My hiddenness, therefore, would need more than a waved magic wand or a verbal summons to make me visible.

For the record, feeling invisible is a common phenomenon for black women. The dominant culture in America has always disregarded or devalued black women’s ancestors’ unique traits and talents – especially those that did not reflect privileged Whites’ ideal human images. Many Whites hid black women’s assumed conflicting identities and collective worth behind the cloak of psychological invisibility – their imposed stereotypes. When black women’s ancestors realized that their real personalities, as well as their incomparable abilities and talents, were hidden, each individual woman developed an inner intuition – a sixth sense – that was activated whenever any dominant culture used its invisibility barriers.

It is 2022. Unfortunately, the more things change, the more they remain the same.

Sadly, I remain invisible to certain people. This truth is why I am thankful for my sixth sense. Because I know with YeHoVaH all things are possible, I let Him take control of my life. He gives me a psychological resilience (mental fortitude) that daily helps me handle life’s challenging invisibility barriers while hoping this world’s dominant cultures will soon choose to accept, understand, respect, and love my true identity and worth.

A Faith-Based Novel

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Now without faith it is impossible to please [YeHoVaH]. For the one who comes to [YeHoVaH] must believe that He exists and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. ~ Hebrews 11:6 (The bracketed words are my emphasis.)

My debut novel is a faith-based book. It contains spiritual visions, rebellion, demonic attacks, a spiritual wilderness journey, reconciliation, and restoration.

Although my literary fiction deals with marriage and divorce, in this novel, I focus on how divorces are like amputations – how they both always leave people missing a piece of themselves. This focus is why the narrative highlights the demonic attacks that cause marital and familial struggles and losses prior to Triston’s and Zemora’s amputation of divorce – severed souls and spirits – and highlights their heartbreaks, losses, griefs, and afflictions that happen after their divorce.

Triston’s and Zemora’s presumed faith walk is tested.  They find out why their lack of faith made it impossible for them to please YeHoVaH.

This novel is a good read for believing moms. It also is a great gift for Mother’s Day, as well as a fabulous gift for any holiday or special day.

I Self-published My Debut Novel on a Wing and a Prayer

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Is anything too difficult for [YeHoVaH]? ~ Genesis 18:14a

“Ah, my Lord [YeHoVaH]! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm—nothing is too hard for You! ~ Jeremiah 32:17

And looking, Yeshua said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with [YeHoVaH] all things are possible. ~ Matthew 19:26

I belong to several authors’ groups on Facebook and Twitter, and I am a member of these groups primarily because I want to increase the number of readers who would be interested in buying my new book. Many of the authors in the groups I’m a member of published their latest books either a few weeks before or after I published Torn Asunder: What Happens When YeHoVaH’s Will Is Ignored on January 29, 2022. Sadly, most of these authors are more concerned with promoting their own books than they are concerned about helping to support my novel, which I understand.

The same is true on Instagram, where I also follow some of the authors who are in the said Facebook and Twitter authors’ groups. Additionally, I am a member of various authors’ groups on Goodreads. Again, my reason for joining was to create a target audience.

Honestly, there is nothing I would love to do more than to support as many authors as I can who are in the groups that I joined.  I wish that I could buy every author’s book(s) – especially if the genre is one I love to read. However, I am a 71-year-old author with a limited income, so I can’t afford to put money in other writers’ pockets without being sure they will return the favor.

As I mentioned in a few of my Facebook postings, I would love to sell more copies of my debut novel that I self-published on a wing and a prayer. The reason this book is unlikely to attract the attention of book buyers and, thus, unlikely to become a bestseller is that I couldn’t afford to hire a reputable book marketer, advertiser, publicist, or any other skilled professional who could have helped me successfully launch my book, helped me to increase sales, and/or helped me to eventually become a bestselling or award-winning self-published author.

Yes, I still write for the thrill of it. However, I also write to create valuable books and blog articles, as well as write to be the best author I can be – not necessarily a best-selling author. Yet, I doubt that there is a published author who would say he or she truly couldn’t care less if a book he or she published didn’t make a bestseller’s list. I know I would care, but I wouldn’t obsess about it.

Be that as it may! Since I am a self-published author, the sad truth for me is that I don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of making either The New York Times’ or the Wall Street Journal’s bestseller lists if I can’t afford to hire skillful professionals who can help me attract some much-needed attention for my book, as that attention could mean my sales might increase. Likewise, I don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of becoming a bestseller on Amazon, if I can’t increase the number of potential readers who might buy my book.

If my novel does better than I alone was able to achieve, it will be because it is YeHoVaH’s Will. Therefore, I am hoping for a miracle and trusting that YeHoVaH will perform it today.

My Cup Overflows!

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You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You have anointed my head with oil, my cup overflows. ~ Psalm 23:5

On January 29, 2022, I published Torn Asunder: What Happens When YeHoVaH’s Will Is Ignored. At that time, I was 70 years old and had been divorced for 23 years. 

I wrote the original manuscript in the fall of 2003. Years later, about three months after I had lost my oldest son to diabetes complications in 2017, I looked at the original manuscript. However, instead of working on it, I wrote a short memoir – Untimely Farewells – and published it in 2018.

It took COVID-19 and being quarantined to motivate me to revisit the 2003 manuscript that became Torn Asunder: What Happens When YeHoVaH’s Will Is Ignored – my debut novel (literary fiction). Thirty-six days later, I turned 71. Shortly after that, YeHoVaH blessed my debut novel with a five-star rating. Then, on Saturday (April 2, 2002), my novel received its second 5-star rating AND its first book review – a glowing review.

Now, it is possible that Torn Asunder: What Happens When YeHoVaH’s Will Is Ignored might never be an Amazon bestseller because most people, Christians included, don’t want to read preachy books about divorce. Sadly, many of the people who steer clear of books that preach against getting a divorce won’t take the time to discover that Torn Asunder: What Happens When YeHoVaH’s Will Is Ignored neither preaches marriage nor divorce.

Torn Asunder: What Happens When YeHoVaH’s Will Is Ignored shows how divorce is like an amputation – how they both always leave people missing a piece of themselves. That is why my debut novel’s narrative focuses on the demonic attacks that cause marital and familial struggles and losses prior to Triston’s and Zemora’s amputation of divorce – severed souls and spirits – as well as focuses on their heartbreaks, losses, griefs, and afflictions that happen after their divorce.

Nevertheless, even if Torn Asunder: What Happens When YeHoVaH’s Will Is Ignored never becomes an Amazon bestseller, YeHoVaH has abundantly blessed me this late in my life with two readers’ 5-star ratings and one reader’s glowing book review. Hallelujah! 

For the Thrill of It

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Thus says YeHoVaH God of Israel, ‘Write in a book all the words which I have spoken to you. ~ Jeremiah 30:2

Did you know that most of Amazon’s self-published authors will never get rich from their book sales?

Amazon’s ​Kindle Direct Publishing (​KDP​) allows authors to publish their hardcover books, paperback books, and eBooks for free. Additionally, Amazon KDP allows self-published authors to own all rights to their books, which traditional publishing houses don’t usually allow. 

However, although Amazon KDP doesn’t charge authors to self-publish their books, Amazon KDP does have a ​fixed royalty rate for authors. That rate is 60% of the authors’ list price​. In addition to the 60% royalty rate, Amazon KDP charges self-published authors the printing costs for each sold paperback and hardcover copy.​ In other words, (royalty rate x list price) – printing costs = royalty.​

I only sell paperback copies that use black ink, so the printing price for every paperback copy is based on the online Amazon marketplace my book was ordered from, the ink type (black or color), and the page count. In my case,​ that means Amazon KDP will keep 60% of the $17.99 list price for each book that I sell and, on top of that, will subtract an additional $6.18 from my royalty percentage every time a copy of that book is printed. So, ​Amazon KDP will receive about 75% of my $17.99 book price each ​time a ​paperback copy of​​ Torn Asunder: What Happens When YeHoVaH’s Will Is Ignored​ (published January 29, 2022) is sold and printed.

​Now, you might be asking: Why are you thrilled about that? Well, first, I am thrilled to publish something I created and thrilled because I published it without receiving any rejection letters. I am sure I would have gotten some had I taken the traditional route.​ Then too, I am thrilled to own all rights to my self-published books.

Secondly, because I have a few loyal friends and family members who actually believe in me as a writer, I am thrilled because several of them purchased my book almost the same day it went live on Amazon. So, even if my number of sold copies isn’t large, I am thrilled because my faithful friends and family members didn’t disappoint me.

Thirdly, I didn’t write my book because I had “making a killing” in mind. Did I hope that it would do well, financially speaking? Yes! Did I pray that YeHoVaH’s Will was for me to become a bestselling author? Yes! However, in my heart, I am prepared to remain humble no matter if I do or don’t achieve financial success with this book.

The bottom line is that I have always understood that any success I achieve with this book isn’t of my own doing. Any success would be because of YeHoVaH’s Help and His Will. That is why I am grateful for true friends who have supported me by purchasing and reading my book. Lastly, I am grateful for the following unexpected support:

Tonya’s Facebook Comment 3-4-2022
Saw This First Amazon Rating By An Unknown Person On 3-7-2022
Sylva’s 3-7-2022 Text To Me About My Novel
Larry’s 3-12-2022 Black Authors Network Comment – Facebook Group

While I know that to some people these examples of the unexpected support I have received since Torn Asunder: What Happens When YeHoVaH’s Will Is Ignored went live on 29 January 2022 aren’t worth much, to me they are priceless. They are precious to me because I didn’t buy or beg for this support.

All the above examples of the support I have received are the reasons why I write for the thrill of it. Furthermore, because some friends and a few family members support my writing ventures in more than one way – like they have done for my newly released book – this is the reason why I also give YeHoVaH all the Glory. Shalom!

The Overcomers’ Benefits and Rewards (Revisited)

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1Loved ones, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see if they are from [YeHoVaH]. For many false prophets have gone out into the world. You know the Ruach Elohim by this—every spirit that acknowledges that Messiah Yeshua has come in human flesh is from [YeHoVaH], but every spirit that does not acknowledge Yeshua is not from [YeHoVaH]. This is the spirit of the anti-messiah, which you have heard is coming and now is already in the world. You are from [YeHoVaH], children, and you have overcome them, because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. They are from the world, so they speak from the world and the world listens to them. We are from [YeHoVaH]; whoever knows [YeHoVaH] listens to us, but whoever is not from [YeHoVaH] does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error. ~ 1 John 4:1-6

Overcomers are believers who truly are more than conquerors; they clearly are the faithful and obedient victorious members of the Body of Yeshua — the faithful and obedient spiritual conquerors. Notice that, in Revelation chapters 2  and 3, Yeshua never addresses the entire Body of Believers — His whole Ekklesia — as overcomers. Nor does He address one entire ekklesia (one assembly or one “church”) as overcomers.

While speaking individually to the seven “churches”​ (more correct translations of ekklesiae are assembly and community), Yeshua only promises benefits and ​rewards to the saints who ​OVERCOME, even though ​He uses only the singular pronoun. ​Yeshua ​repeatedly says, “He who overcomes.” Therefore, Yeshua is making it clear that not all saints​ ​  —   not all members in His Ekklesia​  ​—   are or will be ​OVERCOMERS. These overcomers in Revelation chapters 2​ ​​and ​3 are saints who shine like the stars that ​are ​far and above the spiritual corruptions or spiritual problems Yeshua mentions to Revelation‘s seven “churches.”

I know what I said above is an uncomfortable truth, but the ​Divine ​Truth is that there are Bible verses that prove the overcomers — the ones to whom specific benefits and rewards are promised/offered and to whom these promised benefits and rewards will be given — are separate and distinct types of saints. If we read closely, we see that in every one of the seven “churches” ​Yeshua ​mentions in Revelation chapters 2 and 3 there were —​ ​ and, indeed, there always will be — the kind of saints who were faithful believers in Yeshua and the kind of ​ ​saints ​ ​who were unfaithful believers in Yeshua. There were — and there always have been —​ ​the kind of ​ ​saints who were obedient children of YeHoVaH and those saints who were disobedient children of YeHoVaH. In other words, there were then — and always have been — spiritual and carnal members in the Body of Yeshua. Therefore, there also always were (and always will be, including right now) ​holy overcomers​ ​ AND  the kind of saints who were or are overwhelmed, worn down, and defeated. To put it differently, from the beginning of Yeshua’s Ekklesia, there always have been those believers who have become spiritual conquerors and those believers who have been spiritually conquered!

Again, the Scriptures prove that Yeshua only promises EACH spiritual conqueror in each of Revelation’s seven “churches” that if he or she is a faithful and obedient overcomer; that is, if the spiritually mature man or spiritually mature woman in each “church” continues to fight against Satan’s fiery darts, his destructive deceptions, and his toxic lies,​ AND WINS even if his or her resistance leads to his or her death, then that OVERCOMER is the believer ​in Yeshua who will receive the following specific​ benefits and​ rewards:

1. The Tree of Life

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Ruach is saying to Messiah’s communities. To the one who overcomes, I will grant the right to eat from the Tree of Life, which is in the Paradise of [YeHoVaH]. ”   ~ ​Revelation 2:7 ​(Ephesus)

2. The Crown of Life

Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, so that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.  He who has an ear, let him hear what the Ruach is saying to Messiah’s communities. The one who overcomes shall never be harmed by the second death.”  ~ Revelation 2:10​-11​ (Smyrna)

3. The White Stone

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Ruach is saying to Messiah’s communities. To the one who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone—and written on the stone a new name that no one knows except the one who receives it.”  ~ Revelation 2:17 (Pergamum)

4. The National Authority

To the one who overcomes and guards My deeds until the end,​ ‘I will give him authority over the nations​  and he shall rule them with an iron rod,​ as when clay pots are broken into pieces.’
Even as I have received from My Father, so I will give him the morning star. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Ruach is saying to Messiah’s communities.” ~ Revelation 2:26​-29​ (Thyatira)

5. The White Robes

“But still, you have a few people in Sardis who have not stained their clothes. They will walk with Me in white, because they are worthy. The one who overcomes thus will be dressed in white clothes; I will never blot his name out of the Book of Life, and will confess his name before My Father and His angels. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Ruach is saying to Messiah’s communities.   ~ Revelation 3:5-6 (Sardis)

6. The Permanent Pillar

The one who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the Temple of My God, and he will never leave it. And on him I will write the name of My God and the name of the city of My God—the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God—and My own new Name. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Ruach is saying to Messiah’s communities.”   ~ Revelation 3:12-13 (Philadelphia)

7. The Throne

To the one who overcomes I will grant the right to sit with Me on My throne, just as I myself overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Ruach is saying to Messiah’s communities.”   ~ Revelation 3:21-22 (Laodicea)

He or she who has an ear needs to hear that Yeshua’s overcomer is not just the run-of-the-mill kind of saint, who gets into Heaven with the smell of smoke on him or her (see 1 Corinthians 3:15). To get these mentioned benefits and rewards, a saint must be a spiritual conqueror kind of overcomer — a faithful and obedient even unto death kind of saint.

Is anybody listening?

New Book Release

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and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no man separate.”  ~ Matthew 19:5-7, TLV


But Yeshua said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment! But from the beginning of creation, God ‘made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no man separate!”  ~ Mark 10:5-9, TLV

Well, praise YeHoVaH!

On January 29, the day my dad was born, I am happy to announce that my literary fiction novel went live on Amazon. This achievement – my first published novel and sixth published book – is so exhilarating.       

Torn Asunder: What Happens When YeHoVaH’s Will Is Ignored is an inspirational, emotional, and spiritual literary fiction debut novel that follows Triston and Zemora Lansing’s inner stories. This character-driven story begins from a dark interval of paralyzing depression. Set mostly in Georgia, the story is preoccupied with the convolutions of its major characters’ personalities and their stormy journey through a prolonged spiritual wilderness season that is plagued by frequent demonic warfares, crumbling spiritual houses, and inconceivable human sufferings.

Literary Fiction Facts:

Literary fiction is character-driven instead of plot-driven. Moreover, literary fiction follows the main characters’ inner stories. These two facts are why every bit of action in a character-driven story impacts the main characters. Furthermore, understanding how the action affects the characters is the whole point of telling the story.

Since the characters have to react to what is happening in the story,  literary fiction is always a study of the human condition. Additionally, literary fiction often includes political criticism, social commentary, and reflections on humanity. Because literary fiction either explores the difficult political or difficult social issues that control people’s lives, literary fiction is generally considered more serious than genre fiction.

Unlike genre fiction – romances, thrillers, science fiction, etc. – literary fiction doesn’t follow a formula. In fact, Iiterary fiction displays an irreverence for storytelling norms. As a result, a story’s arc may or may not be present, a satisfying ending is no guarantee, and the line between the hero and the villain is often blurry, as is what they are trying to accomplish. Because there is no tidy plot to spell out every character’s motives, literary fiction’s intangible details – metaphor, symbolism, imagery, etc. – play a larger role in telling the story.

Build on Yeshua’s Gospel Foundation with Materials That Fire Won’t Consume

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10 Using the grace YeHoVaH gave me, I laid a foundation, like a skilled master-builder; and another man is building on it. But let each one be careful how he builds. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Yeshua the Messiah. 12 Some will use gold, silver or precious stones in building on this foundation; while others will use wood, grass or straw. 13 But each one’s work will be shown for what it is; the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire — the fire will test the quality of each one’s work. 14 If the work someone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward; 15 if it is burned up, he will have to bear the loss: he will still escape with his life, but it will be like escaping through a fire. ~ 1 Corinthians 3:10-15

In the above verses, apostle Paul compares himself to a skilled master builder who laid Yeshua the Messiah’s Ekklesia (Community of Faith) Foundation. Then Paul warns that the preachers and teachers who build on the foundation he laid are responsible for their own work – they will be held accountable for their top-quality work (metaphorically speaking, whatever they built with materials made of gold, silver, and precious stones); likewise, they will be held accountable for their poor-quality work (metaphorically speaking, whatever they built with materials made of wood, hay, and straw). What Paul is saying is that some building materials are better than others. This truth is why he also warns each present and future Gospel preacher or teacher who builds on top of the Foundation he laid to use materials that won’t be consumed by Fire.


Apparently, the Ruach HaKodesh had revealed to Paul the real reason why choosing the best building materials was the wisest decision a Yeshua follower could make – especially if he or she functioned as an apostle, prophet, evangelist, shepherd, or teacher in the Kingdom of YeHoVaH. The Ruach HaKodesh, no doubt, wanted Paul’s contemporaries and successors who preached and taught the Gospel of Yeshua to know that they would be departing from the Foundation, which Paul laid, whenever they built on that Foundation with fables, idle stories, and corrupt doctrines of men that were mingled with the unadulterated doctrine of Yeshua’s Gospel. This kind of building – using fables, idle stories, and corrupt doctrines of men as their building materials – weakened Yeshua’s Gospel. This truth is also why the Ruach HaKodesh, no doubt, wanted Paul’s contemporaries and successors who preached and taught the Gospel of Yeshua to know that their other gospel – their departure from the Gospel apostle Paul taught – would cause those who preached and taught it to suffer loss. Without exception, their building work would fail the Fire test.  

The other bad news is that, in addition to the preachers and teachers’ inferior building materials failing the Fire test, these preachers and teachers also would be held accountable for the ways their substandard building work affected the Yeshua believers they preached to and taught – especially if their preaching and teaching made or kept Yeshua’s believers spiritually immature and unfaithful. Lastly, their poor-quality building work also would cause them to lose the heavenly rewards that overcomers earn. However, the one good news is that the apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds, and teachers who preached and taught a wood, grass, and hay gospel were still saved, despite the fact that their substandard building work was (or would be) consumed by Fire.

The inconvenient truth is that everyone today who is born again and saved has been called to be an evangelist. Even so, it is irrefutable that each believer in Yeshua is either a preacher or teacher (or both). As such, Paul is speaking to every evangelist about the top-quality or poor-quality building materials that today’s evangelists use to build on Yeshua the Messiah’s Ekklesia (Community of Faith) Foundation that Paul laid. For this reason, every preacher and teacher should always build with top-quality materials – should always preach and teach the kind of Gospel that helps to make believers in Yeshua’s Community of Faith spiritually mature and faithfully obedient. If they don’t, these preachers and teachers will suffer loss.

Mental Assenters: Unregenerate, Unsaved Sinners

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Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. ~ Revelation 3:20

No one is reborn or saved by Grace through faith if he or she only agrees that the Bible is true but never acts on the preached Word – is never moved to repent and become totally committed to the Word’s Author (YeHoVaH) and to His Son nor moved to surrender and become totally obedient to YeHoVaH’s Commandments – all of them. The less than one hundred percent committed person, as well as the less than one hundred percent obedient person, is merely operating in the Mental Assent realm.

Sadly, every mental assenter who claims that because he or she believes the Bible is true means that he or she also believes in YeHoVaH and Yeshua, is lying to him or herself – especially when it is obvious that each mental assenter’s actions deny what he or she claims. The uncomfortable truth is that every mental assenter’s actions will deny what he or she claims because he or she has never been regenerated (reborn) or saved.

Now, while the Bible does say that salvation is a free gift, this biblical truth has come to mean to some people that salvation is “easy.” On the contrary, the Bible makes it clear that everyone who accepts Yeshua as his or her Lord and Savior is then reborn and saved, and the main result of his or her rebirth and salvation is a noticeably changed life.

The incorrect interpretation of what the Bible says about regeneration and salvation is found in modern evangelicalism. Today’s evangelists teach that all a lost soul needs to do to get into Heaven is to repeat their sinner’s prayer and he or she will have what this person prayed for – instant regeneration and salvation. This unbiblical teaching – the sinner’s prayer – has produced far too many people who have fallen prey to an “easy believism” belief. The foremost reason why the “easy believism” in modern evangelicalism’s sinner’s prayer never produces reborn and saved believers is that the invitation to repeat a sinner’s prayer never requires unbelievers to repent.

The bottom line is that there is no regeneration and no salvation without repentance. There is no repentance if someone never has a heartfelt conviction about his or her sins. Only a person who is genuinely convicted about sin will realize how offensive his or her sinful actions, emotions, beliefs, and lifestyle are to YeHoVaH. In other words, this person will feel contrite. His or her deep sorrow will cause this person to grieve over how offensive and rebellious his or her sinful actions, emotions, beliefs, and lifestyle are to YeHoVaH.

Moreover, it is only after a person has become truly sorrowful unto repentance that he or she is then reborn and saved. That’s right! it is authentic repentance that leads to the forgiveness of sin, the human spirit’s regeneration (new birth), the living soul’s salvation (the reconciliation and restoration of a believer’s spiritual fellowship with YeHoVaH), justification, and sanctification. This biblical and spiritual process is why no one can turn away from sin towards YeHoVaH and His holiness if he or she has not first repented his or her sins. Furthermore, this repentance truth is why genuine repentance is not simply a “rethinking” of someone’s relationship to sin and YeHoVaH after that person repeats a sinner’s prayer.

Once again, there is no regeneration and no salvation without repentance. Put differently, there can be no obvious change for the better in anyone’s former nature and lifestyle without that person’s real repentance experience. For this reason, an unrepentant believer in Yeshua and YeHoVaH – anyone who is not profoundly sorry about sinning; a person who does not really regret sinning – is still unregenerate and unsaved. As such, there is no way that this person can turn away from sin and turn toward YeHoVaH and His Holiness.

Sadly, all mental assenters are still unregenerate and unsaved. Once again, mental assenters only agree that the Bible is true but never act on the preached Word. They are never moved to repent and become totally committed to the Word’s Author (YeHoVaH) and to His Son, nor are they moved to surrender and become totally obedient to all of YeHoVaH’s Commandments.

In most cases, mental assenters are unregenerate and unsaved because they didn’t hear sermons on the true meaning of repentance, which would include instructions on what it means to receive Yeshua, what it means to confess Him as Lord and Savior, or how to be faithful to Him and obedient to YeHoVaH’s Commandments. These mental assenters were only asked to repeat a sinner’s prayer. However, there are also some mental assenters who did hear sermons on the true meaning of repentance but decided to pick and choose what they want to believe in the Word.

Lastly, those Christian evangelists who teach that a lost soul can be instantly saved when he or she repeats a sinner’s prayer have misused Revelation 3:20. First, in this verse, Yeshua is speaking to the confused, carnal, and lukewarm Laodicean who were reborn and saved believers who desperately needed to repent their current lifestyle. This truth is why YeHoVaH never intended for Revelation 3:20 to be used as an evangelistic sinner’s prayer Gospel tract that only encourages an unsaved person to invite Yeshua into their hearts. The best evangelistic Gospel tracts contain a succinct presentation of YeHoVaH’s Law, the Gospel of Yeshua, and a call for the readers to REPENT so that they can accept and receive Yeshua HaMashiach as their Lord and Savior.

Secondly, but most importantly, the word “heart” is not mentioned in Revelation 3:20. Moreover, the confused, carnal, lukewarm believers in the Laodicean ekklesia never asked Yeshua to do anything for them – especially not to come into their hearts because He was already there. He, however, was excluded from their fellowship assemblies.  So the Laodicean ekklesia needed to be restored – needed to repair their relationship with Yeshua by improving and expanding on their previous relationship with Him, beginning with including Him in their fellowship assemblies.  This biblical truth is why it is Yeshua who, in Revelation 3:20, does the asking. He asks the Laodiceans to hear His Voice. He promises to restore their fellowship with Him if they would hear His Voice AND open the door that allows Him to communicate with all of them at the same time.

When compared to Revelation’s Laodicean ekklesia, it is obvious that the problem with mental assenters is that they are not carnal believers, as many Christians call them. Mental assenters are unsaved individuals who are victims of an “easy believism” belief, as it relates to
the complete process of salvation. In other words, an “easy believism” belief is an unbiblical interpretation of Yeshua’s Gospel, repentance, regeneration, salvation, faith, and obedience. Therefore, today’s mental assenters are not confused, carnal, or lukewarm Laodicean believers who spiritually closed the fellowship door in Yeshua’s Face. Mental assenters are still unrepentant unbelievers – sinners who never had their old natures (spirits) reborn and who never had their living souls saved.

A word to the wise should be sufficient.

 

The Heretical ‘Once Saved, Always Saved’ Doctrine

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Loved ones, though very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I felt it necessary to write to you urging you to continue to contend for the faith that was once for all handed down to the kedoshim [holy ones]. For certain people have secretly slipped in—those who from long ago have been marked out for this judgment. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into indecency and deny our only Master and Lord, Yeshua the Messiah.

Now I wish to remind you—though you have come to know all things—that the Lord, once having saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. ~ Jude verses 3-5

Christians who celebrate Halloween, Christmas, Easter, and all the other major pagan holidays that have crept into Catholic and Protestant Churches should study all the Bible verses that prove the ‘once saved, always saved’ doctrine is heresy. Nowhere in the Bible does anyone teach the ‘once saved, always saved’ doctrine. This heretical doctrine is the lie Christians use to assure themselves that their eternal security is guaranteed regardless of the sins they continue to commit – like celebrating secular holidays that are rooted in pagan traditions.

The Scripture that is most commonly quoted to support the false doctrine of ‘once saved, always saved’ is John 10:28, which is as follows: “I give them eternal life! They will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of My hand.” On the surface, this verse might seem like Yeshua is saying that once we are saved we will always be saved – especially since there is no one who can snatch any believers in Yeshua out of His Hand. However, the uncomfortable truth is that we can let go of His Hand and, as a result, live outside of Him – no longer abide in Him. It is written:

If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away like a branch and is dried up. Such branches are picked up and thrown into the fire and burned. ~ John 15:6

If we can never lose our salvation, then why did Yeshua emphasize how important it is to maintain an abiding faith – an enduring, steadfast, unchanging faith – in Him so that we could avoid becoming branches that have dried up and, thus, must be cut off the Vine? Likewise, if we can never lose our salvation, then why did Paul warn the Roman non-Jewish believers in Yeshua (see Romans 11:17-22) that they, like the chosen but unfaithful Jewish people whom YeHoVaH once saved when He brought them out of Egypt, can be chopped off the Olive tree if they, too, become unfaithful?

The New Testament’s lost souls who are saved by Grace through faith must understand that their salvation is NOT unconditional. Believers in Yeshua must fulfill all the conditions of salvation in order to completely receive the promise of salvation. This truth is why Paul not only tells the Colossian believers in Yeshua that they must continue in the faith (Colossians 1:23) but also reminds the Philippian believers in Yeshua that they need to work out their salvation (Philippians 2:12). Additionally, Jude expresses the same truth. He emphasizes that maintaining the faith YeHoVaH gave lost souls so that they could be saved by His Grace (Yeshua) is HARD WORK, and that is why Jude urges saved believers to continue to CONTEND for the faith (Jude 3, 5).

If we need to continually fight for or struggle to keep our faith AFTER we are saved, then it is possible that, if we lose our faith, we can also lose our salvation. No doubt, the possibility of losing our salvation after our faith is gone is why Paul tells Timothy to “… fight the good fight, holding onto faith and a good conscience. By rejecting these, some have suffered shipwreck regarding their faith” (1 Timothy 1:18-19). Without a doubt, Paul is not teaching the ‘once saved, always saved’ doctrine.

Why would Paul, Jude, and Yeshua stress in the Bible the importance of faithful endurance if the believers who did not endure to the end – did not continually fight to keep their faith – would be saved anyway? The bottom line is that no one who is saved by Grace through faith will receive the promise of salvation if he or she hasn’t held on to the faith he or she was first given.

While this blog article doesn’t deal with every Bible verse that proves ‘once saved, always saved’ is a heretical doctrine, enough Bible verses have been mentioned to let the discerning believer know said doctrine isn’t biblical. From Yeshua’s day until today, there have been many saved souls that have fallen away from the faith, and it is prophesied that many saved souls in the end times will also fall away from the faith – will become apostates. That Divine Truth is why Yeshua commands His Followers, then and now, to stay alert – to stay awake, spiritually speaking. That Divine Truth is also why Paul urges Yeshua’s Followers to continually work out their salvation so that they might avoid being lulled into a false sense of security – the belief that they will always be saved – and end up putting their salvation in jeopardy.  

A word to the wise should be sufficient. Amen!

For Lukewarm, Disobedient Secular Believers

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And He said to them, “Rightly did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites, as it is written,

‘This people honors Me with their lips
but their heart is far from Me.
And in vain they worship Me,
teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’

Having left behind the commandment of [YeHoVaH], you hold on to the tradition of men.”

He was also telling them, “You set aside the commands of [YeHoVaH], in order that you may validate your own tradition. ~ Mark 7:6-9 (also read Isaiah 29:13 and Matthew 15:8-9)

but Jacob journeyed to Sukkot and built a house for himself, and for his livestock he made booths. That is the reason that place is called Sukkot. ~ Genesis 33:17

For a week now, I have seen several Facebook postings in which the poster(s) has said the same thing, or similarly worded, as I have done in the above image. On a few of those postings, I made several variations of the following:

Evidently, the poster doesn’t know, or the poster refuses to believe or accept, that Christmas is a man-made holiday and season. It is common knowledge that Yeshua (a.k.a., Christ, Jesus, and Jesus Christ) wasn’t born on December 25, yet countless Christians not only continue to celebrate Christmas and its season but also continue to lie about their Savior’s birth just so that they can feel justified in keeping a pagan holiday.

Christians’ Bible makes it clear that it was too cold and rainy during the ninth month (Kislev) of Israel (November – December on the Gregorian calendar). Ezra 10:9 and Jeremiah 36:22 both mention that in the month of Kislev the weather was rainy and cold, so shepherds would not have had their sheep outside on December 25 because, by December 25, Israel would have been into its tenth month, Tevet (or Tebeth), which is December – January on the Gregorian calendar. If it was too cold and rainy in Kislev, then it was even colder in the month of Tevet – especially where December 25 is concerned, which is when Christendom and the secular world claim Yeshua was born.

The uncomfortable truth is that Yeshua was born on a feast day that the Jewish people have always celebrate – the Feast of Tabernacles (when He physically came to Earth and tabernacled with the Hebrews). The Feast of Tabernacles is one of the seven annual Feast Days (Moedim or Appointed Times) YeHoVaH (God) established, and the Jewish Yeshua kept every one of these feast days, in more than one way.

It is more likely that YeHoVaH is using people’s current gift-buying frenzy to reach the lukewarm, disobedient secular believers who keep Christmas – an unholy tradition of men. This year’s gift-buying frenzy started because some retailers predict that there would not be enough items to choose from the closer folks get to December 25. There can be  no doubt that YeHoVaH wants these people to stop celebrating Christmas, as well as all the other secular holidays, because His Son wasn’t born on the pagan Gentile holiday known as Christmas, He didn’t die on the pagan Good Friday or rise from the grave on the pagan Easter Sunday.

Now, there are plenty of believers who keep telling other believers that YeHoVaH (God) did not tell anyone (neither Jew nor Gentile) to celebrate Christmas, Good Friday, Easter, etc. because these holidays are pagan. Unfortunately, more Christians continue to keep these pagan holidays than the saints who keep the biblical Feast Days YeHoVaH commanded His people to keep.

If Christians really believe they are supposed to live holy and righteously as Yeshua did, then why are so many of them still celebrating Christmas, Good Friday, Easter, Halloween, etc.? Yeshua never celebrated these, or other, traditions of men and neither did His Disciples and Apostles. Furthermore, there are plenty of Bible verses that prove to everyone who believes in YeHoVaH and Yeshua that Yeshua kept all of YeHoVaH’s Feast Days, as well as kept the Mosaic Law.

For example, the Torah (Old Testament) contains the stories about the Israelites’ captivity and exodus. Historically speaking, the Israelites began celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles long before Yeshua was born on the Feast of Tabernacles, as well as many centuries before Christians made Christmas a holiday. The Hebrews celebrated the holy Feast of Tabernacles because YeHoVaH established this feast day as a special holy time of the year for them to remember He had the sons of Israel live in booths when He brought them out from the land of Egypt (see Leviticus 23:42-43). Therefore, there was no need for the Hebrews to create a day and a season to celebrate the birth of Yeshua – the day He physically began to tabernacle among them – because the day Yeshua was born was one of the already established seven annual feasts days they were commanded to keep.

The uncomfortable truth is that everyone is lying who says Christmas is when Yeshua was born and that His birth is why they celebrate Christmas and the Christmas season. Those who know Yeshua wasn’t born on December 25 yet say it doesn’t matter if they or the masses believe Christmas is as good as any day to celebrate Yeshua’s birthday have deceived themselves. The undeniable truth is that Christmas and its season were created from the pagan traditions of men – lies.

For those who don’t believe putting up a decorated Christmas tree is a pagan Christmas tradition, there are many other traditions associated with cutting down a Christmas tree, putting it in homes, and decorating it. There are the Christmas traditions of kissing under a mistletoe, cutting down holly trees and hanging holly plants in homes for good luck, hanging wreaths,  caroling from house to house (a.k.a., wassailing), hanging ivy plants in pots inside homes,  burning yule logs, believing in Odin – a pagan god who often was depicted as a chubby old man with a white beard who wore a long flowing cloak (i.e., Santa Claus), and gift-giving. Every one of these pagan traditions of men is an aspect of pagan holidays that were adapted into Christmas celebrations in the early years.

Now, Christians should already know that the only one who can establish HOLY DAYS and HOLY SEASONS is YeHoVaH, and the only HOLY DAYS and HOLY SEASONS He established for humanity are His regular and high Sabbaths and His seven annual Feast Days (Moedim or Appointed Times). Every one of His seven Moedim is about His Son, Yeshua. These biblical and Divine Truths are why YeHoVaH has never given any men or women the authority to create or designated what they call Holy Days. That is why their Christmas, Good Friday, Easter, and other special “festive” days are just holidays.

In this century, as previously stated, it is  common knowledge that Yeshua’s birth was not on December 25 because this day is  when the pagan gods are remembered. That is why it should be evident to Christians that a Holy, Omniscient YeHoVaH, who knew beforehand everything that would happen on Earth, would not allow His Holy Son to be born on a day that pagan gods are remembered.

Plenty of Messianic Jews celebrate Yeshua’s birthday during the Feast of Tabernacles, and the following six reasons are why:



1. Many Messianic Jews believe that the manger that is mentioned in the New Testament was more likely a sukkah or tabernacle – the kind the Israelites built during the biblical feast of Sukkot or Feast of Tabernacles (see Leviticus 23:33–43). The biblical connection between a manger and a sukkah is found in Genesis 33:17. The writer of Genesis says that Jacob built booths for his livestock. The Hebrew writer is letting Gentiles know that sukkah (plural, sukkot) can also mean a barn for livestock, a manger, and a temporary shelter similar to the one the Israelites dwelt in during the biblically commanded Feast of Sukkot (Tabernacles).


2. Sukkot of the Feast of Tabernacles provides a deeper understanding of the Bible verse, “ …the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us…” (John 1:14a). Additionally, for the Hebrews, Sukkot is the season of their joy. That is why Sukkot or the Feast of Tabernacles was the more appropriate time to for the angels to declare “
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth shalom to men of good will.” (Luke 2:14). Indeed, it also is written:

Shout joyfully to [YeHoVaH], all the earth.
Break forth, sing for joy, and sing praises.
Sing praises to 
[YeHoVaH] with the harp,
with the harp and a voice of melody.
With trumpets and sound of the shofar
blast a sound before the King, [
YeHoVaH] ~ Psalm 98:4-6

Since Sukkot not only is a festival of joy but also the “Festival of the Nations,” when the angel told the Jewish shepherds to not “…be afraid! For behold, I proclaim Good News to you, which will be great joy to all the people” (Luke 2:10), that angel was actually speaking a Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) greeting to them.

3. This joy to the world truth is why, as previously stated, shepherds would not have been out in any field with their sheep in the dead of winter in Israel (i.e., December 25).


4. Also, since the Romans would want to have as many Hebrews participate in their census, they would not have had people traveling during Israel’s rainy or cold months. That is why it would be more likely that King Herod used the time of the Festival of Sukkot to have a census – the time when Jewish families in Jerusalem and those that traveled to Jerusalem celebrated this feast instead of on Chanukah (Hanukkah), which is the festival that falls around December 25 on the Gregorian calendar. One of the reasons why King Herod would not have chosen on Chanukah as the time for the Roman census is, according to biblical historians and scholars, because King Herod  loathed and feared the Hasmoneans – the descendants of the Maccabee family.


5. Sukkot or Feast of Tabernacles is the only Feast in which YeHoVaH commands the Jewish people to be joyful (see Deuteronomy 16:13-15). Looks like YeHoVaH not only established Sukkot or Feast of Tabernacles to be a remembrance of the time when He brought the Israelites out of Egypt but also established Sukkot or the Feast of Tabernacles as to be a future seven-day birthday celebration for His Son, Yeshua.


6. The day that follows the seven days of the Feast of Tabernacles or Sukkot is called “The Eighth Day” (see Leviticus 23:39). Since Yeshua more than likely was born on the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles or Sukkot, He would have had to be circumcised on the “Eighth Day,” which literally would fulfill the Scripture that says, “
 In the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin is to be circumcised” (Leviticus 12:3).

Once again, if Christians really believe they are supposed to live holy and righteously as Yeshua did, then knowing that He kept YeHoVaH’s seven annual Feast Days, Sabbaths, and the rest of the Mosaic Law should be more than enough information that would make them want to stop celebrating Christmas, Good Friday, Easter, Halloween, etc. The reasons why they don’t stop are because they haven’t heard anyone teach or preach the common knowledge pertaining to Yeshua’s birth not being on December 25, haven’t studied the Bible verses about the kind of weather Israel had in their months that correspond to the western world’s month of December, haven’t studied the Bible verses about YeHoVaH’s seven annual Feast Days, haven’t studied how Yeshua already fulfilled most of these seven Feast Days and will fulfill the others in the end times, or, as lukewarm, disobedient secular believes, don’t care what YeHoVaH established or commanded – they reject His established and commanded Feast Days and Sabbaths so that they not only can validate their own traditions which are rooted in unholy pagan traditions but also so that they can use their traditions to teach lies about what day Yeshua was born and the season in which He was born. Selah!

An Excerpt from My Fictional Novel’s Manuscript – CHAPTER EIGHT: Lesser Half

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And he was afraid, and got up and ran for his life and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah; and he left his servant there. But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom tree; and he asked for himself to die, and said, “Enough! Now, Lord, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers.” Then he lay down and fell asleep under a broom tree; but behold, there was an angel touching him, and he said to him, “Arise, eat!” And he looked, and behold, there was at his head a round loaf of bread baked on hot coals, and a pitcher of water. So he ate and drank, and lay down again. But the angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him, and said, “Arise, eat; because the journey is too long for you.” So he arose and ate and drank, and he journeyed in the strength of that food for forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mountain of God.  ~ 1 Kings 19:3-8, NASB

Behold, I am going to do something new,
Now it will spring up;
Will you not be aware of it?
I will even make a roadway in the wilderness,
Rivers in the desert.  ~ Isaiah 43:19, NASB
 

    

    

     Neither Triston nor Zemora had figured out that they were in a spiritual winter season – a kind of wilderness. That’s why they did not know they hadn’t seen a spiritual spring season for some time. Though delayed, it would come again. In the meantime, their spiritual winter season – spiritual wilderness – was cold, dark, and bleak. It affected them and their sons.

     While they were in their spiritual wilderness, they had forgotten that Pastor Brooks had taught them that YeHoVaH was a seasonal God who allowed His Children to experience spiritual winters. They had also forgotten that Pastor Brooks had taught them that any compulsory spiritual growth would always follow time spent in any kind of wilderness – especially a spiritual winter season.

     He had additionally taught them that a spiritual wilderness was one in which everything that could go wrong would go wrong, but this Divine Truth was just something else that Triston and Zemora had forgotten. Because this married couple was oblivious to the fact that they had been behaving like spiritually immature believers who had become spiritually stagnant, they had no idea that they were spiritually naked and hungry.

     In their wilderness, Zemora’s life would be threatened by an armed robber and by the love of her life. Triston’s life would be threatened by a malignant growth and by the love of his life. Once they both stopped putting in the required effort – everything they should have done to save their marriage – Triston and Zemora not only lost loved ones but also lost faith in YeHoVaH.

     For years, Zemora was convinced that Triston could not hear the swelling brokenness and pain in her voice, and Triston was convinced that Zemora would never forgive his repeated displays of gross insensitivity and ecclesiastical reservations. The truth was she and he were not only deaf but also blind because neither could hear nor see how the other person’s brokenness and pain or insensitivity and reservations were slowly but surely crumbling their spiritual houses.

     The extended pressure against their spiritual foundation walls’ already existing unrepaired breaches would soon cause them to crack, and those cracks would eventually lead to a severely shaken marital relationship.

~ The above-concluding paragraphs are from CHAPTER EIGHT: Lesser Half – my fictional novel’s manuscript.

An End-Time Poem

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14 To the angel of Messiah’s community in Laodicea write: “Thus says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Originator of [YeHoVaH’s] creation: 15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. Oh, that you were either cold or hot! 16 So because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I am about to spew you out of My mouth. 17 For you say, ‘I am rich, I have made myself wealthy, and I need nothing.’ But you do not know that you are miserable and pitiable and poor and blind and naked. 18 I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may be rich, and white clothes so that you may dress yourself and so the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed, and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. 19 Those whom I love, I rebuke and discipline. Therefore, be zealous and repent. ~ Revelation 3:14-19

NOTE:

The bracketed word in verse 14 is my emphasis.

The “Who Do You Think You’re Kidding?” poem in the above image is an end-time poem about the Laodiceans that exist right now. They are carnal babes in Yeshua whose apathy and trust in their wealth and their desires for money-oriented things have caused them to become spiritually poor, blind, and naked.

A word to the wise should be sufficient.

A Canceled Golden Wedding Anniversary

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“It was said, ‘Whoever sends his wife away, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’  But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery. ~ Matthew 5:31-32, TLV

Or do you not know, brothers and sisters (for I speak to those who know law), that the law is master over a person as long as he lives? For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives; but if the husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband. So then, if she is joined to another man while her husband is living, she will be called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is free from the law—so she is not an adulteress, though she is joined to another man.

Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you also were made dead to the Torah through the body of Messiah, so that you might be joined to another—the One who was raised from the dead—in order that we might bear fruit for [YeHoVaH]  For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions that came through the Torah were working in our body parts to bear fruit for death.  But now we have been released from the law, having died to what confined us, so that we serve in the new way of the Ruach and not in the old way of the letter. ~ Romans 7:1-6, TLV

The haiku in the above image is about me. I got married on August 13, 1971. On July 16, 1998, my husband divorced me. As a result, the 23 years plus a month of marriage that should have been were canceled – scratched. That is why I won’t be celebrating my golden wedding anniversary this year (2021) on August 13.

It saddens me to have been denied this great milestone. My sadness is what motivated me to write my Torn Asunder (What Happens When YeHoVaH’s Will Is Ignored) manuscript that I hope to publish before the end of 2021. Concerning my divorce, in my manuscript’s introduction, I state, “ I truly believe that what YeHoVaH joined together was amputated by the state of Virginia’s separation and divorce laws. This man-caused amputation is what brings me down every year around the first week of August.”

I also mention in my manuscript’s introduction that the focus of my fictional novel is on YeHoVaH’s Directive Will – what He wants His Sons and Daughters to do or where He wants them to go – as His Directive Will pertains to the institution of marriage. Additionally, I write:

What YeHoVaH wants the couples He joined in marriage to do has affected countless lives since Adam and Eve, in one way or another. The worst way His biblical truth about marriage has manifested is the inevitable tragedy that happens whenever the married couples He joined allow life’s difficulties to tear them asunder (rip their one flesh into pieces).

Some paragraphs later, I write:

YeHoVaH declares in His Word that the married couples who are one flesh in Him only can be safely and wholly separated by death. Any other kinds of separations, whether legal or otherwise, will mean that these worldly separated and then divorced married couples have been put asunder – have had their spirits and their souls’ emotions, wills, and minds forcefully ripped into pieces. Being ripped into pieces is the very thing that YeHoVaH never wanted His married one flesh couples to experience. Nevertheless, that is what happens when the couples He married are divorced according to the laws that each state has established. Torn asunder couples,  thus, are neither safely nor wholly detached or disconnected.

My final quotation from my manuscript’s introduction brings this blog entry to a spiritually profound ending. In my introduction’s conclusion, I write:

Regardless of whether my former spouse meant to be joined to me permanently, divinely, and spiritually by his spirit and his soul, this is exactly how YeHoVaH joined me to him. No doubt this unbreakable connection to my former spouse is why YeHoVaH has not allowed me to move on and be joined to someone else. As a result, every August 13th – as well as at least 5 days leading up to it and 2 or 3 days after it – I suffer from a deep sense of loss that cannot be avoided no matter how hard I try. I feel like I lost my soulmate, and, until YeHoVaH changes me, I believe I will feel this way every year around the same time, for the rest of my life on earth.

  • I composed the haiku in the above image on July 31, 2021.

The Truth About the Sinner’s Prayer

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19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, immersing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Ruach ha-Kodesh20 teaching them to observe all I have commanded you. And remember! I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” ~ Matthew 28:19-20, TLV

15 He told them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the Good News to every creature. 16 He who believes and is immersed shall be saved, but he who does not believe shall be condemned. ~ Mark 16:15-16, TLV

No sinner’s prayer is biblical. Since no sinner’s prayer has ever saved lost souls, telling someone he or she can repeat a sinner’s prayer and be saved means no sinner’s prayer is factual.

Yeshua never told His Disciples to use a sinner’s prayer to lead people to Him because He knew that only the preached unadulterated Word – the Good News – has the power to lead lost souls to Him. Everything He knew about the Gospel was why Yeshua commanded His Followers to preach it to every creature. This Gospel was, and still is, the Good News about Yeshua – the One who came into the world to save this world from the death penalty.

Moreover, there is an uncomfortable truth, which is that there are far too many Christians who have used their churches’ versions of the sinner’s prayer primarily so that their pastors could keep track of the number of sinners their church members have led to Yeshua. Missionaries have been asked: How many lost souls repeated the sinner’s prayer with you? This practice also is neither biblical nor factual.

What is biblical is Yeshua’s Followers helping lost souls to be saved by grace through faith by preaching the Word to them. Another uncomfortable truth is that neither spiritual rebirth nor eternal salvation can take place without someone first planting the seed. That is why having faith in the One who came to save lost souls can only come after they have heard the preached Word and received the planted Word seed. That is why Yeshua teaches yet another uncomfortable truth via parables. This uncomfortable truth is that the Word is to the Kingdom of YeHoVaH what a natural seed is to a harvest.

Yeshua will have His Harvests of souls because His Word seed was planted via the preaching of the Gospel. This Word seed will produce YeHoVaH’s kind of Faith, His kind of Grace, and His Ruach (Spirit) in them. Faith, Grace, and the Ruach – when accepted – will move lost souls to repent their sins so that they can confess YeHoVaH anointed Yeshua to be the one and only Savior of this world. Only then can the gifts of regeneration and salvation be received.

The last uncomfortable truth mentioned here is that without repentance, there is no forgiveness of sin. That is why the Power of YeHoVaH’s Promises is in His Word seed, and those Promises include His Forgiveness, Regeneration, Salvation, Justification, Sanctification, Glorification, and Eternal Life spiritual gifts.

In summary, when we do what we are commanded to do, which is to preach the Gospel, YeHoVaH, His Grace (Yeshua), and His Ruach (Spirit) will take it from there. If we don’t follow the proper salvation process, we will be guilty of deceiving ourselves into thinking WE led people to Yeshua via a sinner’s prayer, as well as guilty of deceiving lost souls into believing they will be included in Yeshua’s Harvests of souls. Shalom!

Tribute to Sheila McLeod (née Long)

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Remembering a life well lived and all the joy it brought to so many. In memory of a truly amazing person.

The righteous one perishes,
    but no one takes it to heart.
Godly men are taken away,
    but no one discerns
        that the righteous man is taken from evil.
He enters into shalom.
    They rest on their beds,
    each who walked in his integrity. ~ Isaiah 57:1-2, TLV

And He said, “Watch out that you are not led astray! For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He’ and ‘The time is near!’ Do not follow them. And when you hear of wars and chaos, do not be terrorized. For these things need to happen first, but the end will not come at once.”

Then He continued telling them, “Nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes along with famines and epidemics in various places, and there will be terrors along with great signs from heaven. ~ Luke 21:8-11, TLV

While the above Isaiah 57 verses’ focus is on righteous men, the biblical truth mentioned in these verses can also apply to righteous women. My cousin Sheila McLeod was a righteous woman, and I believe YeHoVaH took her so that she could escape this evil world by entering into His heavenly rest.

On May 29, 2021, Sheila lost her fight against COVID-19 – one of the many pestilences (plagues, epidemics/pandemics) Yeshua prophesied would be an end-time sign. Thankfully, all her family members know that although she is absent from the Body of Yeshua, as well as absent from her own earthly body, she is now present with Yeshua and waiting to receive her glorified body.

Composed May 31, 2021

To be honest, I was speechless when I heard Sheila had died. It was a bit of a shock to me that YeHoVaH had called home this loving, encouraging, vivacious 63-year-old woman, child of YeHoVaH, and Yeshua follower who served others well. Sheila was kind to everyone. She was giving, too.

I remember how she lovingly invited me to come live with her and her family in Phoenix, when my marriage fell apart. She not only magnanimously housed and fed me but also let me drive her car, until I found a job and my own place.

Being around someone who loved YeHoVaH and Yeshua as much as I did was the spiritual medicine I needed to heal from my broken heart and broken marriage. Sheila was that someone.

We worshipped together in the same church and ministry. We discussed Scripture together. We discussed the importance of speaking in tongues, which she did first. We participated on several of CWDA Ministry’s programs. We attended gatherings in which some of Christendom’s well-known preachers and pastors were the guest speakers. We went to Gospel concerts together.

I was called into the ministry and ordained before Sheila, but maybe that was only because I was seven years older than she. Nevertheless, I cannot remember a time when Sheila wasn’t sharing Yeshua’s Gospel, so I knew it was only a matter of time before she would be called into the ministry and ordained, too.

Sheila loved to sing and to travel; furthermore, she loved to meet new people. She worshipped in song, and she evangelized wherever she traveled, which was all over this world. Sheila also befriended numerous individuals from the various places she visited.

My cousin was a godly wife of one husband, Eugene McLeod. Additionally, Sheila was a godly mother of two children – Denné and Jarret – and she was a godly grandmother to Alivia. My cousin loved and inspired them all, as well as loved and inspired her siblings, nieces, nephews, cousins, and fellow co-laborers in the ministry. That is why there can be no doubt that these mentioned individuals and her beloved mother (Aunt Vera) will dearly miss Sheila.

For now, cousin, your work is done on this earth. Rest in peace in paradise, Sheila!

UPDATE:

The Obituary . . .

Sheila Arlene McLeod

January 6, 1958 – May 29, 2021


Sheila Arlene McLeod (Long) was born on January 6, 1958, to her loving parents William Henry Long and Vera Mae Wade (Long). She was the youngest of four children.  Although she was born in a Newark hospital, she was raised in East Orange, NJ.

Sheila received her formal education from the East Orange Public School system. After graduating from East Orange High School, Sheila went on to college at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI.  She originally started her college career to become an Ambassador. Later changing her major to Fashion Merchandising.

In 1979, Sheila married Eugene McLeod, from which two beautiful children were born. Of the two, the first was Denne’. Three years later, Sheila and Eugene followed her parents and her first cousin Althea Long to leave East Orange and moved to Phoenix, AZ. In 1985, their second child Jarret was born.

Sheila spent the majority of her working years with Fennemore Craig Law Firm, 32 years to be exact. During those 32 years, she became a member of Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church, approximately in 1984, which was the beginning of her spiritual awakening and her journey to serve God.  After some time, Sheila became very involved in Christian Ministry. Other passions of Sheila’s were international travel and family genealogy. At one point, she studied to become a travel agent.

It wasn’t long before Sheila began traveling internationally for personal fulfillment and for Christian missionary ministry as a member of Christian Women’s Devotional Alliance (CWDA) and Oasis International Fellowship Ministry. Ultimately, Sheila became an ordained minister operating in the office of evangelism and the spoken word. Her last place of ministry was with Living Waters Church of Mesa.

Aside from Sheila’s work in ministry and her many travels around the world, she loved spending time with her immediate and extended family.  She comes from a family full of singers and musicians. It’s no wonder that one of her favorite passions was singing in the church choir and singing with her family. Sheila grew up singing with her sisters, her brother, and many cousins who were more like siblings than cousins. Sheila also took many cruises, and when she was at home she enjoyed her favorite TV shows – a shared family trait.

Sheila and Eugene were married 41 years. They had an undeniable bond that could not be broken. As the Scripture says, “a three-strand cord cannot easily be broken.” They lived their vows until parted by death.

Sheila heard the trumpet sound and received her wings on the afternoon of May 29, 2021. She will always be remembered for her strong opinions, her fierce sense of fashion, her perfectly posed pictures, and her love for her husband, children, and granddaughter. She loved her mother “Mommy,” her siblings, and her nieces, nephews, and all of her hundreds of cousins who were an extension of her sibling family. Sheila was affectionately called Grammy by her only granddaughter, Alivia, and aunty, aunt Shilla, or just “Shilla” by her nieces, nephews, everyone in the family, and by her friends. Anyone who had ever met her would quickly be corrected with the proper pronunciation of her name. She would say, “it’s not Sheela it’s Shilla.”

She leaves to cherish her memory her loving husband Eugene McLeod, daughter Denne’ Armstead, son Jarret McLeod, a stepson and stepdaughter Terrell Lucas and Qamar Cureton, a son-in-law David Armstead, one granddaughter Alivia Armstead, mother Vera Mae Long-Morgan, two sisters Maxine Marshall and Caressa Long-Golden, a brother Kevin Long, a sister-in-law Julia McLeod Traylor, four brothers-in-law Edward Marshall, Hallowell McLeod II, Larry Traylor, and Willy Bright, 12 nieces and nephews, 12 great-nieces and nephews, a host of cousins, and a tremendous number of beloved friends and co-workers. She was predeceased by her father William Henry Long, mother and father-in-law Hallowell Sr. and Artelia McLeod, and two sisters-in-law Robin Long and Linda Bright. She will be sorely missed by all but her memory will always be held in our heart forever.

Mystified Mother

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Can a mother forget the infant at her breast,
    walk away from the baby she bore?  – Isaiah 49:15a, MSG

It is Mother’s Day today, but all I can focus on is the fact that four years ago, on the 9th of May, I laid my eldest son to rest. Because I lost a child, each Mother’s Day since his passing, I am mystified whenever I think about being a mother who outlived her oldest son.

I am utterly bewildered because I feel sad and happy on Mother’s Day. I am sad because I lost a son whom I miss every day, and I am blessed (happy) because I still have a son – my youngest son – whom I see every day.

Furthermore, because I am still grieving Ade’s death, Mother’s Day is extremely bittersweet. That is to say, on one hand, I feel immense joy because I was blessed with two sons (Ade and Tarik). I also feel enormous gratitude for every moment I have had with both of them. On the other hand, the pain from missing Ade is so intense that it frequently lessens the joy I should be feeling for Tarik who is alive. Then too, the deep anguish I feel because I miss Ade often diminishes the genuine thankfulness I should be expressing for the time I still have with Tarik.

I am the mother of a child who is not alive. I am also the mother of a child who is alive. Let there be no doubt about it. I love both of my sons in unique and special ways, but the uncomfortable truth is one of them is dead. That is why it is difficult for me – a grieving mother – to feel immense joy all day long on Mother’s Day, especially since I am torn between feeling joy and happiness for Tarik and grief and anguish for Ade. I am certain that all bereaved mothers who have surviving children live with many of the same confusing contrasts.

The bottom line is that since May 2, 2017, when my firstborn son died, Mother’s Day became a day that is hard for me to enjoy because I live with an emptiness that no one – not even my alive son – can fill. As a result, I more than likely will be sad and unsociable on Mother’s Day. I may even need to be by myself.

Whatever shape my grief takes on Mother’s Day, I don’t want people to lecture me about how I shouldn’t forget just how “lucky” I am to have a son who is alive. Losing a child changed everything for me. In other words, I am a different kind of mother because I am a different kind of normal. Therefore, the people who want to support me on difficult days like Mother’s Day need to understand that supporting me means accepting that I am a grieving mother who will always love and miss her deceased son, as well as will always love her living son and will always be immensely grateful that he is alive.

Kicking Trifling Derrières

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“Behold, I have given you authority to trample upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you..” ~ Luke 10:19, TLV

All believers will not automatically receive the Baptism of the Ruach HaKodesh (a.k.a., the Holy Spirit). As a result, there are too many  believers in Yeshua who are living without their portions of the Lord’s Dunamis (Power) and Exousia (Authority) – they are living without having any of the Kingdom power and Kingdom authority YeHoVaH reserved for them so that they would be able to perform the kinds of miraculous and spiritual works their portions of the Lord’s Dunamis and Exousia would help them do. For this reason, believers in Yeshua need to know and understand that without the Filling of the Ruach HaKodesh (the Baptism of the Holy Spirit), they never will be able to defeat the works of Satan, the works of his minions, or the works of their own fleshly and soulish desires.  

For us to have enough Kingdom power and Kingdom authority to kick Satan and his minions’ trifling derrières, or to heal the sick and to raise the dead, we first must be filled with the Ruach HaKodesh. His Filling is the only way we can be empowered and endowed to do the kind of works Yeshua did. Furthermore, if the Ruach HaKodesh is not transforming us (progressively changing us) into the likeness of Yeshua via the Ruach HaKodesh’s Sanctification Process, we won’t be ready to receive any Kingdom power or Kingdom authority and, thus, won’t be able to function as empowered and endowed believers in Yeshua.

Even though we claim Yeshua as our personal Savior, if we do not have the Ruach HaKodesh’s Filling we either will backslide again and again or we will remain as spiritually immature babes in Yeshua who are on milk instead of on the Word’s meat. Moreover, without the Filling of the Ruach HaKodesh, we also could experience the big FALL – the prophesied end times’ falling away from the Faith (apostasy). This fall also would cause us to blaspheme the Ruach HaKodesh.

We must be filled and refilled with the Ruach HaKodesh so that we can receive the Kingdom power and Kingdom authority that will keep us safe from accepting false teaching and/or developing disbelief, which could cause us to fall away from the Faith. YeHoVaH wants to provide our escape. He wants to give us the same Kingdom power and Kingdom authority that is in Yeshua. This Kingdom power and Kingdom authority are needed so that we will be able to kick Satan and his demons’ trifling derrières. This Kingdom power and Kingdom authority also are needed so that we will be able to overcome the world and our flesh. Shalom.

Yeshua’s Death, Burial, and Resurrection Happened on YeHoVaH’s Moedim

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“These are the appointed feasts of YeHoVaH, holy convocations which you are to proclaim in their appointed season. During the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month in the evening, is YeHoVaH’s Passover. ~ Leviticus 23:4-5

“Observe the month of Aviv [Nisan] and keep the Passover to YeHoVaH your God, for in the month of Aviv YeHoVaH your God brought you out from Egypt by night. …For seven days you are to eat matzot with it, the bread of affliction—for you came out from the land of Egypt in haste. Do this so that all the days of your life you will remember the day when you came out from the land of Egypt. ~ Deuteronomy 16:1, 3

On the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Matzot [Unleavened Bread] to YeHoVaH. For seven days you are to eat matzah [unleavened bread]. On the first day you are to have a holy convocation and you should do no regular work. Instead you are to present an offering made by fire to YeHoVaH for seven days. On the seventh day is a holy convocation, when you are to do no regular work.” ~ Leviticus 23:6-8

YeHoVaH spoke to Moses saying: “Speak to Bnei-Yisrael [children of Israel] and tell them: When you have come into the land which I give to you, and reap its harvest, then you are to bring the omer of the firstfruits of your harvest to the kohen. He is to wave the omer before YeHoVaH, to be accepted for you. On the morrow after the Shabbat, the kohen is to wave it.  ~ Leviticus 23:9-11

Get rid of the old hametz [leavened food], so you may be a new batch, just as you are unleavened—for Messiah, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed. ~ 1 Corinthians 5:7

But now Messiah has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead also has come through a Man. For as in Adam all die, so also in Messiah will all be made alive. But each in its own order: Messiah the firstfruits; then, at His coming, those who belong to Messiah; ~ 1 Corinthians 15:20-23

According to Scripture, Yeshua died on Passover (14 Nisan) – not on the man-made, man-established Good Friday. Furthermore, Scripture says that YeHoVaH established 14 Nisan (Aviv) as the date on which the Hebrews would annually keep the Passover (see Deuteronomy 16:1 above).

This year, Passover, 14 Nisan, began at sunset on March 27. Now, it is important to mention here that a Jewish day starts at sunset and ends, 24 hours later, at the next sunset.

Concerning Yeshua’s Passover crucifixion, it is written:

Now it was the third hour when they nailed Him on the stake. And the inscription of the charge against Him was written above: “THE KING OF THE JEWS.” And with Him they execute two outlaws, one on His right and one on His left. ~ Mark 15:25-27

NOTE:  

According to Scripture, the Jewish third hour of daylight time is 9 AM.

Concerning Yeshua’s Passover death, it is written:

Now from the sixth hour, darkness fell upon all the land until the ninth hour. About the ninth hour Yeshua cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You abandoned Me?” – Matthew 27:45-46

NOTE:

According to Scripture, the Jewish sixth hour of daylight time is 12 Noon, and the Jewish ninth hour of daylight time is 3 PM.

In Scripture, YeHoVaH makes it known why the Jewish followers of Yeshua had to take Him down from the cross and put Him into a grave before the Feast of Unleavened Bread began at sunset on 15 Nisan – the start of a new 24-hour day. The reason they had to rush to get Yeshua in the grave is because the first day of the seven days YeHoVaH established for the Feast of Unleavened Bread was a High Sabbath (a festival Sabbath). A High Sabbath is different from the weekly seventh-day Sabbath because a High Sabbath can fall on any day of the week.

It is written:

It was the Day of Preparation, and the next day was a festival Shabbat. So that the bodies should not remain on the execution stake during Shabbat, the Judean leaders asked Pilate to have the legs broken and to have the bodies taken away. ~ John 19:31

Without a doubt, Yeshua fulfilled YeHoVaH’s Passover Feast because He was the prophesied human Passover Lamb. Yeshua was the only person who could satisfy the without spot or blemish PERFECT sacrificial lamb prerequisite.

Now, throughout the Bible, leaven is used to symbolize sin. Since Yeshua never sinned during His entire life, this truth is why He also fulfilled the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Yeshua was unleavened, meaning He was without sin, just like the matzah bread YeHoVaH commanded the Jewish people to eat for the seven days of Unleavened Bread.

It is written:

Get rid of the old hametz [food with leaven in it], so you may be a new batch, just as you are unleavened— ~ 1 Corinthians 5:7a

On the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Matzot [Unleavened Bread] to YEHOVAH. For seven days you are to eat matzah [unleavened bread]. ~ Leviticus 23:6

Lastly, nothing associated with Easter Sunday makes it the day Yeshua was resurrected because His resurrection fulfilled First Fruits. Yeshua’s resurrection on First Fruits fulfilled this feast day because His risen body represents the “firstfruits” of the souls who will be raised from the dead.

On the holy convocation day of First Fruits, Jewish family members took a sheaf, the firstfruits of their Barley Harvest, to the Temple for the priest to wave it – to offer it up to YeHoVaH – so that He would accept the offering and then bless the rest of their harvest. It was on His First Fruits’ resurrection day that Yeshua ascended into Heaven with those who were raised from their graves, AFTER Yeshua had risen, and presented them and Himself to YeHoVaH for His acceptance so that He would bless the future Barley harvests of saved souls.

It is written:

And the tombs were opened, and many bodies of the kedoshim [saints, holy ones] who were sleeping were raised to life. And coming forth out of the tombs after His [Yeshua’s] resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many. ~ Matthew 27:52-53

Yeshua says to her [Mary Magdalene, a.k.a., Miriam], “Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet gone up to the Father. Go to My brothers and tell them, ‘I am going up to My Father and your Father, to My God and your God.’” ~ John 20:17

Now, the deceased saints could not rise before Yeshua rose because Yeshua had to be the firstfruits so that we who are His can also be resurrected from the dead.

It is written:

But now Messiah has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead also has come through a Man. For as in Adam all die, so also in Messiah will all be made alive. But each in its own order: Messiah the firstfruits; then, at His coming, those who belong to Messiah; ~ 1 Corinthians 15:20-23

Since Yeshua specifically had to be the firstfruits of those who died in Him, this truth is why He had to be resurrected on to fulfill the First Fruits feast day. He not only had to rise from the grave on the third day following His burial but also Yeshua had to ascend into Heaven to present Himself to YeHoVaH as the firstfruits of the Barley Harvest of saved souls that He needed YeHoVaH to bless so that none would be lost.

As a final point, I say unequivocally that the uncomfortable truth is Yeshua wasn’t Good Friday’s Passover Lamb because Passover, during the week Yeshua died, was on the fourth day of the week, which in the western world is Wednesday. Yeshua also wasn’t Easter Sunday’s Firstfruits because First Fruits, during the week Yeshua was crucified, was on the first day of the week that was three 24-hour days after He was buried on the first day of Unleavened Bread. In the western world, the first day of Unleavened Bread during the week Yeshua died was on Thursday.

The bottom line is that Yeshua fulfilled Passover (as the Passover Lamb), Unleavened Bread (as the blameless, spotless, sinless Sacrifice), and First Fruits (as the resurrected Firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep). Since it is undeniable that Yeshua’s Death, Burial, and Resurrection coincided precisely  with YeHoVaH’s first three spring Moedim, which foreshadowed YeHoVaH’s plan of redemption and restoration that is still unfolding, I wonder what Christians will say when the LORD asks them why they continued to celebrate EASTER after they learned the truth about this pagan festival. I also wonder what these same Christians will say when the LORD questions them about changing HIS HOLY SEVENTH DAY SABBATH to the world’s Sunday (the first day of the week), especially since these Christians will have read or heard that Sunday was the day the pagan Sun-God worshippers worshipped their idol gods.

My prayer is for the millions, if not billions, of people who claim to love YeHoVaH and Yeshua but continue to celebrate the traditions of men – Palm Sunday, Good Friday, Easter, etcetera – instead of the Appointed Times of YeHoVaH to turn from their wicked ways. If this is Your Will, YeHoVaH, please make it happen soon. In Yeshua’s Name, I pray. Amen.

Softening with Time

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But the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will help you remember everything that I have told you. – John 14:26, AMP

Your betrayal nearly hardened my heart
Calcified instead fond episodic memories –
Consciously collected personal events
Stored in temporal lobe.

Imagining possible future experiences 
Not achievable since episodic memories’
Self-knowing awareness is inaccessible, 
Incapable of roaming at will.

Needing to believe my dreamlike ghostly 
Existence isn’t endless just a juxtaposition –
Tragedy and comedy placed side by side to
Accentuate both my sadness and foolishness –
I seek the answers to these mysterious and 
Unexplainable human psyche extremes that
Pull and stretch my mind’s corridors of time.

Hoping to sidestep eternal unawareness,
I pray for a softening with time my mind’s 
Repressive future until it allows petrified
Explicit memories to melt.

Let me consciously recall every pleasant 
Highly emotional date, place, experience 
Containing sentimental value so that my
Hope for a future is restored. 

-	composed March 18, 2021  

It’s My 70th Birthday

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Today is my birthday – my 70th birthday. Even though the Bible doesn’t give specific customs that relate to the celebration of anyone’s 70th birthday,  the Jewish sages not only thought 70 was a special number but also thought that it was definitely appropriate for a person celebrating a 70th birthday to mark the occasion by expressing gratitude for having lived what the Rabbis considered to be “a full life.”

For sure, biblically speaking, 70 is a special number that appears over and over again in Scripture. Therefore, 70 is a number of significant importance, especially since 70 represents completeness – the completeness of the nations of the world, the founding members of the Children of Israel, and the components of the authoritative judicial body of Israel. These and other biblical 70 years, according to the Jewish sages, are also why a person who has reached the age of 70 has achieved a “fullness of years.”

“For thus says the Lord: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place.” – Jeremiah 29:10, TLV

“Seventy weeks are decreed concerning your people and your holy city,
to put an end to transgression
to bring sin to an end,
to atone for iniquity,
to bring in everlasting righteousness,
to seal up vision and prophecy,
and to anoint the Holy of Holies.” – Daniel 9:24, TLV

In the Torah (Old Testament), the number 70 is often connected with YeHoVaH’s creation of the nations of the world, according to the number of Israel. After the Flood, the world was repopulated through 70 descendants of Noah (Genesis 10). Seventy (70) souls of Jacob’s family went down to Egypt (Genesis 46:27). Seventy (70) elders were appointed to help Moses administer Israel in the wilderness (Numbers 11:16); the people of Judah spent 70 years of exile in Babylon (Jeremiah 25:11 and 29:10). Seventy (70) weeks, 70 units of seven for a total of 490 years, were decreed by YeHoVaH as the period in which Messianic redemption was to be accomplished (Daniel 9:24). In the New Testament, Yeshua sent out the Seventy (Luke 10:1, in some manuscripts the number is 72); Yeshua commanded forgiveness ‘until seventy times seven’ (Matthew 18:22).  

Once again, even though the Bible doesn’t give specific customs that relate to the celebration of anyone’s 70th birthday,  the Jewish sages not only thought 70 was a special number but also thought that it was definitely appropriate for a person celebrating a 70th birthday to mark the occasion by expressing gratitude for having lived what the Rabbis considered to be “a full life.” Today is my birthday – my 70th birthday.

Thank You, YeHoVaH, for letting me live to see my 70th birthday. Happy Birthday, to me!

We Will Recognize and Reunite with Deceased Loved Ones in Heaven

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Now we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who are asleep, so that you may not grieve like the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Yeshua died and rose again, so with Him [YeHoVaH] will also bring those who have fallen asleep in Yeshua. For this we tell you, by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord shall in no way precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself shall come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the blast of [YeHoVaH’s] shofar, and the dead in Messiah shall rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left behind, will be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air—and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words. – 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, TLV

There have been many times that I have been asked the following question: Do you believe we will be able to recognize our deceased loved ones when we see them in Heaven? My unequivocal answer is “yes.”

I believe everyone Yeshua saved will not only spiritually see and recognize their loved ones in Heaven but also will spiritually reunite with them. In 1 John 3:2, the apostle John says, “Loved ones, now we are YeHoVaH’s children; and it has not yet been revealed what we will be. But we do know that when it’s revealed, we shall be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.”

The above-quoted 1 John verse should make today’s believers in Yeshua ask, “How are we who have never seen Yeshua in His physical form going to recognize Him in Heaven when He will be in His Spirit being form?” I believe the apostle John’s verse is true because I believe everyone who is Yeshua’s spiritual Bride will definitely see and recognize Yeshua with his or her born-again spirit in his or her glorified body as soon as He gathers His Bride together (reunites everyone) in the air and then takes everyone with Him into the Third Heaven.   

In the Old Testament, we read that King David was comforted by what he believed, which was that he would see his deceased infant son again. David says, “It is I who will be going to him, but he will never return to me” (2 Samuel 12:23b). David also writes, “Precious in the sight of [YeHoVaH] is the death of His kedoshim” (Psalm 116:14). The Hebrew word “kedoshim” means holy ones.

In the New Testament, Peter, Jacob (a.k.a., James), and John, who were with Yeshua on the Mount of Transfiguration when Yeshua was transfigured and His heavenly Shekinah Glory shone through Him and through His clothes, recognized Moses and Elijah when they appeared. Now, none of Yeshua’s disciples had ever seen Moses or Elijah, yet the Scripture says, “And as they were leaving Yeshua, Peter said to Him, ‘Master, it’s good for us to be here. Let’s make three sukkot: one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah”—not knowing what he was saying” (Luke 9:33; see also Matthew 17:3-4).

At His Last Supper, after Yeshua had blessed and offered up to YeHoVaH a cup of wine, the Lord says the following to His disciples:  “Take this and share it among yourselves. For I tell you that I will never drink of the fruit of the vine from now on, until the kingdom of [YeHoVaH] comes” (Luke 22:17-18).

All the verses I have quoted above are why I believe our born-again spirits will not only see and recognize our deceased loved ones when we are all in YeHoVaH’s Heaven but also our born-again spirits will reunite with them there. We will see, recognize, and reunite with our earthly families and loved ones, as well as with the people of YeHoVaH from all the ages  – those we had seen before, and those we had never seen; those who had died a physical death, and those who had never died. Shalom!

Epiphany on Three Kings’ Day

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For this reason I, Paul, am a prisoner of Messiah Yeshua for the sake of you Gentiles. Surely you have heard about the plan of [YeHoVaH’s] grace given to me for you— that the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I wrote before briefly. When you read this, you can understand my insight into the mystery of Messiah— which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations, as it has now been revealed by the Ruach to His holy emissaries and prophets. This mystery is that the Gentiles are joint heirs and fellow members of the same body and co-sharers of the promise in Messiah Yeshua through the Good News. – Ephesians 3:1-6, TLV

YeHoVaH certainly moves in mysterious ways. Case in point, on Epiphany – a man-made holiday on which many Christians celebrate Yeshua’s physical manifestation to Gentiles (the Magi) – YeHoVaH allowed just a few of America’s many Trump enablers to experience a personal epiphany about how mentally unfit the leader of the free world is.

It took the failed insurrection on January 6, 2021, which Trump incited, before some United States senators, representatives, and the Vice President (Magi, of sorts) had a sudden and striking realization that theirs and Trump’s lies, conspiracy theories, and hateful rhetoric had motivated a pro-Trump mob – thugs, rioters – to breach Capitol security. After the smoke had settled, five Americans were dead. Their blood is on the hands of the following Republican Senators: Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, Cindy Hyde-Smith, Cynthia Lummis, Rick Scott (Florida), Roger Marshall, and Tommy Tuberville. These disgraceful seven Republican senators, and over a hundred dishonorable Republican representatives, carried through with objecting to the electors AFTER witnessing firsthand the pro-Trump mob’s anarchy.

The second day in America that will live in infamy – January 6, 2021 – also is a day that exposed just how fake many American Christians are, especially the ones who support Trump. Indeed, Muslim nations not only are laughing at our democratic process but also are laughing at the mayhem American Christians created.

Christian Nationalists

There is nothing Yeshua-like in a President who cannot accept defeat and who still is unwilling to officially concede the 2020 election. There is nothing Yeshua-like in a President who spent months stoking the anger of his supporters with lies about the Democrats stealing the 2020 election. There is nothing Yeshua-like in confessed believers storming, rioting, vandalizing, and looting the Capitol Building. There is nothing Yeshua-like in elected Christian congressional officials who not only refuse to ask the President to repent, after making so many false claims, but also reiterate the same false claims, while they, too, refuse to repent.

The epiphany so many Christian Americans – politicians, religious leaders, police, churchgoers, and so forth – should have experienced, either on January 6th or the day after, is that President Trump is not mentally sound. Without a doubt, YeHoVaH also has shown Americans how rotten our government and our Christianity are – rottenness that is in President Trump and runs throughout the United States Congress, law enforcement agencies, and Christian churches. A word to the wise should be sufficient.

Man-Made Holidays Aren’t YeHoVaH’s Moedim

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And He said to them, “Rightly did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites, as it is written,

‘This people honors Me with their lips
but their heart is far from Me.
And in vain they worship Me,
teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’

Having left behind the commandment of [YeHoVaH], you hold on to the tradition of men.” – Mark 7:6-8, TLV; the bracketed word is my emphasis

See that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men and the basic principles of the world rather than Messiah. – Colossians 2:8, TLV

As it was in biblical times so has it been in our Common Era. In fact, it would seem that religious leaders have always had a propensity for either inappropriately adding their man-made traditions to the Law of YeHoVaH or completely replacing His Commandments with their own. Moreover, each time they added their own traditions or replaced YeHoVaH’s Commandments, those new man-made customs and replacements made YeHoVaH’s Law of no effect. Now, it should be noted that the word traditions, as used in this blog entry, means that which has been handed down or passed on to others – whether by word of mouth or in writing.

The above-mentioned truth about added traditions of men making YeHoVaH’s Law of no effect have is why Yeshua knew full well that, if He disregarded the seemingly harmless traditions of the religious leaders in His day, His behavior would stir the Pharisees’ righteous indignation. Furthermore, Yeshua not only violated the man-made traditions of the experts in the Law but also taught that these religious leaders’ traditions were dangerous.

Today, believers in Yeshua can see the massive damage that man-made traditions have done to so-called Christians. Because of the often referred to as harmless man-made holidays – many of which have either added to or completely replaced YeHoVaH’s Moedim and other Holy Days (Passover, Feast of Unleavened Bread, Day of First Fruits, Feast of Pentecost,  Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, Feast of Tabernacles, and the regular Sabbath) – and because of the additions of church programs (orders of worship), gimmicks, man-made holidays, and hierarchies that often are referred to as harmless customs, Christians have essentially developed a lack of personal holiness, an infrequent faith-walk, and a socially acceptable complacency, as well as have effectively blocked most of YeHoVaH’s intended way of life He has wanted His Children to live on earth.

Since this is the Christmas season, showing a sharp contrast between the Law of YeHoVaH and religious leaders’ traditions of men is necessary. Yeshua, Himself, declared that the Jewish religious leaders had “…left behind the commandment of [YeHoVaH]…” (Mark 7:8), had “..set aside the commands of [YeHoVaH], in order that [they] may validate [their] own tradition” (Mark 7:9), and were “making void the word of [YeHoVaH] with [their] tradition that [they’ve] handed down…” (Mark 7:13) by not keeping what “…Moses said…” (Mark 7:10).

Without a doubt, most modern-day Christian religious leaders have continued many of the old traditions of men started by the Roman Catholic Church. Most of those old traditions of men had completely replaced the Moedim (appointed times or holy days) of YeHoVaH with new religious seasons, sacred days, and holidays – like keeping Sunday holy instead of the Sabbath and celebrating Advent, Christmas, Epiphany (Feast of Three Kings), Shrove Tuesday, Ash Wednesday, Lent, Good Friday, and Easter.

For centuries, men have been adding their oral traditions to the written Word of YeHoVaH. Beginning with the written Torah, as dictated by YeHoVaH to Moses who wrote it down and then shared YeHoVaH’s Law with the Israelites, this written Torah was significantly expanded with the oral Torah, which includes The Mishnah, the Talmud, the Tosefta, the Kabbala, and so on and so forth. Each one of these oral traditions became additions to the original written Law of YeHoVaH. They were humans’ interpretations – what men thought YeHoVaH intended to express in Scripture. My point here is that the Roman Bishops and other religious leaders in the early Roman Catholic Church were not the only ones who added to the Word of YeHoVaH.

The problem is that YeHoVaH has warned His Jewish people and, by extension, all of His Children who are saved through Yeshua, about altering His Word. He advised them, and us, about not adding to or subtracting from what He gave to them – and to us via surviving manuscripts. In spite of His clear biblical warning, adding to and subtracting from His Word is exactly what has happened.

At Yeshua’s First Coming, the traditions of men had become the Letter of the Law – completely taking over the Spirit of the Law. As a result, Yeshua repeatedly called the Pharisees hypocrites. Since then, many non-Jewish religious leaders have moved the masses of so-called Christians so far away from, for example, YeHoVaH’s Law, including His established eternal Moedim, by completely replacing them with many seemingly harmless oral traditions. As previously mentioned, the result has been that Christians have essentially developed a lack of personal holiness, an infrequent faith-walk, and a socially acceptable complacency, as well as have effectively blocked most of YeHoVaH’s intended way of life He has wanted His Children to live on earth.

It should be clear that no man-made tradition is better than YeHoVaH’s Law. Even so, the sad truth is that many Christians who keep breaking His Law by adding to or subtracting from YeHoVaH’s Word will hear Yeshua tell them to depart from Him because He knows them not. When Yeshua returns again for His Second Coming and finds left behind Christians continuing, for example, to keep Sunday holy instead of the Sabbath and/or continuing to celebrate Advent, Christmas, Epiphany (Feast of Three Kings), Shrove Tuesday, Ash Wednesday, Lent, Good Friday, and Easter instead of observing YeHoVaH’s commanded Passover, Feast of Unleavened Bread, Day of First Fruits, Feast of Pentecost,  Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, Feast of Tabernacles, and the regular Sabbath, Yeshua won’t just call these surviving or resurrected Christians hypocrites. He will cast them into the Lake of Fire.

A word to the wise should be sufficient. Shalom!

The Fruit of the Ruach (Spirit) Is His Work – Not Ours

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11 Then [YeHoVaH] said, “Let the land sprout grass, green plants yielding seed, fruit trees making fruit, each according to its species with seed in it, upon the land.” And it happened so. 12 The land brought forth grass, green plants yielding seed, each according to its species, and trees making fruit with the seed in it, each according to its species. And [YeHoVaH]  saw that it was good. – Genesis 1:11-12, TLV; the bracketed words are my emphasis

to console those who mourn in Zion,
to give them beauty for ashes,
    the oil of joy for mourning,
    the garment of praise
        for the spirit of heaviness,
    that they might be called oaks of righteousness,
    the planting of [YeHoVaH],
    that He may be glorified. – Isaiah 61:3, TLV; the bracketed word is my emphasis

 And He told them many things in parables, saying, “Behold, a sower went out to spread some seed. As he was scattering the seed, some seeds fell by the road; and the birds came and ate them up. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they didn’t have much soil. They sprang up immediately, because the soil wasn’t deep. But when the sun came up, they were scorched; and because they had no roots, they withered away. Other seeds fell among the thorns, and the thorns grew and choked them out. But others fell on good soil and were producing fruit. They yielded a crop—some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear.”

23 “Now the one sown on the good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands. He indeed bears fruit, yielding a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty times what was sown.” – Matthew 13:3-9 and 23, TLV

22 But the fruit of the Ruach is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control—against such things there is no law. – Galatians 5:22-23, TLV

The gifts of the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit), which are given to born again, saved, justified, Spirit-filled, and being sanctified Yeshua believers, empower them for service – they (the spiritual gifts) give Yeshua’s believers spiritual Power that enables them to do ministry work. Without a doubt, YeHoVaH makes it clear in Genesis chapter one that the service Yeshua’s believers are called to do is symbolized by YeHoVaH’s planted, cultivated, and harvested seed that makes fruit according to its species. For sure, some of the ministry works Yeshua’s believers are called to do are as follows:  function as evangelists, participate in missionary activities, minister to the needy, teach Bible classes, and so forth.   

Again, in Genesis chapter one, YeHoVaH says that every fruit tree makes “fruit, each according to its species with seed in it,” and Yeshua says that a tree is known by its fruit – either good or bad (see Luke 6:43-45). What the Father and the Son say about fruit-bearing trees are why it important for Yeshua’s believers to understand that it is the Work of the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) that empowers them with spiritual gifts that make it possible for them to function as evangelists, participate in missionary activities, minister to the needy, teach Bible classes, and so on. Furthermore, it is the Work of the Ruach HaKodesh that yields the following fruit in Yeshua’s believers: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Recently, some Christians commented on my Facebook posting about evangelism being the central work of Yeshua’s believers that evangelism isn’t the chief work believers are called to do. These Christians either claimed that love or worship is the principal work of Yeshua’s believers. I responded by telling them that neither godly Love nor godly Worship is WORK. I added that godly Love is a FRUIT of the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirt), and I declared that this kind of Love originally/initially comes from a SEED humans did not plant, did not cultivate, and did not harvest.  

The Divine Truth, where each Yeshua believer is concerned, is that it is Yeshua who Plants a SEED in “good soil” (every born again and saved spirit that hears the sown Word and understands It). After Yeshua plants the SEED, it is Yeshua’s Ruach HaKodesh who cultivates that SEED until it matures – grows into a tree of righteousness, which spiritually means that each Yeshua believer is spiritually being transformed into the image of Yeshua who is symbolized as the Vine or the Tree from which spiritually mature/healthy branches (believers) not only sprout but also bear much fruit (see John 15:1-3).

Once there is fruit on a tree of righteousness, it is the Lord’s Ruach HaKodesh who harvests that fruit from each branch – gathers the fruit which has a seed within it. Spiritually speaking, Yeshua’s fruit-bearing believers won’t initially be gathered until the time of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture. Nevertheless, the spiritual point here is that the fruit of the Ruach HaKodesh is every Yeshua believer’s transformed spirit, and the harvest is that of saved, justified, Spirit-filled,  and sanctified living souls – both the living souls who are dead and alive in Yeshua. Put differently, Yeshua’s believers on earth who bear much fruit only do so because of the Ruach HaKodesh’s progressive Work that is happening in their spirits (good soils). This ongoing sanctification Work of the Ruach HaKodesh results in the spirits (good soils) of Yeshua’s believers yielding, again and again, much fruit, such as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. They continue to bear fruit until they have been transformed into Yeshua and become overcomers who are ready to receive their glorified bodies.

Secondly, where the kind of godly Worship YeHoVaH expects is concerned, this kind of worship is done in Spirit and in Truth (see John 4:24). Without a doubt, the Spirit part of godly Worship refers to the Work of the Ruach HaKodesh. He stirs within good soils the holy desire to celebrate YeHoVaH, as well as the holy desires to rejoice in YeHoVaH and to give thanks to YeHoVaH. This worship of YeHoVaH in Spirit happens after the Ruach HaKodesh awakens in the spirits of Yeshua’s believers a spiritual awareness of YeHoVaH’s Glory, Beauty, and Power. Moreover, this worship of YeHoVaH in Spirit also happens after the Ruach HaKodesh opens the spiritual eyes of understanding within Yeshua’s believers and then empowers their spirits so that they are able to show YeHoVaH how much they comprehend and appreciate everything – all the Godhead’s treasures – YeHoVaH has made available to them through His Son, Yeshua. Again, the spirits of Yeshua’s believers only pertains to the born again, saved, justified, Spirit-filled, and being sanctified spirits that hear the sown Word and understand It.

Now, as far as the Truth part of godly Worship is concerned, this part also refers to the Work of the Ruach HaKodesh because He is the only One who knows all of YeHoVaH’s Truths, as well as knows ALL truths. Only the Ruach HaKodesh can teach, explain, inform, and reveal YeHoVaH’s Scriptural Truths, and only the Ruach HaKodesh can teach, explain, inform, and reveal YeHoVaH’s Scriptural Truths to Yeshua’s born again, saved, justified, Spirit-filled, and being sanctified (transformed) believers’ spirits. Since human interpretations and opinions do not create the atmosphere in which YeHoVaH-exalting worship takes place, this Divine Truth is why the said believers’ godly worship in Truth not only must be informed and conformed by the Ruach HaKodesh’s Knowledge, Wisdom, and Understanding of YeHoVaH’s Scriptural Truths but also must be founded, embedded, and focused on the Ruach HaKodesh’s Scriptural Revelations of the Truths about YeHoVaH and Yeshua. In other words, the spirits of Yeshua’s believers who are worshipping YeHoVaH in Truth can not do so if their worship is based on the traditions of men or on erroneous human interpretations or opinions about YeHoVaH’s Scriptural Truths.

So again, godly Love and godly Worship are the Works of the Ruach HaKodesh – not our works. Furthermore, the uncomfortable Divine Truth is that we do the work of an evangelist, and all the other ministerial services we are called to do, because we love YeHoVaH and Yeshua enough to want to obey their Commands, as well as love YeHoVaH enough to desire to Worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth. However, we must realize that we only can do the work of an evangelist; love YeHoVaH, Yeshua, and our fellow human beings; or worship YeHoVaH in Spirit and in Truth when the Ruach HaKodesh’s Work makes it possible for us to have the spiritual power, will, fruit, and gifts to do so. Shalom . . . .  

Presidential Election Results in 2020

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YeHoVaH has broken the rod of the wicked,
the scepter of the rulers,
  which struck the people in wrath
    with continual strokes,
which ruled the nations in fury,
    with relentless persecution. – Isaiah 14:5-6

On November 5, 2020, a Republican shared an image that had the same wording as the wording in the image I posted with this blog entry. There can be no doubt that these words were meant to insult the Democrats’ character – and specifically the character of the presidential candidate, Joe Biden.

Not liking this posting’s wording, I posted the following comment, with a few adjustments for this blog entry, on the said Republican’s shared posting:


Nebuchadnezzar is already in office and has been there since he was elected in 2016. Furthermore, many Democrats (that includes me) and Independents have been living in exile in Babylon and behaving just like Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. More importantly, we have behaved more like Yeshua and the persecuted early, mostly Jewish believers than the majority of the people who elected America’s Nebuchadnezzar in 2016.  

For this blog entry, I have added the following:

Praise YeHoVaH! We are free at last and looking forward to our Promised Land returning to some resemblance of normal.

Congratulations to President-elect Joe Biden and to Vice President-elect Kamala Harris! Shalom . . .

Trustworthy and Insightful Managers

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…Great gifts mean great responsibilities; greater gifts, greater responsibilities! – Luke 12:48b, MSG

Yeshua’s watchfulness and readiness parable (see Luke 12:35-40) is the context in which He speaks the above verse to His close Disciples. In that parable, Yeshua explains how important it is to be alert and prepared for His return.

After Peter asks Yeshua if He is speaking just to His Disciples or to everyone, Yeshua Hamashiach uses another parable. In His second parable, He defines a watchful and ready person as a “faithful and wise manager” (Luke 12:42) who has been given the responsibility of using the gifts/resources he or she has to further YeHoVaH’s heavenly Kingdom and proclaim His Glory on earth by, for example, giving food and other needed essentials to the disadvantaged and doing so at “the proper time” (Luke 12:43).  

There can be no doubt that Yeshua is saying everyone – whether saved or unsaved – has been given gifts/resources. He adds that some people are given great ones and others are given greater ones. Moreover, He makes it clear that regardless of what gifts/resources each person has and regardless of how many or how much of them each person has, the bottom line is that everybody’s faithfulness to YeHoVaH and Yeshua requires that he or she behaves like a  trustworthy and insightful manager who uses responsibly – wisely and unselfishly – the gifts/resources entrusted to him or her.

Contrary to popular opinions, no one is supposed to use whatever YeHoVaH has entrusted to him or her to make his or her own individual life comfortable, secure, wealthy, famous, and etc. In other words, no human being can afford to take his or her responsibility lightly. If he or she does, Yeshua says that when He returns that person will suffer severely for his or her unfaithfulness (that person“…will be harshly whipped” – Luke 12:47, TLV). In contrast, the individual Yeshua finds faithfully and unselfishly doing what he or she is expected to do with the gifts/resources he or she had will receive a great reward, as well as will be put in charge of everything Yeshua owns (which is everything YeHoVaH owns).  

Responsible stewardship should be everyone’s goal – especially everyone who is a Yeshua believer and follower. In the end, each Yeshua believer and follower who is found to be a faithful steward will receive a greater reward in Heaven than anything he or she ever could have had on earth.

Selah . . . .

Aunt Eleanor Wade Goins . . . In Loving Memory

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But the fruit of the Ruach is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control—against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Messiah have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

If we live by the Ruach, let us also walk by the Ruach. Let us not become conceited—provoking one another, envying one another. – Galatians 5:22-26, TLV

It has been years since I last saw Aunt Eleanor, which was on January 20, 2007. She was back in Wilkes-Barre on that day to say her final goodbyes to a sister who helped raise her – my Mom, Lucille Wade-Drayton.

The last thing I heard my Mom say about Aunt Eleanor was how powerfully she prayed for Mom. This prayer happened some weeks before Mom died peacefully in Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center. So, what stands out the most when I think about my Aunt Eleanor, is that she was an evangelist, a pulpit preacher, and a prayer warrior.

She also was very sweet and soft-spoken, and these two things I realized about her when I saw her on January 13, 2007.  While I was sitting in Mount Zion Church’s multipurpose room – where the family had gathered before my Mom’s homegoing service started – Aunt Eleanor came close to me, commented on how much I looked like my Mom, told me she had heard some great things about me during her frequent talks with my Mom, told me how sorry she was about my loss, and gave me a big hug and a sweet kiss on my right cheek.

Most of what I know about my Aunt Eleanor I learned from my Mom because my aunt lived in Chicago while I was growing up in Wilkes-Barre, so I rarely saw her. Nevertheless, I do have some things that I liked the most about her because they are things we have in common.

The first thing I like about Aunt Eleanor is how deeply she loved YeHoVaH. As I already mentioned, she was a preacher and an evangelist; however, what I recently learned is that she preached the Gospel of Yeshua every 4th Sunday, and she evangelized on the streets wherever she went, up until the end of her life. That information inspired me, as I am a preacher and evangelist, too.

Like me, Aunt Eleanor also experienced the loss of a child. She lost her son, Franky, in 2013, and I lost my son, Ade, in 2017. But what is most important is that none of her losses kept her from doing what YeHoVaH called her to do. It is my prayer that someone one day will say the same thing about me.

“Godly Woman” is the poem that I have dedicated to my Aunt Eleanor who was a godly woman. I finished writing this poem just a few minutes before I posted it here. This poem is my tribute to an aunt I rarely saw or spoke to, yet I know more about her than I know about my aunts I did see and did talk with more.  The poem I wrote is as follows:

            Godly Woman
 
 
Some people you can know for years,
Yet not know the real them;
Other people you can know of but never
Spend much time with them,
Yet know their spirits and their souls.
 
Aunt Eleanor is an old soul who displayed
Wisdom and special talents in her youth;
Her sage-like qualities put her in a world
Of her own – peerless vision mom noticed
About her when she was just a teenager,
Exhibiting a special talent – an empathetic
Flair to connect with people – spirituality
Too hard to ignore, as was her giving gift.
 
She consoled others even when she hurt,
She lifted her head and walked in turmoil;
She spoke constant words of wisdom – not
Malice, or envy, or gossip, or resentment;
She rejoiced in YeHoVaH with a grateful
Spirit and joyful one that inspired women
Like me – her niece – who saw in my aunt
Strength to carry others’ burdens, courage
To take the fall for someone else’s misdeeds,
Love to pray powerfully and compassionately
For others with heavy-laden heart, gentleness
To admire other women and compliment them
Genuinely, humility to admit she was wrong or
Admit she needs help, peace to help her endure
Evil words and actions from haters, kindness
To be friendly and considerate to everyone,
Faithfulness to be generous enough to bless
Others with the things she needs, patience
To wait on YeHoVaH’s Promises, joyfulness
To praise and worship YeHoVaH in times of
Trouble and comfort, and self-control to love
Her enemies and her neighbors as she loved
Herself – and to serve others.
 
Aunt Eleanor’s life typifies that godliness that’s in
People who are so full of The Spirit’s Fruit, Power,
Authority they’re  able to spiritually and faithfully
Walk on water, raise the dead, and feed thousands.
 
-      Composed September 1, 2020

Rest In Peace, Aunt Eleanor!

Lastly, the funeral services for my aunt, Eleanor Wade Goins, will be next Friday, September 11th, at Taylor Funeral Home located at 63 E. 79th Street in Chicago, IL 60619. The wake is at 11am, and the homegoing service is at 12 noon.

No Mud . . . No Lotus!

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After you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace—who has called you into His eternal glory in Messiah—will Himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you. – 1 Peter 5:10, TLV




If he didn’t want you,
Forgive his green-eyed stares
Watching you from a
Distance now as your blossoming
Lotus petals open in
Spite of the mud he thought
He smothered you in –
Pain so deep and dark washed
Off by murky dirty water
That ironically re-created you unsoiled.
 
He’s threatened by the
Beauty that broke through the
Heartache his rejection
Prompted – an ill-fated decision
Resulting from his lust
Of flesh and eyes that failed to
Discern the grass is only
Greener wherever it is watered –
So, he left instead of
Working on turning green the meadow
He now covets, after
Devaluing and dismissing your potential.    

Jealousy, a soul-devouring
Sickness, lays dormant until he sees
How you emerged spotless
On the outside and strong on the inside
While outwardly he fakes
Feelings meant for you and inwardly pines,
So afraid to use the remedy
He once used – surrendered pride and joy
For pride and joy he thought
Looked better on the other side of the fence.

He refuses to grab hold of
Hard to express feelings that are eating a
Hole in his sad soul and in
His ever-bleeding heart that knows you’re
His true love and she is
His first aid quick fix that never helped him
Heal self-inflicted wound –
Hastily divorcing then remarrying because
He promised her, yet forgot
He promised you first ‘til death do we part.
 
If he didn’t see you as
Soulmate then, just forgive his
Blindness and egotism
That make him want the new you
Who remarkably grew
Through his mud toward the light,
Warmth, and splendor
In the grass he was searching for  
When he settled for an
Imitation – a forlorn decision that 
Foreclosed any possibility
He’d realize your anchored strength
And flexibility often look
Fragile on the surface but are why you
Rose through adversity and
Blossomed so strongly and stunningly.
 
 
 
-     composed August 17, 2020

Nadine’s Song

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Alongside Babylon’s rivers
    we sat on the banks; we cried and cried,
    remembering the good old days in Zion.
Alongside the quaking aspens
    we stacked our unplayed harps;
That’s where our captors demanded songs,
    sarcastic and mocking:
    “Sing us a happy Zion song!”  – Psalm 137:1-3, MSG


A keyless, noteless, lyricless
Chanson is known only by its
Annual wedding anniversaries –
Twenty-two sequential somber
Returns out of fifty minus one.
 
August thirteen’s forty-ninth
Return reopens invisible chronic
Wounds then heightens their pain
While displacing summer nuptials’
Joy – much like how a Blues style
Syncopation de-emphasizes strong
Beats and accentuates weak beats.
 
La-la stopped meaning ‘love you’
Three decades, three months after
Delfonics earned a place on Soul’s
International map with baby talk –
A young male’s frequent utterance.
 
Life has repositioned love’s dynamic
Downbeat – relocated to an upbeat
Spot known as the joke’s on me –
Where misery’s stereophonic sound
Drowns out all hope of loving anew.
 
Sorrow is the song my soul has
Sung each year for a score plus
Two years – after my divorce,
Which unleashed a whirlwind of
Emotions that mark my life as a
Sad survivor of a modern tragedy.
 
-      composed August 13, 2020

Yeshua Never Said EVERYTHING We Eat Is Clean

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And He said to them, “Are you then also lacking understanding? Don’t you grasp that whatever goes into the man cannot make him unholy? For it does not enter into the heart but into the stomach, and then goes out into the sewer, cleansing all foods.”

And He continued, “It is what comes out of the man that makes the man unholy. For from within, out of the heart of men, come evil intentions, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustfulness, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. All these evil things come from within and make the man unholy.” – Mark 7:18-23, TLV

Just because in some English translations of Mark 7:19 there is the parenthetical statement  “(In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean),” that doesn’t mean that Yeshua actually said it. If Yeshua said everything we eat is clean, then He would have been contradicting YeHoVaH, His Father, who in Leviticus 11 specifically names certain animals, fowls, seafood, and every creature that creeps on the earth as unclean to eat for dietary purposes.

YeHoVaH’s dietary laws that pertain to the forbidden Unclean Meats are still in effect because the listed unclean meats affect our natural/physical health. However, neither YeHoVaH’s law concerning Unclean Meats nor any of the biblical kosher Food laws (i.e., Kashrut, which refers to the body of Jewish law that deals with the foods Hebrews can and cannot eat and how those foods must be prepared and eaten) has anything to do with YeHoVaH’s Children’s spiritual purification, and this divine truth is the point Yeshua makes in Mark 7:18-23.

Once again, Yeshua does not say EVERYTHING we eat is clean. More important, neither meat nor food laws are what was being questioned in Mark 7:1-23. The topic of discussion is ritual purity – the ritual purity that is based on the religious traditions of the oral law.

What Yeshua says concerns ritual purity. He declares that ritual purity (i.e., ceremonial washing) does not affect what goes into the body (does not affect what we eat). Yeshua makes it clear that NOTHING we eat, whether with clean hands or dirty hands, can make us holy or unholy because what we eat goes into our mouths, down our throats and esophagi, and then into our stomachs. While in our stomachs, the foods we ate are mixed and ground until the proteins, starches, and fats become amino acids, simple sugars, fatty acids, and glycerol.

Next, our liquidy or pasty broken-down foods enter our small intestines where the breaking-down process continues until our bodies are able to absorb the nutrients from our broken-down foods – absorb the nutrients that our bodies need. Our stomachs and small intestines’ digestive processes are our cleansing/purging processes because the wastes from our eaten foods are separated from our needed nutrients. The waste parts of our broken-down foods are what our bodies can’t use and, thus, don’t need. That is why the waste parts leave our bodies as feces.

Everybody’s individual digestive process, then, is why whatever enters each person from outside of him or her cannot defile him or her because everybody’s digestive process has no effect on each person’s heart/spirit or mind. Put differently, the point Yeshua makes is that ceremonial washing is not necessary for spiritual purity or sound spiritual health because unwashed hands do not defile anybody’s “heart”/spirit or mind. It each person’s stinking thinking that spiritually defiles his or her own “heart”/spirit or mind.

The bottom line is that since spiritual purification involves the heart/spirit, ceremonial washings are ineffective and unnecessary in preventing spiritual defilement. Shalom . . . .

When His Holy Spirit Leaves

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So because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I am about to spew you out of My mouth. For you say, ‘I am rich, I have made myself wealthy, and I need nothing.’ But you do not know that you are miserable and pitiable and poor and blind and naked. I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may be rich, and white clothes so that you may dress yourself and so the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed, and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. – Revelation 3:16-18, TLV

None of us who claims to be Yeshua’s Disciples will want YeHoVaH to cancel our right to be in His Presence. However, the truth of the matter is that there are far too many carnal Yeshuaians who want a relationship with Yeshua on their terms instead of on His terms. These carnal Yeshuaians are today’s Laodiceans – individuals who serve the Yeshua of their own making.

Yehovah says that He will spew these carnal Yeshuaians out of His Mouth. In other words, the Holy Spirit (the Presence of YeHoVaH) will leave them the second they miss the Rapture.

The Laodicean believers who end up being left on Earth while the true Bride of Overcomers is in Heaven need to know that the Holy Spirit left some of them because their unbelief caused them to leave YeHoVaH – they departed from the Truth and became apostates. The Holy Spirit left other Laodicean believers because they loved the world and the things of the world – had one foot in the world and one foot in the Kingdom of YeHoVaH.

Let the true Bride of Yeshua pray for everyone who does not know and has not accepted the Lord. Let the true Bride of Yeshua also pray that YeHoVaH will open the eyes of the Laodiceans’ understanding so that those believers who currently are fence straddlers might become Overcomers who prepare and watch for their Bridegroom. Shalom.

Keep it real … Live it out … Watch it work!

I Can’t Breathe

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but they allow the cares of this life and the seduction of wealth and the desires for other things to crowd out and choke the Word so that it produces nothing. – Mark 4:19, TPT

There will be such an increase of sin and lawlessness that those whose hearts once burned with passion for God and others will grow cold. – Matthew 24:12, TPT

I am suffocating
In America’s excruciating
Capital punishment
Racist environment
Knee on neck violent
Positional asphyxiation;
Modern-day abomination
Has policing technique trending
While black lives keep dwindling.
 
I can’t breathe
Pinned to ground
In lethal chokehold –
Publicly executed.
 
Excessive force
Used in untold cases
Where black lives
Not resisting arrest
Still lost their lives.
 
Can’t breathe black mothers,
Nay, all sisters and brothers
Are waiting to respire
Once injustices backfire,
Triggering an exorcism
Of systemic racism –
Domestic terrorism –
Topped off with a strangulation,
Ensuring black lives’ liberation.
 
 
-      composed June 16, 2020

Soul Food

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Calmly pause and think about the following food for your soul:

It is written:

18 This is where wisdom is needed; those who understand should count the number of the beast, for it is the number of a person, and its number is 666. ~ Revelation 13:18

The above verse is one reason we cannot substitute our western world’s English names for the days of the week for the numbers YeHoVaH gave to them. I explain what I mean here in the end note. 

Revelation 13:18 says the Mark of the Beast is the number of a man (a person) and that number is 666. Now many people have tried to decipher this verse by using their own interpretations when Scripture tells us that only the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) knows all truths and reveals YeHoVaH’s Truths that are in His Word. The biblical truth, then, is that YeHoVaH gave us the answer to Revelation 13:18 in the Old Testament.

It is written:

26 Then YeHoVaH said, “Let us make humankind in our image, in the likeness of ourselves; and let them rule over the fish in the sea, the birds in the air, the animals, and over all the earth, and over every crawling creature that crawls on the earth.”

27 So YeHoVaH created humankind in his own image;
in the image of Elohim he created him:
male and female he created them.

. . .

31 YeHoVaH saw everything that he had made, and indeed it was very good. So there was evening, and there was morning, a sixth day. ~ Genesis 1: 26-27, 31

It is written:

7 Then YeHoVaH, God, formed a person from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, so that he became a living being. ~ Genesis 2:7

(Note: Verse 4 in Genesis 2 tells us that Genesis 2 is the history/generations of how the heavens, the earth, and mankind began.)

Now, in the Hebrew languages, the singular form of Elohim is Eloah. In Genesis 1:27, Elohim, the plural form, is used here to not only describe the one and only God of Israel, whose personal name was revealed to Moses as YeHoVaH, but also to tell us that the image of Elohim is a Father, Son, and Holy Spirit image – a Godhead image, which means YeHoVaH’s image is a triune (three in one) or tripartite (consisting of three parts) image.

The Scripture says this triune God created man in His three-in-one image on the sixth day. Therefore, Revelation‘s 666 should be seen for what it is – the number of a tripartite man/person. 

Man (i.e., the first Adam) was created on the sixth day, and Scripture says the sixes in Revelation‘s 666 represent a man/person. The number 6, then, is mentioned 3 times in Revelation 13 because, just like the image of Elohim is a triune image, so is the image of man because he was made in Elohim’s image. Therefore, 666 represents the man (the first beast that comes out of the sea – out of the Gentiles, specifically, out of the Muslims because Abraham’s first son, Ishmael, was by the Muslim woman Hagar), and this first beast is the anti-Messiah. It is his image that people worship, and his image that 666 represents. Furthermore, the second beast is the False Prophet, the one who comes out of the earth – out of the Middle East, possibly Israel. He is the one who makes people worship the image of the anti-Messiah, and it is the False Prophet who creates the Mark of the Beast, which is the number of a man.

The anti-Messiah initially is a man, and all men come from the original man (Adam) who was made on the sixth day. It was on the sixth day that Adam was given: 1. a BODY (created from the dust of the earth), 2. a SPIRIT (breathed into his body), and 3. a SOUL (became alive, a living being or living soul because YeHoVaH gave him a functioning brain or a soul that consists of his personality; this personality is created in man’s mind and by his will or desires and his emotions).

A tripartite man (created with a body that houses his spirit and soul) who will be a Muslim anti-Messiah – Revelation 13’s beast from the sea – is what 666, the number of a man, means. Selah!


End NOTE:

Clearly, since man was made on day 6th of Creation, Revelation‘s 666 cannot be interpreted as Friday, Friday, Friday. (For the people who think they can give YeHoVaH’s numerically described days of the week in the Bible our western world’ English names for our days of the week. Ref. The Christians and non-Christians who declare the seventh-day Sabbath is on Saturday.)

Invisible – A Common Phenomenon

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So if you were raised along with the Messiah, then seek the things above, where the Messiah is sitting at the right hand of [YeHoVaH].Focus your minds on the things above, not on things here on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with the Messiah in [YeHoVaH]. When the Messiah, who is our life, appears, then you too will appear with him in glory!

Therefore, put to death the earthly parts of your nature — sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed (which is a form of idolatry); for it is because of these things that [YeHoVaH’s] anger is coming on those who disobey him. True enough, you used to practice these things in the life you once lived; but now, put them all away — anger, exasperation, meanness, slander and obscene talk. Never lie to one another; because you have stripped away the old self, with its ways, 10 and have put on the new self, which is continually being renewed in fuller and fuller knowledge, closer and closer to the image of its Creator. 11 The new self allows no room for discriminating between Gentile and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, foreigner, savage, slave, free man; on the contrary, in all, the Messiah is everything. ~ Colossians 3:1-11

Female blacks have been dehumanized and depersonalized for centuries. My maternal grandmother and her sisters have known about these seeds of slavery, but they buried the atrocities their ancestors faced right after the last remnant migrated northward.

My maternal grandmother and her sisters moved to Pennsylvania from Georgia. However, their belief that they were free from slavery’s horrible aftereffects was not enough to keep their ancestors’ atrocities buried. It also was not enough to obliterate the Deep South’s psychological invisibility – the feeling blacks get when their individual abilities, personality, and worth are disregarded because of the dominant culture’s imposed prejudice.

Feeling invisible is a common phenomenon for black females. The southern dominant culture had always disregarded or devalued female slaves’ unique traits that did not reflect whites’ privilege status. Whites hid blacks’ conflicting attributes behind the cloak of psychological invisibility. When female black slaves realized their real worth, personalities, and incomparable abilities were hidden, each individual developed an inner intuition – a sixth sense – that was activated whenever the dominant culture set up an invisibility barrier.

Though my grandmother and her sisters were almost a thousand miles north of the Deep South, they soon discovered that those seeds of slavery they had hoped they would escape were watered more in Wilkes-Barre and Philadelphia than the seeds of freedom. There, in the North, they learned that the same stereotypes that were forced on them and their ancestors in the Deep South still continued to conceal their true identities and values. As a result, my grandmother and her sisters were forced to decide how they would make themselves visible.

***

During most of my life’s first seven years, I pondered what was wrong with me. I wondered why most of the people who loved my white friends didn’t love me the same way. My answer finally came in the still of the night when darkness was thick, oppressive, and almost unearthly.

On the longest, darkest night, I was unexpectedly awakened by the commotion that was coming from the neighboring driveway. I sat up. My eyes scoured the room, hunting for something familiar. Nothing was visible – not even my hands in front of my face. The darkness had enveloped me, so I groped about blindly. Seconds later, I found the light switch above my bed. Immediately, the light masked the blackness but not before the darkness showed me that I was invisible.

My hiddenness did not result from a sleight-of-hand trick. No sorcerer’s prestidigitation could ever be responsible for the exclusions and marginalizations that were later explained to me. Certainly, my invisibility would need more than a waved magic wand or verbal summons to make me visible. My hiddenness would also need more than the flip of a switch to shed light on why the dominant culture failed to see me.

***

While my value and identity went undetectable for the nine consecutive years that followed my first seven years, solitude became my closest friend. I chose to retreat to my sanctuary of solitude – my bedroom – after school. It was the only place I could feel visible. It was the only place I could find peace. It was the only place I could feel safe to ugly cry.   

Although I had friends and was close to several cousins, I never felt accepted or important. I never was popular or part of the in-crowd.

My parents were poor. My parents were also alcoholics for most of my childhood. That is why I often didn’t eat healthy food and didn’t wear fashionable clothes or shoes. I also didn’t have the necessary school supplies or other things many children my age never had to give a second thought.

I was laughed at for not having any Christmas gifts to bring to school for show and tell, laughed at for bringing soiled brown paper bag lunches to school, laughed at because I wore outdated Salvation Army and Goodwill clothing, or laughed at for wearing clothes I stitched together from McCall’s, Simplicity, Butterwick, and other such patterns.

I was called a crybaby because I had my maternal grandmother’s teary eyes that ran whenever there was too much wind (freezing, warm, or hot), too much sunshine, or too much pollen. My eyes teared whenever they were too tired or whenever I looked at something too long.

Other strikes against me were my plainness, independence, morality, and wise and mature attitude toward life. I could not comprehend why any of that intimidate the same age and older people in my hometown, but it did.

***

Nine years after the night my invisibility was revealed I was crushed when, in the main hallway beside high school lockers, all my friends were talking about their dates to the annual spring dance. I was the only silent one because the boy I hoped would ask me asked someone else. Even though I smiled as if it was no big deal, inside I felt mortified.

That evening, in the solitude of my sanctuary, I vented in unfiltered honesty. With my face pressed against my safe haven’s window, my squinted eyes swam in tears. I ugly cried while praying to my God.

I wailed, “I don’t get why You did this to me. Why did You make me so unlovable and unattractive? Why am I always the only one who is left out?” Pink-eyed and lachrymose I pleaded, “Please make me loveable and likable to everyone I know. Surround me with family and friends who really see me and absolutely love who they see. Also, please send me a special guy who will love me and want me, forever.”

Just then I was startled by a sudden brightness. I opened my eyes in time to see the dazzling streak of light that had pierced through the smothering clouds. The light shocked me because when I started praying the sky was gray, cloudy, and stormy – like my emotions.

At the same moment that the radiant light appeared unexpectedly, so did the wealth of love I soon saw and felt. The sky paraded my God’s Love while He spoke to me. The Voice that I heard told me that I would be loved the way I deserved to be loved. I was speechless and filled with joy.

***

In the 55 years that followed the evening YeHoVaH spoke His Words to me, a then sad 16-year-old girl, I have remained invisible to most Americans. I am still unpopular, unfashionable, and unimportant. No one listens to the wealth of wisdom I received in those 55 years, and I have no man in my life who loves me the way I deserve to be loved. However, my life is the best it has ever been, in spite of a divorce and the loss of Ade, my oldest son.

How is that possible? Well, with YeHoVaH, all things are possible.

Suffice it to say, it was not until I understood that, from the day I accepted Yeshua as my Lord and Savior, it was YeHoVaH who loves me, and had always loved me, the way I deserve to be loved. In fact, He loves me more than I deserve to be loved. Knowing this truth is why I am more content than I have ever been. 

I actually enjoy my current solitude and singleness because I know that my new identity and new value come from YeHoVaH through His Son, Yeshua. So, even though I also know that being treated as invisible by the dominant culture is a common phenomenon for black females, it is my spiritual hiddenness that I embrace.

Now, since my spiritual life is invisible, that makes being treated as a joint-heir in the Kingdom of YeHoVaH by my fellow spiritual sisters and brothers another common phenomenon – one that all black females who are in Yeshua have come to know. However, because my spiritual life’s new identity and value are hidden with Yeshua HaMashiach in YeHoVaH, there isn’t anybody who could see the real me without first seeing YeHoVaH and then seeing Yeshua.

This spiritual discernment won’t mean that a reborn and saved Yeshua believer cannot or should not desire earthly things. It simply means that since he or she is one with Yeshua, and Yeshua is One with YeHoVaH, the saved and born-again believer’s focus and desires should be on and about this person becoming the best child of YeHoVaH he or she was reborn to be.

This truth was why I had to learn to focus on living my new life the way YeHoVaH wants me to live it. It was possible to do because it was not in His Will that the dominant culture’s invisibility barriers (physical or psychological) would have power or authority over my spiritual life’s reborn and saved new identity and value.

For sure, the Kingdom of YeHoVaH’s spiritual hiddenness is more powerful and has more authority than every earthly dominant culture’s racially unjust and unholy cloak of psychological invisibility. Then too, the Kingdom of YeHoVaH’s spiritual hiddenness elevates Yeshua believers’ privilege status above every earthly dominant culture’s spurious privilege status.  For me, what that means is, as long as I remain faithful and obedient to YeHoVaH and His Law, my God will allow me to be the head instead of the tail. Selah!

Psychological Invisibility​ (Why Mental Health ​Is an Everyday Issue)

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For with [YeHoVaH] nothing is impossible. ~ Luke 1:37

I’m invisible. I am unseen but only because most of America’s men and women refuse to see me. ​​Furthermore, far too many of the world’s inhabitants refuse to see me because to them I really do not exist.  

The world’s dominant culture​s’​ imposed stereotypes are why I am invisible. As a result, I am easily misunderstood, disrespected, and loathed.

I was six years old when I first realized I was undetectable. Now, my invisibility was not the result of a sleight-of-hand trick. No sorcerer’s prestidigitation could ever be responsible for the seven decades of exclusion and marginalization. My hiddenness, therefore, would need more than a waved magic wand or a verbal summons to make me visible.

For the record, feeling invisible is a common phenomenon for black women. The dominant culture in America has always disregarded or devalued black women’s ancestors’ unique traits and talents – especially those that did not reflect privileged Whites’ ideal human images. Many Whites hid black women’s assumed conflicting identities and collective worth behind the cloak of psychological invisibility – their imposed stereotypes. When black women’s ancestors realized that their real personalities, as well as their incomparable abilities and talents, were hidden, each individual woman developed an inner intuition – a sixth sense – that was activated whenever any dominant culture used its invisibility barriers.

It is 2022. Unfortunately, the more things change, the more they remain the same.

Sadly, I remain invisible to certain people. This truth is why I am thankful for my sixth sense. Because I know with YeHoVaH all things are possible, I let Him take control of my life. He gives me a psychological resilience (mental fortitude) that daily helps me handle life’s challenging invisibility barriers while hoping this world’s dominant cultures will soon choose to accept, understand, respect, and love my true identity and worth.

A Faith-Based Novel

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Now without faith it is impossible to please [YeHoVaH]. For the one who comes to [YeHoVaH] must believe that He exists and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. ~ Hebrews 11:6 (The bracketed words are my emphasis.)

My debut novel is a faith-based book. It contains spiritual visions, rebellion, demonic attacks, a spiritual wilderness journey, reconciliation, and restoration.

Although my literary fiction deals with marriage and divorce, in this novel, I focus on how divorces are like amputations – how they both always leave people missing a piece of themselves. This focus is why the narrative highlights the demonic attacks that cause marital and familial struggles and losses prior to Triston’s and Zemora’s amputation of divorce – severed souls and spirits – and highlights their heartbreaks, losses, griefs, and afflictions that happen after their divorce.

Triston’s and Zemora’s presumed faith walk is tested.  They find out why their lack of faith made it impossible for them to please YeHoVaH.

This novel is a good read for believing moms. It also is a great gift for Mother’s Day, as well as a fabulous gift for any holiday or special day.

I Self-published My Debut Novel on a Wing and a Prayer

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Is anything too difficult for [YeHoVaH]? ~ Genesis 18:14a

“Ah, my Lord [YeHoVaH]! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm—nothing is too hard for You! ~ Jeremiah 32:17

And looking, Yeshua said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with [YeHoVaH] all things are possible. ~ Matthew 19:26

I belong to several authors’ groups on Facebook and Twitter, and I am a member of these groups primarily because I want to increase the number of readers who would be interested in buying my new book. Many of the authors in the groups I’m a member of published their latest books either a few weeks before or after I published Torn Asunder: What Happens When YeHoVaH’s Will Is Ignored on January 29, 2022. Sadly, most of these authors are more concerned with promoting their own books than they are concerned about helping to support my novel, which I understand.

The same is true on Instagram, where I also follow some of the authors who are in the said Facebook and Twitter authors’ groups. Additionally, I am a member of various authors’ groups on Goodreads. Again, my reason for joining was to create a target audience.

Honestly, there is nothing I would love to do more than to support as many authors as I can who are in the groups that I joined.  I wish that I could buy every author’s book(s) – especially if the genre is one I love to read. However, I am a 71-year-old author with a limited income, so I can’t afford to put money in other writers’ pockets without being sure they will return the favor.

As I mentioned in a few of my Facebook postings, I would love to sell more copies of my debut novel that I self-published on a wing and a prayer. The reason this book is unlikely to attract the attention of book buyers and, thus, unlikely to become a bestseller is that I couldn’t afford to hire a reputable book marketer, advertiser, publicist, or any other skilled professional who could have helped me successfully launch my book, helped me to increase sales, and/or helped me to eventually become a bestselling or award-winning self-published author.

Yes, I still write for the thrill of it. However, I also write to create valuable books and blog articles, as well as write to be the best author I can be – not necessarily a best-selling author. Yet, I doubt that there is a published author who would say he or she truly couldn’t care less if a book he or she published didn’t make a bestseller’s list. I know I would care, but I wouldn’t obsess about it.

Be that as it may! Since I am a self-published author, the sad truth for me is that I don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of making either The New York Times’ or the Wall Street Journal’s bestseller lists if I can’t afford to hire skillful professionals who can help me attract some much-needed attention for my book, as that attention could mean my sales might increase. Likewise, I don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of becoming a bestseller on Amazon, if I can’t increase the number of potential readers who might buy my book.

If my novel does better than I alone was able to achieve, it will be because it is YeHoVaH’s Will. Therefore, I am hoping for a miracle and trusting that YeHoVaH will perform it today.

My Cup Overflows!

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You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You have anointed my head with oil, my cup overflows. ~ Psalm 23:5

On January 29, 2022, I published Torn Asunder: What Happens When YeHoVaH’s Will Is Ignored. At that time, I was 70 years old and had been divorced for 23 years. 

I wrote the original manuscript in the fall of 2003. Years later, about three months after I had lost my oldest son to diabetes complications in 2017, I looked at the original manuscript. However, instead of working on it, I wrote a short memoir – Untimely Farewells – and published it in 2018.

It took COVID-19 and being quarantined to motivate me to revisit the 2003 manuscript that became Torn Asunder: What Happens When YeHoVaH’s Will Is Ignored – my debut novel (literary fiction). Thirty-six days later, I turned 71. Shortly after that, YeHoVaH blessed my debut novel with a five-star rating. Then, on Saturday (April 2, 2002), my novel received its second 5-star rating AND its first book review – a glowing review.

Now, it is possible that Torn Asunder: What Happens When YeHoVaH’s Will Is Ignored might never be an Amazon bestseller because most people, Christians included, don’t want to read preachy books about divorce. Sadly, many of the people who steer clear of books that preach against getting a divorce won’t take the time to discover that Torn Asunder: What Happens When YeHoVaH’s Will Is Ignored neither preaches marriage nor divorce.

Torn Asunder: What Happens When YeHoVaH’s Will Is Ignored shows how divorce is like an amputation – how they both always leave people missing a piece of themselves. That is why my debut novel’s narrative focuses on the demonic attacks that cause marital and familial struggles and losses prior to Triston’s and Zemora’s amputation of divorce – severed souls and spirits – as well as focuses on their heartbreaks, losses, griefs, and afflictions that happen after their divorce.

Nevertheless, even if Torn Asunder: What Happens When YeHoVaH’s Will Is Ignored never becomes an Amazon bestseller, YeHoVaH has abundantly blessed me this late in my life with two readers’ 5-star ratings and one reader’s glowing book review. Hallelujah! 

For the Thrill of It

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Thus says YeHoVaH God of Israel, ‘Write in a book all the words which I have spoken to you. ~ Jeremiah 30:2

Did you know that most of Amazon’s self-published authors will never get rich from their book sales?

Amazon’s ​Kindle Direct Publishing (​KDP​) allows authors to publish their hardcover books, paperback books, and eBooks for free. Additionally, Amazon KDP allows self-published authors to own all rights to their books, which traditional publishing houses don’t usually allow. 

However, although Amazon KDP doesn’t charge authors to self-publish their books, Amazon KDP does have a ​fixed royalty rate for authors. That rate is 60% of the authors’ list price​. In addition to the 60% royalty rate, Amazon KDP charges self-published authors the printing costs for each sold paperback and hardcover copy.​ In other words, (royalty rate x list price) – printing costs = royalty.​

I only sell paperback copies that use black ink, so the printing price for every paperback copy is based on the online Amazon marketplace my book was ordered from, the ink type (black or color), and the page count. In my case,​ that means Amazon KDP will keep 60% of the $17.99 list price for each book that I sell and, on top of that, will subtract an additional $6.18 from my royalty percentage every time a copy of that book is printed. So, ​Amazon KDP will receive about 75% of my $17.99 book price each ​time a ​paperback copy of​​ Torn Asunder: What Happens When YeHoVaH’s Will Is Ignored​ (published January 29, 2022) is sold and printed.

​Now, you might be asking: Why are you thrilled about that? Well, first, I am thrilled to publish something I created and thrilled because I published it without receiving any rejection letters. I am sure I would have gotten some had I taken the traditional route.​ Then too, I am thrilled to own all rights to my self-published books.

Secondly, because I have a few loyal friends and family members who actually believe in me as a writer, I am thrilled because several of them purchased my book almost the same day it went live on Amazon. So, even if my number of sold copies isn’t large, I am thrilled because my faithful friends and family members didn’t disappoint me.

Thirdly, I didn’t write my book because I had “making a killing” in mind. Did I hope that it would do well, financially speaking? Yes! Did I pray that YeHoVaH’s Will was for me to become a bestselling author? Yes! However, in my heart, I am prepared to remain humble no matter if I do or don’t achieve financial success with this book.

The bottom line is that I have always understood that any success I achieve with this book isn’t of my own doing. Any success would be because of YeHoVaH’s Help and His Will. That is why I am grateful for true friends who have supported me by purchasing and reading my book. Lastly, I am grateful for the following unexpected support:

Tonya’s Facebook Comment 3-4-2022
Saw This First Amazon Rating By An Unknown Person On 3-7-2022
Sylva’s 3-7-2022 Text To Me About My Novel
Larry’s 3-12-2022 Black Authors Network Comment – Facebook Group

While I know that to some people these examples of the unexpected support I have received since Torn Asunder: What Happens When YeHoVaH’s Will Is Ignored went live on 29 January 2022 aren’t worth much, to me they are priceless. They are precious to me because I didn’t buy or beg for this support.

All the above examples of the support I have received are the reasons why I write for the thrill of it. Furthermore, because some friends and a few family members support my writing ventures in more than one way – like they have done for my newly released book – this is the reason why I also give YeHoVaH all the Glory. Shalom!

The Overcomers’ Benefits and Rewards (Revisited)

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1Loved ones, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see if they are from [YeHoVaH]. For many false prophets have gone out into the world. You know the Ruach Elohim by this—every spirit that acknowledges that Messiah Yeshua has come in human flesh is from [YeHoVaH], but every spirit that does not acknowledge Yeshua is not from [YeHoVaH]. This is the spirit of the anti-messiah, which you have heard is coming and now is already in the world. You are from [YeHoVaH], children, and you have overcome them, because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. They are from the world, so they speak from the world and the world listens to them. We are from [YeHoVaH]; whoever knows [YeHoVaH] listens to us, but whoever is not from [YeHoVaH] does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error. ~ 1 John 4:1-6

Overcomers are believers who truly are more than conquerors; they clearly are the faithful and obedient victorious members of the Body of Yeshua — the faithful and obedient spiritual conquerors. Notice that, in Revelation chapters 2  and 3, Yeshua never addresses the entire Body of Believers — His whole Ekklesia — as overcomers. Nor does He address one entire ekklesia (one assembly or one “church”) as overcomers.

While speaking individually to the seven “churches”​ (more correct translations of ekklesiae are assembly and community), Yeshua only promises benefits and ​rewards to the saints who ​OVERCOME, even though ​He uses only the singular pronoun. ​Yeshua ​repeatedly says, “He who overcomes.” Therefore, Yeshua is making it clear that not all saints​ ​  —   not all members in His Ekklesia​  ​—   are or will be ​OVERCOMERS. These overcomers in Revelation chapters 2​ ​​and ​3 are saints who shine like the stars that ​are ​far and above the spiritual corruptions or spiritual problems Yeshua mentions to Revelation‘s seven “churches.”

I know what I said above is an uncomfortable truth, but the ​Divine ​Truth is that there are Bible verses that prove the overcomers — the ones to whom specific benefits and rewards are promised/offered and to whom these promised benefits and rewards will be given — are separate and distinct types of saints. If we read closely, we see that in every one of the seven “churches” ​Yeshua ​mentions in Revelation chapters 2 and 3 there were —​ ​ and, indeed, there always will be — the kind of saints who were faithful believers in Yeshua and the kind of ​ ​saints ​ ​who were unfaithful believers in Yeshua. There were — and there always have been —​ ​the kind of ​ ​saints who were obedient children of YeHoVaH and those saints who were disobedient children of YeHoVaH. In other words, there were then — and always have been — spiritual and carnal members in the Body of Yeshua. Therefore, there also always were (and always will be, including right now) ​holy overcomers​ ​ AND  the kind of saints who were or are overwhelmed, worn down, and defeated. To put it differently, from the beginning of Yeshua’s Ekklesia, there always have been those believers who have become spiritual conquerors and those believers who have been spiritually conquered!

Again, the Scriptures prove that Yeshua only promises EACH spiritual conqueror in each of Revelation’s seven “churches” that if he or she is a faithful and obedient overcomer; that is, if the spiritually mature man or spiritually mature woman in each “church” continues to fight against Satan’s fiery darts, his destructive deceptions, and his toxic lies,​ AND WINS even if his or her resistance leads to his or her death, then that OVERCOMER is the believer ​in Yeshua who will receive the following specific​ benefits and​ rewards:

1. The Tree of Life

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Ruach is saying to Messiah’s communities. To the one who overcomes, I will grant the right to eat from the Tree of Life, which is in the Paradise of [YeHoVaH]. ”   ~ ​Revelation 2:7 ​(Ephesus)

2. The Crown of Life

Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, so that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.  He who has an ear, let him hear what the Ruach is saying to Messiah’s communities. The one who overcomes shall never be harmed by the second death.”  ~ Revelation 2:10​-11​ (Smyrna)

3. The White Stone

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Ruach is saying to Messiah’s communities. To the one who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone—and written on the stone a new name that no one knows except the one who receives it.”  ~ Revelation 2:17 (Pergamum)

4. The National Authority

To the one who overcomes and guards My deeds until the end,​ ‘I will give him authority over the nations​  and he shall rule them with an iron rod,​ as when clay pots are broken into pieces.’
Even as I have received from My Father, so I will give him the morning star. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Ruach is saying to Messiah’s communities.” ~ Revelation 2:26​-29​ (Thyatira)

5. The White Robes

“But still, you have a few people in Sardis who have not stained their clothes. They will walk with Me in white, because they are worthy. The one who overcomes thus will be dressed in white clothes; I will never blot his name out of the Book of Life, and will confess his name before My Father and His angels. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Ruach is saying to Messiah’s communities.   ~ Revelation 3:5-6 (Sardis)

6. The Permanent Pillar

The one who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the Temple of My God, and he will never leave it. And on him I will write the name of My God and the name of the city of My God—the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God—and My own new Name. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Ruach is saying to Messiah’s communities.”   ~ Revelation 3:12-13 (Philadelphia)

7. The Throne

To the one who overcomes I will grant the right to sit with Me on My throne, just as I myself overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Ruach is saying to Messiah’s communities.”   ~ Revelation 3:21-22 (Laodicea)

He or she who has an ear needs to hear that Yeshua’s overcomer is not just the run-of-the-mill kind of saint, who gets into Heaven with the smell of smoke on him or her (see 1 Corinthians 3:15). To get these mentioned benefits and rewards, a saint must be a spiritual conqueror kind of overcomer — a faithful and obedient even unto death kind of saint.

Is anybody listening?

New Book Release

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and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no man separate.”  ~ Matthew 19:5-7, TLV


But Yeshua said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment! But from the beginning of creation, God ‘made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no man separate!”  ~ Mark 10:5-9, TLV

Well, praise YeHoVaH!

On January 29, the day my dad was born, I am happy to announce that my literary fiction novel went live on Amazon. This achievement – my first published novel and sixth published book – is so exhilarating.       

Torn Asunder: What Happens When YeHoVaH’s Will Is Ignored is an inspirational, emotional, and spiritual literary fiction debut novel that follows Triston and Zemora Lansing’s inner stories. This character-driven story begins from a dark interval of paralyzing depression. Set mostly in Georgia, the story is preoccupied with the convolutions of its major characters’ personalities and their stormy journey through a prolonged spiritual wilderness season that is plagued by frequent demonic warfares, crumbling spiritual houses, and inconceivable human sufferings.

Literary Fiction Facts:

Literary fiction is character-driven instead of plot-driven. Moreover, literary fiction follows the main characters’ inner stories. These two facts are why every bit of action in a character-driven story impacts the main characters. Furthermore, understanding how the action affects the characters is the whole point of telling the story.

Since the characters have to react to what is happening in the story,  literary fiction is always a study of the human condition. Additionally, literary fiction often includes political criticism, social commentary, and reflections on humanity. Because literary fiction either explores the difficult political or difficult social issues that control people’s lives, literary fiction is generally considered more serious than genre fiction.

Unlike genre fiction – romances, thrillers, science fiction, etc. – literary fiction doesn’t follow a formula. In fact, Iiterary fiction displays an irreverence for storytelling norms. As a result, a story’s arc may or may not be present, a satisfying ending is no guarantee, and the line between the hero and the villain is often blurry, as is what they are trying to accomplish. Because there is no tidy plot to spell out every character’s motives, literary fiction’s intangible details – metaphor, symbolism, imagery, etc. – play a larger role in telling the story.

Build on Yeshua’s Gospel Foundation with Materials That Fire Won’t Consume

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10 Using the grace YeHoVaH gave me, I laid a foundation, like a skilled master-builder; and another man is building on it. But let each one be careful how he builds. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Yeshua the Messiah. 12 Some will use gold, silver or precious stones in building on this foundation; while others will use wood, grass or straw. 13 But each one’s work will be shown for what it is; the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire — the fire will test the quality of each one’s work. 14 If the work someone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward; 15 if it is burned up, he will have to bear the loss: he will still escape with his life, but it will be like escaping through a fire. ~ 1 Corinthians 3:10-15

In the above verses, apostle Paul compares himself to a skilled master builder who laid Yeshua the Messiah’s Ekklesia (Community of Faith) Foundation. Then Paul warns that the preachers and teachers who build on the foundation he laid are responsible for their own work – they will be held accountable for their top-quality work (metaphorically speaking, whatever they built with materials made of gold, silver, and precious stones); likewise, they will be held accountable for their poor-quality work (metaphorically speaking, whatever they built with materials made of wood, hay, and straw). What Paul is saying is that some building materials are better than others. This truth is why he also warns each present and future Gospel preacher or teacher who builds on top of the Foundation he laid to use materials that won’t be consumed by Fire.


Apparently, the Ruach HaKodesh had revealed to Paul the real reason why choosing the best building materials was the wisest decision a Yeshua follower could make – especially if he or she functioned as an apostle, prophet, evangelist, shepherd, or teacher in the Kingdom of YeHoVaH. The Ruach HaKodesh, no doubt, wanted Paul’s contemporaries and successors who preached and taught the Gospel of Yeshua to know that they would be departing from the Foundation, which Paul laid, whenever they built on that Foundation with fables, idle stories, and corrupt doctrines of men that were mingled with the unadulterated doctrine of Yeshua’s Gospel. This kind of building – using fables, idle stories, and corrupt doctrines of men as their building materials – weakened Yeshua’s Gospel. This truth is also why the Ruach HaKodesh, no doubt, wanted Paul’s contemporaries and successors who preached and taught the Gospel of Yeshua to know that their other gospel – their departure from the Gospel apostle Paul taught – would cause those who preached and taught it to suffer loss. Without exception, their building work would fail the Fire test.  

The other bad news is that, in addition to the preachers and teachers’ inferior building materials failing the Fire test, these preachers and teachers also would be held accountable for the ways their substandard building work affected the Yeshua believers they preached to and taught – especially if their preaching and teaching made or kept Yeshua’s believers spiritually immature and unfaithful. Lastly, their poor-quality building work also would cause them to lose the heavenly rewards that overcomers earn. However, the one good news is that the apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds, and teachers who preached and taught a wood, grass, and hay gospel were still saved, despite the fact that their substandard building work was (or would be) consumed by Fire.

The inconvenient truth is that everyone today who is born again and saved has been called to be an evangelist. Even so, it is irrefutable that each believer in Yeshua is either a preacher or teacher (or both). As such, Paul is speaking to every evangelist about the top-quality or poor-quality building materials that today’s evangelists use to build on Yeshua the Messiah’s Ekklesia (Community of Faith) Foundation that Paul laid. For this reason, every preacher and teacher should always build with top-quality materials – should always preach and teach the kind of Gospel that helps to make believers in Yeshua’s Community of Faith spiritually mature and faithfully obedient. If they don’t, these preachers and teachers will suffer loss.

Mental Assenters: Unregenerate, Unsaved Sinners

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Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. ~ Revelation 3:20

No one is reborn or saved by Grace through faith if he or she only agrees that the Bible is true but never acts on the preached Word – is never moved to repent and become totally committed to the Word’s Author (YeHoVaH) and to His Son nor moved to surrender and become totally obedient to YeHoVaH’s Commandments – all of them. The less than one hundred percent committed person, as well as the less than one hundred percent obedient person, is merely operating in the Mental Assent realm.

Sadly, every mental assenter who claims that because he or she believes the Bible is true means that he or she also believes in YeHoVaH and Yeshua, is lying to him or herself – especially when it is obvious that each mental assenter’s actions deny what he or she claims. The uncomfortable truth is that every mental assenter’s actions will deny what he or she claims because he or she has never been regenerated (reborn) or saved.

Now, while the Bible does say that salvation is a free gift, this biblical truth has come to mean to some people that salvation is “easy.” On the contrary, the Bible makes it clear that everyone who accepts Yeshua as his or her Lord and Savior is then reborn and saved, and the main result of his or her rebirth and salvation is a noticeably changed life.

The incorrect interpretation of what the Bible says about regeneration and salvation is found in modern evangelicalism. Today’s evangelists teach that all a lost soul needs to do to get into Heaven is to repeat their sinner’s prayer and he or she will have what this person prayed for – instant regeneration and salvation. This unbiblical teaching – the sinner’s prayer – has produced far too many people who have fallen prey to an “easy believism” belief. The foremost reason why the “easy believism” in modern evangelicalism’s sinner’s prayer never produces reborn and saved believers is that the invitation to repeat a sinner’s prayer never requires unbelievers to repent.

The bottom line is that there is no regeneration and no salvation without repentance. There is no repentance if someone never has a heartfelt conviction about his or her sins. Only a person who is genuinely convicted about sin will realize how offensive his or her sinful actions, emotions, beliefs, and lifestyle are to YeHoVaH. In other words, this person will feel contrite. His or her deep sorrow will cause this person to grieve over how offensive and rebellious his or her sinful actions, emotions, beliefs, and lifestyle are to YeHoVaH.

Moreover, it is only after a person has become truly sorrowful unto repentance that he or she is then reborn and saved. That’s right! it is authentic repentance that leads to the forgiveness of sin, the human spirit’s regeneration (new birth), the living soul’s salvation (the reconciliation and restoration of a believer’s spiritual fellowship with YeHoVaH), justification, and sanctification. This biblical and spiritual process is why no one can turn away from sin towards YeHoVaH and His holiness if he or she has not first repented his or her sins. Furthermore, this repentance truth is why genuine repentance is not simply a “rethinking” of someone’s relationship to sin and YeHoVaH after that person repeats a sinner’s prayer.

Once again, there is no regeneration and no salvation without repentance. Put differently, there can be no obvious change for the better in anyone’s former nature and lifestyle without that person’s real repentance experience. For this reason, an unrepentant believer in Yeshua and YeHoVaH – anyone who is not profoundly sorry about sinning; a person who does not really regret sinning – is still unregenerate and unsaved. As such, there is no way that this person can turn away from sin and turn toward YeHoVaH and His Holiness.

Sadly, all mental assenters are still unregenerate and unsaved. Once again, mental assenters only agree that the Bible is true but never act on the preached Word. They are never moved to repent and become totally committed to the Word’s Author (YeHoVaH) and to His Son, nor are they moved to surrender and become totally obedient to all of YeHoVaH’s Commandments.

In most cases, mental assenters are unregenerate and unsaved because they didn’t hear sermons on the true meaning of repentance, which would include instructions on what it means to receive Yeshua, what it means to confess Him as Lord and Savior, or how to be faithful to Him and obedient to YeHoVaH’s Commandments. These mental assenters were only asked to repeat a sinner’s prayer. However, there are also some mental assenters who did hear sermons on the true meaning of repentance but decided to pick and choose what they want to believe in the Word.

Lastly, those Christian evangelists who teach that a lost soul can be instantly saved when he or she repeats a sinner’s prayer have misused Revelation 3:20. First, in this verse, Yeshua is speaking to the confused, carnal, and lukewarm Laodicean who were reborn and saved believers who desperately needed to repent their current lifestyle. This truth is why YeHoVaH never intended for Revelation 3:20 to be used as an evangelistic sinner’s prayer Gospel tract that only encourages an unsaved person to invite Yeshua into their hearts. The best evangelistic Gospel tracts contain a succinct presentation of YeHoVaH’s Law, the Gospel of Yeshua, and a call for the readers to REPENT so that they can accept and receive Yeshua HaMashiach as their Lord and Savior.

Secondly, but most importantly, the word “heart” is not mentioned in Revelation 3:20. Moreover, the confused, carnal, lukewarm believers in the Laodicean ekklesia never asked Yeshua to do anything for them – especially not to come into their hearts because He was already there. He, however, was excluded from their fellowship assemblies.  So the Laodicean ekklesia needed to be restored – needed to repair their relationship with Yeshua by improving and expanding on their previous relationship with Him, beginning with including Him in their fellowship assemblies.  This biblical truth is why it is Yeshua who, in Revelation 3:20, does the asking. He asks the Laodiceans to hear His Voice. He promises to restore their fellowship with Him if they would hear His Voice AND open the door that allows Him to communicate with all of them at the same time.

When compared to Revelation’s Laodicean ekklesia, it is obvious that the problem with mental assenters is that they are not carnal believers, as many Christians call them. Mental assenters are unsaved individuals who are victims of an “easy believism” belief, as it relates to
the complete process of salvation. In other words, an “easy believism” belief is an unbiblical interpretation of Yeshua’s Gospel, repentance, regeneration, salvation, faith, and obedience. Therefore, today’s mental assenters are not confused, carnal, or lukewarm Laodicean believers who spiritually closed the fellowship door in Yeshua’s Face. Mental assenters are still unrepentant unbelievers – sinners who never had their old natures (spirits) reborn and who never had their living souls saved.

A word to the wise should be sufficient.

 

The Heretical ‘Once Saved, Always Saved’ Doctrine

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Loved ones, though very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I felt it necessary to write to you urging you to continue to contend for the faith that was once for all handed down to the kedoshim [holy ones]. For certain people have secretly slipped in—those who from long ago have been marked out for this judgment. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into indecency and deny our only Master and Lord, Yeshua the Messiah.

Now I wish to remind you—though you have come to know all things—that the Lord, once having saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. ~ Jude verses 3-5

Christians who celebrate Halloween, Christmas, Easter, and all the other major pagan holidays that have crept into Catholic and Protestant Churches should study all the Bible verses that prove the ‘once saved, always saved’ doctrine is heresy. Nowhere in the Bible does anyone teach the ‘once saved, always saved’ doctrine. This heretical doctrine is the lie Christians use to assure themselves that their eternal security is guaranteed regardless of the sins they continue to commit – like celebrating secular holidays that are rooted in pagan traditions.

The Scripture that is most commonly quoted to support the false doctrine of ‘once saved, always saved’ is John 10:28, which is as follows: “I give them eternal life! They will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of My hand.” On the surface, this verse might seem like Yeshua is saying that once we are saved we will always be saved – especially since there is no one who can snatch any believers in Yeshua out of His Hand. However, the uncomfortable truth is that we can let go of His Hand and, as a result, live outside of Him – no longer abide in Him. It is written:

If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away like a branch and is dried up. Such branches are picked up and thrown into the fire and burned. ~ John 15:6

If we can never lose our salvation, then why did Yeshua emphasize how important it is to maintain an abiding faith – an enduring, steadfast, unchanging faith – in Him so that we could avoid becoming branches that have dried up and, thus, must be cut off the Vine? Likewise, if we can never lose our salvation, then why did Paul warn the Roman non-Jewish believers in Yeshua (see Romans 11:17-22) that they, like the chosen but unfaithful Jewish people whom YeHoVaH once saved when He brought them out of Egypt, can be chopped off the Olive tree if they, too, become unfaithful?

The New Testament’s lost souls who are saved by Grace through faith must understand that their salvation is NOT unconditional. Believers in Yeshua must fulfill all the conditions of salvation in order to completely receive the promise of salvation. This truth is why Paul not only tells the Colossian believers in Yeshua that they must continue in the faith (Colossians 1:23) but also reminds the Philippian believers in Yeshua that they need to work out their salvation (Philippians 2:12). Additionally, Jude expresses the same truth. He emphasizes that maintaining the faith YeHoVaH gave lost souls so that they could be saved by His Grace (Yeshua) is HARD WORK, and that is why Jude urges saved believers to continue to CONTEND for the faith (Jude 3, 5).

If we need to continually fight for or struggle to keep our faith AFTER we are saved, then it is possible that, if we lose our faith, we can also lose our salvation. No doubt, the possibility of losing our salvation after our faith is gone is why Paul tells Timothy to “… fight the good fight, holding onto faith and a good conscience. By rejecting these, some have suffered shipwreck regarding their faith” (1 Timothy 1:18-19). Without a doubt, Paul is not teaching the ‘once saved, always saved’ doctrine.

Why would Paul, Jude, and Yeshua stress in the Bible the importance of faithful endurance if the believers who did not endure to the end – did not continually fight to keep their faith – would be saved anyway? The bottom line is that no one who is saved by Grace through faith will receive the promise of salvation if he or she hasn’t held on to the faith he or she was first given.

While this blog article doesn’t deal with every Bible verse that proves ‘once saved, always saved’ is a heretical doctrine, enough Bible verses have been mentioned to let the discerning believer know said doctrine isn’t biblical. From Yeshua’s day until today, there have been many saved souls that have fallen away from the faith, and it is prophesied that many saved souls in the end times will also fall away from the faith – will become apostates. That Divine Truth is why Yeshua commands His Followers, then and now, to stay alert – to stay awake, spiritually speaking. That Divine Truth is also why Paul urges Yeshua’s Followers to continually work out their salvation so that they might avoid being lulled into a false sense of security – the belief that they will always be saved – and end up putting their salvation in jeopardy.  

A word to the wise should be sufficient. Amen!

For Lukewarm, Disobedient Secular Believers

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And He said to them, “Rightly did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites, as it is written,

‘This people honors Me with their lips
but their heart is far from Me.
And in vain they worship Me,
teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’

Having left behind the commandment of [YeHoVaH], you hold on to the tradition of men.”

He was also telling them, “You set aside the commands of [YeHoVaH], in order that you may validate your own tradition. ~ Mark 7:6-9 (also read Isaiah 29:13 and Matthew 15:8-9)

but Jacob journeyed to Sukkot and built a house for himself, and for his livestock he made booths. That is the reason that place is called Sukkot. ~ Genesis 33:17

For a week now, I have seen several Facebook postings in which the poster(s) has said the same thing, or similarly worded, as I have done in the above image. On a few of those postings, I made several variations of the following:

Evidently, the poster doesn’t know, or the poster refuses to believe or accept, that Christmas is a man-made holiday and season. It is common knowledge that Yeshua (a.k.a., Christ, Jesus, and Jesus Christ) wasn’t born on December 25, yet countless Christians not only continue to celebrate Christmas and its season but also continue to lie about their Savior’s birth just so that they can feel justified in keeping a pagan holiday.

Christians’ Bible makes it clear that it was too cold and rainy during the ninth month (Kislev) of Israel (November – December on the Gregorian calendar). Ezra 10:9 and Jeremiah 36:22 both mention that in the month of Kislev the weather was rainy and cold, so shepherds would not have had their sheep outside on December 25 because, by December 25, Israel would have been into its tenth month, Tevet (or Tebeth), which is December – January on the Gregorian calendar. If it was too cold and rainy in Kislev, then it was even colder in the month of Tevet – especially where December 25 is concerned, which is when Christendom and the secular world claim Yeshua was born.

The uncomfortable truth is that Yeshua was born on a feast day that the Jewish people have always celebrate – the Feast of Tabernacles (when He physically came to Earth and tabernacled with the Hebrews). The Feast of Tabernacles is one of the seven annual Feast Days (Moedim or Appointed Times) YeHoVaH (God) established, and the Jewish Yeshua kept every one of these feast days, in more than one way.

It is more likely that YeHoVaH is using people’s current gift-buying frenzy to reach the lukewarm, disobedient secular believers who keep Christmas – an unholy tradition of men. This year’s gift-buying frenzy started because some retailers predict that there would not be enough items to choose from the closer folks get to December 25. There can be  no doubt that YeHoVaH wants these people to stop celebrating Christmas, as well as all the other secular holidays, because His Son wasn’t born on the pagan Gentile holiday known as Christmas, He didn’t die on the pagan Good Friday or rise from the grave on the pagan Easter Sunday.

Now, there are plenty of believers who keep telling other believers that YeHoVaH (God) did not tell anyone (neither Jew nor Gentile) to celebrate Christmas, Good Friday, Easter, etc. because these holidays are pagan. Unfortunately, more Christians continue to keep these pagan holidays than the saints who keep the biblical Feast Days YeHoVaH commanded His people to keep.

If Christians really believe they are supposed to live holy and righteously as Yeshua did, then why are so many of them still celebrating Christmas, Good Friday, Easter, Halloween, etc.? Yeshua never celebrated these, or other, traditions of men and neither did His Disciples and Apostles. Furthermore, there are plenty of Bible verses that prove to everyone who believes in YeHoVaH and Yeshua that Yeshua kept all of YeHoVaH’s Feast Days, as well as kept the Mosaic Law.

For example, the Torah (Old Testament) contains the stories about the Israelites’ captivity and exodus. Historically speaking, the Israelites began celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles long before Yeshua was born on the Feast of Tabernacles, as well as many centuries before Christians made Christmas a holiday. The Hebrews celebrated the holy Feast of Tabernacles because YeHoVaH established this feast day as a special holy time of the year for them to remember He had the sons of Israel live in booths when He brought them out from the land of Egypt (see Leviticus 23:42-43). Therefore, there was no need for the Hebrews to create a day and a season to celebrate the birth of Yeshua – the day He physically began to tabernacle among them – because the day Yeshua was born was one of the already established seven annual feasts days they were commanded to keep.

The uncomfortable truth is that everyone is lying who says Christmas is when Yeshua was born and that His birth is why they celebrate Christmas and the Christmas season. Those who know Yeshua wasn’t born on December 25 yet say it doesn’t matter if they or the masses believe Christmas is as good as any day to celebrate Yeshua’s birthday have deceived themselves. The undeniable truth is that Christmas and its season were created from the pagan traditions of men – lies.

For those who don’t believe putting up a decorated Christmas tree is a pagan Christmas tradition, there are many other traditions associated with cutting down a Christmas tree, putting it in homes, and decorating it. There are the Christmas traditions of kissing under a mistletoe, cutting down holly trees and hanging holly plants in homes for good luck, hanging wreaths,  caroling from house to house (a.k.a., wassailing), hanging ivy plants in pots inside homes,  burning yule logs, believing in Odin – a pagan god who often was depicted as a chubby old man with a white beard who wore a long flowing cloak (i.e., Santa Claus), and gift-giving. Every one of these pagan traditions of men is an aspect of pagan holidays that were adapted into Christmas celebrations in the early years.

Now, Christians should already know that the only one who can establish HOLY DAYS and HOLY SEASONS is YeHoVaH, and the only HOLY DAYS and HOLY SEASONS He established for humanity are His regular and high Sabbaths and His seven annual Feast Days (Moedim or Appointed Times). Every one of His seven Moedim is about His Son, Yeshua. These biblical and Divine Truths are why YeHoVaH has never given any men or women the authority to create or designated what they call Holy Days. That is why their Christmas, Good Friday, Easter, and other special “festive” days are just holidays.

In this century, as previously stated, it is  common knowledge that Yeshua’s birth was not on December 25 because this day is  when the pagan gods are remembered. That is why it should be evident to Christians that a Holy, Omniscient YeHoVaH, who knew beforehand everything that would happen on Earth, would not allow His Holy Son to be born on a day that pagan gods are remembered.

Plenty of Messianic Jews celebrate Yeshua’s birthday during the Feast of Tabernacles, and the following six reasons are why:



1. Many Messianic Jews believe that the manger that is mentioned in the New Testament was more likely a sukkah or tabernacle – the kind the Israelites built during the biblical feast of Sukkot or Feast of Tabernacles (see Leviticus 23:33–43). The biblical connection between a manger and a sukkah is found in Genesis 33:17. The writer of Genesis says that Jacob built booths for his livestock. The Hebrew writer is letting Gentiles know that sukkah (plural, sukkot) can also mean a barn for livestock, a manger, and a temporary shelter similar to the one the Israelites dwelt in during the biblically commanded Feast of Sukkot (Tabernacles).


2. Sukkot of the Feast of Tabernacles provides a deeper understanding of the Bible verse, “ …the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us…” (John 1:14a). Additionally, for the Hebrews, Sukkot is the season of their joy. That is why Sukkot or the Feast of Tabernacles was the more appropriate time to for the angels to declare “
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth shalom to men of good will.” (Luke 2:14). Indeed, it also is written:

Shout joyfully to [YeHoVaH], all the earth.
Break forth, sing for joy, and sing praises.
Sing praises to 
[YeHoVaH] with the harp,
with the harp and a voice of melody.
With trumpets and sound of the shofar
blast a sound before the King, [
YeHoVaH] ~ Psalm 98:4-6

Since Sukkot not only is a festival of joy but also the “Festival of the Nations,” when the angel told the Jewish shepherds to not “…be afraid! For behold, I proclaim Good News to you, which will be great joy to all the people” (Luke 2:10), that angel was actually speaking a Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) greeting to them.

3. This joy to the world truth is why, as previously stated, shepherds would not have been out in any field with their sheep in the dead of winter in Israel (i.e., December 25).


4. Also, since the Romans would want to have as many Hebrews participate in their census, they would not have had people traveling during Israel’s rainy or cold months. That is why it would be more likely that King Herod used the time of the Festival of Sukkot to have a census – the time when Jewish families in Jerusalem and those that traveled to Jerusalem celebrated this feast instead of on Chanukah (Hanukkah), which is the festival that falls around December 25 on the Gregorian calendar. One of the reasons why King Herod would not have chosen on Chanukah as the time for the Roman census is, according to biblical historians and scholars, because King Herod  loathed and feared the Hasmoneans – the descendants of the Maccabee family.


5. Sukkot or Feast of Tabernacles is the only Feast in which YeHoVaH commands the Jewish people to be joyful (see Deuteronomy 16:13-15). Looks like YeHoVaH not only established Sukkot or Feast of Tabernacles to be a remembrance of the time when He brought the Israelites out of Egypt but also established Sukkot or the Feast of Tabernacles as to be a future seven-day birthday celebration for His Son, Yeshua.


6. The day that follows the seven days of the Feast of Tabernacles or Sukkot is called “The Eighth Day” (see Leviticus 23:39). Since Yeshua more than likely was born on the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles or Sukkot, He would have had to be circumcised on the “Eighth Day,” which literally would fulfill the Scripture that says, “
 In the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin is to be circumcised” (Leviticus 12:3).

Once again, if Christians really believe they are supposed to live holy and righteously as Yeshua did, then knowing that He kept YeHoVaH’s seven annual Feast Days, Sabbaths, and the rest of the Mosaic Law should be more than enough information that would make them want to stop celebrating Christmas, Good Friday, Easter, Halloween, etc. The reasons why they don’t stop are because they haven’t heard anyone teach or preach the common knowledge pertaining to Yeshua’s birth not being on December 25, haven’t studied the Bible verses about the kind of weather Israel had in their months that correspond to the western world’s month of December, haven’t studied the Bible verses about YeHoVaH’s seven annual Feast Days, haven’t studied how Yeshua already fulfilled most of these seven Feast Days and will fulfill the others in the end times, or, as lukewarm, disobedient secular believes, don’t care what YeHoVaH established or commanded – they reject His established and commanded Feast Days and Sabbaths so that they not only can validate their own traditions which are rooted in unholy pagan traditions but also so that they can use their traditions to teach lies about what day Yeshua was born and the season in which He was born. Selah!

An Excerpt from My Fictional Novel’s Manuscript – CHAPTER EIGHT: Lesser Half

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And he was afraid, and got up and ran for his life and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah; and he left his servant there. But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom tree; and he asked for himself to die, and said, “Enough! Now, Lord, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers.” Then he lay down and fell asleep under a broom tree; but behold, there was an angel touching him, and he said to him, “Arise, eat!” And he looked, and behold, there was at his head a round loaf of bread baked on hot coals, and a pitcher of water. So he ate and drank, and lay down again. But the angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him, and said, “Arise, eat; because the journey is too long for you.” So he arose and ate and drank, and he journeyed in the strength of that food for forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mountain of God.  ~ 1 Kings 19:3-8, NASB

Behold, I am going to do something new,
Now it will spring up;
Will you not be aware of it?
I will even make a roadway in the wilderness,
Rivers in the desert.  ~ Isaiah 43:19, NASB
 

    

    

     Neither Triston nor Zemora had figured out that they were in a spiritual winter season – a kind of wilderness. That’s why they did not know they hadn’t seen a spiritual spring season for some time. Though delayed, it would come again. In the meantime, their spiritual winter season – spiritual wilderness – was cold, dark, and bleak. It affected them and their sons.

     While they were in their spiritual wilderness, they had forgotten that Pastor Brooks had taught them that YeHoVaH was a seasonal God who allowed His Children to experience spiritual winters. They had also forgotten that Pastor Brooks had taught them that any compulsory spiritual growth would always follow time spent in any kind of wilderness – especially a spiritual winter season.

     He had additionally taught them that a spiritual wilderness was one in which everything that could go wrong would go wrong, but this Divine Truth was just something else that Triston and Zemora had forgotten. Because this married couple was oblivious to the fact that they had been behaving like spiritually immature believers who had become spiritually stagnant, they had no idea that they were spiritually naked and hungry.

     In their wilderness, Zemora’s life would be threatened by an armed robber and by the love of her life. Triston’s life would be threatened by a malignant growth and by the love of his life. Once they both stopped putting in the required effort – everything they should have done to save their marriage – Triston and Zemora not only lost loved ones but also lost faith in YeHoVaH.

     For years, Zemora was convinced that Triston could not hear the swelling brokenness and pain in her voice, and Triston was convinced that Zemora would never forgive his repeated displays of gross insensitivity and ecclesiastical reservations. The truth was she and he were not only deaf but also blind because neither could hear nor see how the other person’s brokenness and pain or insensitivity and reservations were slowly but surely crumbling their spiritual houses.

     The extended pressure against their spiritual foundation walls’ already existing unrepaired breaches would soon cause them to crack, and those cracks would eventually lead to a severely shaken marital relationship.

~ The above-concluding paragraphs are from CHAPTER EIGHT: Lesser Half – my fictional novel’s manuscript.

An End-Time Poem

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14 To the angel of Messiah’s community in Laodicea write: “Thus says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Originator of [YeHoVaH’s] creation: 15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. Oh, that you were either cold or hot! 16 So because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I am about to spew you out of My mouth. 17 For you say, ‘I am rich, I have made myself wealthy, and I need nothing.’ But you do not know that you are miserable and pitiable and poor and blind and naked. 18 I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may be rich, and white clothes so that you may dress yourself and so the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed, and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. 19 Those whom I love, I rebuke and discipline. Therefore, be zealous and repent. ~ Revelation 3:14-19

NOTE:

The bracketed word in verse 14 is my emphasis.

The “Who Do You Think You’re Kidding?” poem in the above image is an end-time poem about the Laodiceans that exist right now. They are carnal babes in Yeshua whose apathy and trust in their wealth and their desires for money-oriented things have caused them to become spiritually poor, blind, and naked.

A word to the wise should be sufficient.

A Canceled Golden Wedding Anniversary

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“It was said, ‘Whoever sends his wife away, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’  But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery. ~ Matthew 5:31-32, TLV

Or do you not know, brothers and sisters (for I speak to those who know law), that the law is master over a person as long as he lives? For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives; but if the husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband. So then, if she is joined to another man while her husband is living, she will be called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is free from the law—so she is not an adulteress, though she is joined to another man.

Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you also were made dead to the Torah through the body of Messiah, so that you might be joined to another—the One who was raised from the dead—in order that we might bear fruit for [YeHoVaH]  For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions that came through the Torah were working in our body parts to bear fruit for death.  But now we have been released from the law, having died to what confined us, so that we serve in the new way of the Ruach and not in the old way of the letter. ~ Romans 7:1-6, TLV

The haiku in the above image is about me. I got married on August 13, 1971. On July 16, 1998, my husband divorced me. As a result, the 23 years plus a month of marriage that should have been were canceled – scratched. That is why I won’t be celebrating my golden wedding anniversary this year (2021) on August 13.

It saddens me to have been denied this great milestone. My sadness is what motivated me to write my Torn Asunder (What Happens When YeHoVaH’s Will Is Ignored) manuscript that I hope to publish before the end of 2021. Concerning my divorce, in my manuscript’s introduction, I state, “ I truly believe that what YeHoVaH joined together was amputated by the state of Virginia’s separation and divorce laws. This man-caused amputation is what brings me down every year around the first week of August.”

I also mention in my manuscript’s introduction that the focus of my fictional novel is on YeHoVaH’s Directive Will – what He wants His Sons and Daughters to do or where He wants them to go – as His Directive Will pertains to the institution of marriage. Additionally, I write:

What YeHoVaH wants the couples He joined in marriage to do has affected countless lives since Adam and Eve, in one way or another. The worst way His biblical truth about marriage has manifested is the inevitable tragedy that happens whenever the married couples He joined allow life’s difficulties to tear them asunder (rip their one flesh into pieces).

Some paragraphs later, I write:

YeHoVaH declares in His Word that the married couples who are one flesh in Him only can be safely and wholly separated by death. Any other kinds of separations, whether legal or otherwise, will mean that these worldly separated and then divorced married couples have been put asunder – have had their spirits and their souls’ emotions, wills, and minds forcefully ripped into pieces. Being ripped into pieces is the very thing that YeHoVaH never wanted His married one flesh couples to experience. Nevertheless, that is what happens when the couples He married are divorced according to the laws that each state has established. Torn asunder couples,  thus, are neither safely nor wholly detached or disconnected.

My final quotation from my manuscript’s introduction brings this blog entry to a spiritually profound ending. In my introduction’s conclusion, I write:

Regardless of whether my former spouse meant to be joined to me permanently, divinely, and spiritually by his spirit and his soul, this is exactly how YeHoVaH joined me to him. No doubt this unbreakable connection to my former spouse is why YeHoVaH has not allowed me to move on and be joined to someone else. As a result, every August 13th – as well as at least 5 days leading up to it and 2 or 3 days after it – I suffer from a deep sense of loss that cannot be avoided no matter how hard I try. I feel like I lost my soulmate, and, until YeHoVaH changes me, I believe I will feel this way every year around the same time, for the rest of my life on earth.

  • I composed the haiku in the above image on July 31, 2021.

The Truth About the Sinner’s Prayer

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19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, immersing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Ruach ha-Kodesh20 teaching them to observe all I have commanded you. And remember! I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” ~ Matthew 28:19-20, TLV

15 He told them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the Good News to every creature. 16 He who believes and is immersed shall be saved, but he who does not believe shall be condemned. ~ Mark 16:15-16, TLV

No sinner’s prayer is biblical. Since no sinner’s prayer has ever saved lost souls, telling someone he or she can repeat a sinner’s prayer and be saved means no sinner’s prayer is factual.

Yeshua never told His Disciples to use a sinner’s prayer to lead people to Him because He knew that only the preached unadulterated Word – the Good News – has the power to lead lost souls to Him. Everything He knew about the Gospel was why Yeshua commanded His Followers to preach it to every creature. This Gospel was, and still is, the Good News about Yeshua – the One who came into the world to save this world from the death penalty.

Moreover, there is an uncomfortable truth, which is that there are far too many Christians who have used their churches’ versions of the sinner’s prayer primarily so that their pastors could keep track of the number of sinners their church members have led to Yeshua. Missionaries have been asked: How many lost souls repeated the sinner’s prayer with you? This practice also is neither biblical nor factual.

What is biblical is Yeshua’s Followers helping lost souls to be saved by grace through faith by preaching the Word to them. Another uncomfortable truth is that neither spiritual rebirth nor eternal salvation can take place without someone first planting the seed. That is why having faith in the One who came to save lost souls can only come after they have heard the preached Word and received the planted Word seed. That is why Yeshua teaches yet another uncomfortable truth via parables. This uncomfortable truth is that the Word is to the Kingdom of YeHoVaH what a natural seed is to a harvest.

Yeshua will have His Harvests of souls because His Word seed was planted via the preaching of the Gospel. This Word seed will produce YeHoVaH’s kind of Faith, His kind of Grace, and His Ruach (Spirit) in them. Faith, Grace, and the Ruach – when accepted – will move lost souls to repent their sins so that they can confess YeHoVaH anointed Yeshua to be the one and only Savior of this world. Only then can the gifts of regeneration and salvation be received.

The last uncomfortable truth mentioned here is that without repentance, there is no forgiveness of sin. That is why the Power of YeHoVaH’s Promises is in His Word seed, and those Promises include His Forgiveness, Regeneration, Salvation, Justification, Sanctification, Glorification, and Eternal Life spiritual gifts.

In summary, when we do what we are commanded to do, which is to preach the Gospel, YeHoVaH, His Grace (Yeshua), and His Ruach (Spirit) will take it from there. If we don’t follow the proper salvation process, we will be guilty of deceiving ourselves into thinking WE led people to Yeshua via a sinner’s prayer, as well as guilty of deceiving lost souls into believing they will be included in Yeshua’s Harvests of souls. Shalom!

Tribute to Sheila McLeod (née Long)

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Remembering a life well lived and all the joy it brought to so many. In memory of a truly amazing person.

The righteous one perishes,
    but no one takes it to heart.
Godly men are taken away,
    but no one discerns
        that the righteous man is taken from evil.
He enters into shalom.
    They rest on their beds,
    each who walked in his integrity. ~ Isaiah 57:1-2, TLV

And He said, “Watch out that you are not led astray! For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He’ and ‘The time is near!’ Do not follow them. And when you hear of wars and chaos, do not be terrorized. For these things need to happen first, but the end will not come at once.”

Then He continued telling them, “Nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes along with famines and epidemics in various places, and there will be terrors along with great signs from heaven. ~ Luke 21:8-11, TLV

While the above Isaiah 57 verses’ focus is on righteous men, the biblical truth mentioned in these verses can also apply to righteous women. My cousin Sheila McLeod was a righteous woman, and I believe YeHoVaH took her so that she could escape this evil world by entering into His heavenly rest.

On May 29, 2021, Sheila lost her fight against COVID-19 – one of the many pestilences (plagues, epidemics/pandemics) Yeshua prophesied would be an end-time sign. Thankfully, all her family members know that although she is absent from the Body of Yeshua, as well as absent from her own earthly body, she is now present with Yeshua and waiting to receive her glorified body.

Composed May 31, 2021

To be honest, I was speechless when I heard Sheila had died. It was a bit of a shock to me that YeHoVaH had called home this loving, encouraging, vivacious 63-year-old woman, child of YeHoVaH, and Yeshua follower who served others well. Sheila was kind to everyone. She was giving, too.

I remember how she lovingly invited me to come live with her and her family in Phoenix, when my marriage fell apart. She not only magnanimously housed and fed me but also let me drive her car, until I found a job and my own place.

Being around someone who loved YeHoVaH and Yeshua as much as I did was the spiritual medicine I needed to heal from my broken heart and broken marriage. Sheila was that someone.

We worshipped together in the same church and ministry. We discussed Scripture together. We discussed the importance of speaking in tongues, which she did first. We participated on several of CWDA Ministry’s programs. We attended gatherings in which some of Christendom’s well-known preachers and pastors were the guest speakers. We went to Gospel concerts together.

I was called into the ministry and ordained before Sheila, but maybe that was only because I was seven years older than she. Nevertheless, I cannot remember a time when Sheila wasn’t sharing Yeshua’s Gospel, so I knew it was only a matter of time before she would be called into the ministry and ordained, too.

Sheila loved to sing and to travel; furthermore, she loved to meet new people. She worshipped in song, and she evangelized wherever she traveled, which was all over this world. Sheila also befriended numerous individuals from the various places she visited.

My cousin was a godly wife of one husband, Eugene McLeod. Additionally, Sheila was a godly mother of two children – Denné and Jarret – and she was a godly grandmother to Alivia. My cousin loved and inspired them all, as well as loved and inspired her siblings, nieces, nephews, cousins, and fellow co-laborers in the ministry. That is why there can be no doubt that these mentioned individuals and her beloved mother (Aunt Vera) will dearly miss Sheila.

For now, cousin, your work is done on this earth. Rest in peace in paradise, Sheila!

UPDATE:

The Obituary . . .

Sheila Arlene McLeod

January 6, 1958 – May 29, 2021


Sheila Arlene McLeod (Long) was born on January 6, 1958, to her loving parents William Henry Long and Vera Mae Wade (Long). She was the youngest of four children.  Although she was born in a Newark hospital, she was raised in East Orange, NJ.

Sheila received her formal education from the East Orange Public School system. After graduating from East Orange High School, Sheila went on to college at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI.  She originally started her college career to become an Ambassador. Later changing her major to Fashion Merchandising.

In 1979, Sheila married Eugene McLeod, from which two beautiful children were born. Of the two, the first was Denne’. Three years later, Sheila and Eugene followed her parents and her first cousin Althea Long to leave East Orange and moved to Phoenix, AZ. In 1985, their second child Jarret was born.

Sheila spent the majority of her working years with Fennemore Craig Law Firm, 32 years to be exact. During those 32 years, she became a member of Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church, approximately in 1984, which was the beginning of her spiritual awakening and her journey to serve God.  After some time, Sheila became very involved in Christian Ministry. Other passions of Sheila’s were international travel and family genealogy. At one point, she studied to become a travel agent.

It wasn’t long before Sheila began traveling internationally for personal fulfillment and for Christian missionary ministry as a member of Christian Women’s Devotional Alliance (CWDA) and Oasis International Fellowship Ministry. Ultimately, Sheila became an ordained minister operating in the office of evangelism and the spoken word. Her last place of ministry was with Living Waters Church of Mesa.

Aside from Sheila’s work in ministry and her many travels around the world, she loved spending time with her immediate and extended family.  She comes from a family full of singers and musicians. It’s no wonder that one of her favorite passions was singing in the church choir and singing with her family. Sheila grew up singing with her sisters, her brother, and many cousins who were more like siblings than cousins. Sheila also took many cruises, and when she was at home she enjoyed her favorite TV shows – a shared family trait.

Sheila and Eugene were married 41 years. They had an undeniable bond that could not be broken. As the Scripture says, “a three-strand cord cannot easily be broken.” They lived their vows until parted by death.

Sheila heard the trumpet sound and received her wings on the afternoon of May 29, 2021. She will always be remembered for her strong opinions, her fierce sense of fashion, her perfectly posed pictures, and her love for her husband, children, and granddaughter. She loved her mother “Mommy,” her siblings, and her nieces, nephews, and all of her hundreds of cousins who were an extension of her sibling family. Sheila was affectionately called Grammy by her only granddaughter, Alivia, and aunty, aunt Shilla, or just “Shilla” by her nieces, nephews, everyone in the family, and by her friends. Anyone who had ever met her would quickly be corrected with the proper pronunciation of her name. She would say, “it’s not Sheela it’s Shilla.”

She leaves to cherish her memory her loving husband Eugene McLeod, daughter Denne’ Armstead, son Jarret McLeod, a stepson and stepdaughter Terrell Lucas and Qamar Cureton, a son-in-law David Armstead, one granddaughter Alivia Armstead, mother Vera Mae Long-Morgan, two sisters Maxine Marshall and Caressa Long-Golden, a brother Kevin Long, a sister-in-law Julia McLeod Traylor, four brothers-in-law Edward Marshall, Hallowell McLeod II, Larry Traylor, and Willy Bright, 12 nieces and nephews, 12 great-nieces and nephews, a host of cousins, and a tremendous number of beloved friends and co-workers. She was predeceased by her father William Henry Long, mother and father-in-law Hallowell Sr. and Artelia McLeod, and two sisters-in-law Robin Long and Linda Bright. She will be sorely missed by all but her memory will always be held in our heart forever.

Mystified Mother

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Can a mother forget the infant at her breast,
    walk away from the baby she bore?  – Isaiah 49:15a, MSG

It is Mother’s Day today, but all I can focus on is the fact that four years ago, on the 9th of May, I laid my eldest son to rest. Because I lost a child, each Mother’s Day since his passing, I am mystified whenever I think about being a mother who outlived her oldest son.

I am utterly bewildered because I feel sad and happy on Mother’s Day. I am sad because I lost a son whom I miss every day, and I am blessed (happy) because I still have a son – my youngest son – whom I see every day.

Furthermore, because I am still grieving Ade’s death, Mother’s Day is extremely bittersweet. That is to say, on one hand, I feel immense joy because I was blessed with two sons (Ade and Tarik). I also feel enormous gratitude for every moment I have had with both of them. On the other hand, the pain from missing Ade is so intense that it frequently lessens the joy I should be feeling for Tarik who is alive. Then too, the deep anguish I feel because I miss Ade often diminishes the genuine thankfulness I should be expressing for the time I still have with Tarik.

I am the mother of a child who is not alive. I am also the mother of a child who is alive. Let there be no doubt about it. I love both of my sons in unique and special ways, but the uncomfortable truth is one of them is dead. That is why it is difficult for me – a grieving mother – to feel immense joy all day long on Mother’s Day, especially since I am torn between feeling joy and happiness for Tarik and grief and anguish for Ade. I am certain that all bereaved mothers who have surviving children live with many of the same confusing contrasts.

The bottom line is that since May 2, 2017, when my firstborn son died, Mother’s Day became a day that is hard for me to enjoy because I live with an emptiness that no one – not even my alive son – can fill. As a result, I more than likely will be sad and unsociable on Mother’s Day. I may even need to be by myself.

Whatever shape my grief takes on Mother’s Day, I don’t want people to lecture me about how I shouldn’t forget just how “lucky” I am to have a son who is alive. Losing a child changed everything for me. In other words, I am a different kind of mother because I am a different kind of normal. Therefore, the people who want to support me on difficult days like Mother’s Day need to understand that supporting me means accepting that I am a grieving mother who will always love and miss her deceased son, as well as will always love her living son and will always be immensely grateful that he is alive.

Kicking Trifling Derrières

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“Behold, I have given you authority to trample upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you..” ~ Luke 10:19, TLV

All believers will not automatically receive the Baptism of the Ruach HaKodesh (a.k.a., the Holy Spirit). As a result, there are too many  believers in Yeshua who are living without their portions of the Lord’s Dunamis (Power) and Exousia (Authority) – they are living without having any of the Kingdom power and Kingdom authority YeHoVaH reserved for them so that they would be able to perform the kinds of miraculous and spiritual works their portions of the Lord’s Dunamis and Exousia would help them do. For this reason, believers in Yeshua need to know and understand that without the Filling of the Ruach HaKodesh (the Baptism of the Holy Spirit), they never will be able to defeat the works of Satan, the works of his minions, or the works of their own fleshly and soulish desires.  

For us to have enough Kingdom power and Kingdom authority to kick Satan and his minions’ trifling derrières, or to heal the sick and to raise the dead, we first must be filled with the Ruach HaKodesh. His Filling is the only way we can be empowered and endowed to do the kind of works Yeshua did. Furthermore, if the Ruach HaKodesh is not transforming us (progressively changing us) into the likeness of Yeshua via the Ruach HaKodesh’s Sanctification Process, we won’t be ready to receive any Kingdom power or Kingdom authority and, thus, won’t be able to function as empowered and endowed believers in Yeshua.

Even though we claim Yeshua as our personal Savior, if we do not have the Ruach HaKodesh’s Filling we either will backslide again and again or we will remain as spiritually immature babes in Yeshua who are on milk instead of on the Word’s meat. Moreover, without the Filling of the Ruach HaKodesh, we also could experience the big FALL – the prophesied end times’ falling away from the Faith (apostasy). This fall also would cause us to blaspheme the Ruach HaKodesh.

We must be filled and refilled with the Ruach HaKodesh so that we can receive the Kingdom power and Kingdom authority that will keep us safe from accepting false teaching and/or developing disbelief, which could cause us to fall away from the Faith. YeHoVaH wants to provide our escape. He wants to give us the same Kingdom power and Kingdom authority that is in Yeshua. This Kingdom power and Kingdom authority are needed so that we will be able to kick Satan and his demons’ trifling derrières. This Kingdom power and Kingdom authority also are needed so that we will be able to overcome the world and our flesh. Shalom.

Yeshua’s Death, Burial, and Resurrection Happened on YeHoVaH’s Moedim

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“These are the appointed feasts of YeHoVaH, holy convocations which you are to proclaim in their appointed season. During the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month in the evening, is YeHoVaH’s Passover. ~ Leviticus 23:4-5

“Observe the month of Aviv [Nisan] and keep the Passover to YeHoVaH your God, for in the month of Aviv YeHoVaH your God brought you out from Egypt by night. …For seven days you are to eat matzot with it, the bread of affliction—for you came out from the land of Egypt in haste. Do this so that all the days of your life you will remember the day when you came out from the land of Egypt. ~ Deuteronomy 16:1, 3

On the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Matzot [Unleavened Bread] to YeHoVaH. For seven days you are to eat matzah [unleavened bread]. On the first day you are to have a holy convocation and you should do no regular work. Instead you are to present an offering made by fire to YeHoVaH for seven days. On the seventh day is a holy convocation, when you are to do no regular work.” ~ Leviticus 23:6-8

YeHoVaH spoke to Moses saying: “Speak to Bnei-Yisrael [children of Israel] and tell them: When you have come into the land which I give to you, and reap its harvest, then you are to bring the omer of the firstfruits of your harvest to the kohen. He is to wave the omer before YeHoVaH, to be accepted for you. On the morrow after the Shabbat, the kohen is to wave it.  ~ Leviticus 23:9-11

Get rid of the old hametz [leavened food], so you may be a new batch, just as you are unleavened—for Messiah, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed. ~ 1 Corinthians 5:7

But now Messiah has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead also has come through a Man. For as in Adam all die, so also in Messiah will all be made alive. But each in its own order: Messiah the firstfruits; then, at His coming, those who belong to Messiah; ~ 1 Corinthians 15:20-23

According to Scripture, Yeshua died on Passover (14 Nisan) – not on the man-made, man-established Good Friday. Furthermore, Scripture says that YeHoVaH established 14 Nisan (Aviv) as the date on which the Hebrews would annually keep the Passover (see Deuteronomy 16:1 above).

This year, Passover, 14 Nisan, began at sunset on March 27. Now, it is important to mention here that a Jewish day starts at sunset and ends, 24 hours later, at the next sunset.

Concerning Yeshua’s Passover crucifixion, it is written:

Now it was the third hour when they nailed Him on the stake. And the inscription of the charge against Him was written above: “THE KING OF THE JEWS.” And with Him they execute two outlaws, one on His right and one on His left. ~ Mark 15:25-27

NOTE:  

According to Scripture, the Jewish third hour of daylight time is 9 AM.

Concerning Yeshua’s Passover death, it is written:

Now from the sixth hour, darkness fell upon all the land until the ninth hour. About the ninth hour Yeshua cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You abandoned Me?” – Matthew 27:45-46

NOTE:

According to Scripture, the Jewish sixth hour of daylight time is 12 Noon, and the Jewish ninth hour of daylight time is 3 PM.

In Scripture, YeHoVaH makes it known why the Jewish followers of Yeshua had to take Him down from the cross and put Him into a grave before the Feast of Unleavened Bread began at sunset on 15 Nisan – the start of a new 24-hour day. The reason they had to rush to get Yeshua in the grave is because the first day of the seven days YeHoVaH established for the Feast of Unleavened Bread was a High Sabbath (a festival Sabbath). A High Sabbath is different from the weekly seventh-day Sabbath because a High Sabbath can fall on any day of the week.

It is written:

It was the Day of Preparation, and the next day was a festival Shabbat. So that the bodies should not remain on the execution stake during Shabbat, the Judean leaders asked Pilate to have the legs broken and to have the bodies taken away. ~ John 19:31

Without a doubt, Yeshua fulfilled YeHoVaH’s Passover Feast because He was the prophesied human Passover Lamb. Yeshua was the only person who could satisfy the without spot or blemish PERFECT sacrificial lamb prerequisite.

Now, throughout the Bible, leaven is used to symbolize sin. Since Yeshua never sinned during His entire life, this truth is why He also fulfilled the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Yeshua was unleavened, meaning He was without sin, just like the matzah bread YeHoVaH commanded the Jewish people to eat for the seven days of Unleavened Bread.

It is written:

Get rid of the old hametz [food with leaven in it], so you may be a new batch, just as you are unleavened— ~ 1 Corinthians 5:7a

On the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Matzot [Unleavened Bread] to YEHOVAH. For seven days you are to eat matzah [unleavened bread]. ~ Leviticus 23:6

Lastly, nothing associated with Easter Sunday makes it the day Yeshua was resurrected because His resurrection fulfilled First Fruits. Yeshua’s resurrection on First Fruits fulfilled this feast day because His risen body represents the “firstfruits” of the souls who will be raised from the dead.

On the holy convocation day of First Fruits, Jewish family members took a sheaf, the firstfruits of their Barley Harvest, to the Temple for the priest to wave it – to offer it up to YeHoVaH – so that He would accept the offering and then bless the rest of their harvest. It was on His First Fruits’ resurrection day that Yeshua ascended into Heaven with those who were raised from their graves, AFTER Yeshua had risen, and presented them and Himself to YeHoVaH for His acceptance so that He would bless the future Barley harvests of saved souls.

It is written:

And the tombs were opened, and many bodies of the kedoshim [saints, holy ones] who were sleeping were raised to life. And coming forth out of the tombs after His [Yeshua’s] resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many. ~ Matthew 27:52-53

Yeshua says to her [Mary Magdalene, a.k.a., Miriam], “Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet gone up to the Father. Go to My brothers and tell them, ‘I am going up to My Father and your Father, to My God and your God.’” ~ John 20:17

Now, the deceased saints could not rise before Yeshua rose because Yeshua had to be the firstfruits so that we who are His can also be resurrected from the dead.

It is written:

But now Messiah has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead also has come through a Man. For as in Adam all die, so also in Messiah will all be made alive. But each in its own order: Messiah the firstfruits; then, at His coming, those who belong to Messiah; ~ 1 Corinthians 15:20-23

Since Yeshua specifically had to be the firstfruits of those who died in Him, this truth is why He had to be resurrected on to fulfill the First Fruits feast day. He not only had to rise from the grave on the third day following His burial but also Yeshua had to ascend into Heaven to present Himself to YeHoVaH as the firstfruits of the Barley Harvest of saved souls that He needed YeHoVaH to bless so that none would be lost.

As a final point, I say unequivocally that the uncomfortable truth is Yeshua wasn’t Good Friday’s Passover Lamb because Passover, during the week Yeshua died, was on the fourth day of the week, which in the western world is Wednesday. Yeshua also wasn’t Easter Sunday’s Firstfruits because First Fruits, during the week Yeshua was crucified, was on the first day of the week that was three 24-hour days after He was buried on the first day of Unleavened Bread. In the western world, the first day of Unleavened Bread during the week Yeshua died was on Thursday.

The bottom line is that Yeshua fulfilled Passover (as the Passover Lamb), Unleavened Bread (as the blameless, spotless, sinless Sacrifice), and First Fruits (as the resurrected Firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep). Since it is undeniable that Yeshua’s Death, Burial, and Resurrection coincided precisely  with YeHoVaH’s first three spring Moedim, which foreshadowed YeHoVaH’s plan of redemption and restoration that is still unfolding, I wonder what Christians will say when the LORD asks them why they continued to celebrate EASTER after they learned the truth about this pagan festival. I also wonder what these same Christians will say when the LORD questions them about changing HIS HOLY SEVENTH DAY SABBATH to the world’s Sunday (the first day of the week), especially since these Christians will have read or heard that Sunday was the day the pagan Sun-God worshippers worshipped their idol gods.

My prayer is for the millions, if not billions, of people who claim to love YeHoVaH and Yeshua but continue to celebrate the traditions of men – Palm Sunday, Good Friday, Easter, etcetera – instead of the Appointed Times of YeHoVaH to turn from their wicked ways. If this is Your Will, YeHoVaH, please make it happen soon. In Yeshua’s Name, I pray. Amen.

Softening with Time

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But the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will help you remember everything that I have told you. – John 14:26, AMP

Your betrayal nearly hardened my heart
Calcified instead fond episodic memories –
Consciously collected personal events
Stored in temporal lobe.

Imagining possible future experiences 
Not achievable since episodic memories’
Self-knowing awareness is inaccessible, 
Incapable of roaming at will.

Needing to believe my dreamlike ghostly 
Existence isn’t endless just a juxtaposition –
Tragedy and comedy placed side by side to
Accentuate both my sadness and foolishness –
I seek the answers to these mysterious and 
Unexplainable human psyche extremes that
Pull and stretch my mind’s corridors of time.

Hoping to sidestep eternal unawareness,
I pray for a softening with time my mind’s 
Repressive future until it allows petrified
Explicit memories to melt.

Let me consciously recall every pleasant 
Highly emotional date, place, experience 
Containing sentimental value so that my
Hope for a future is restored. 

-	composed March 18, 2021  

It’s My 70th Birthday

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Today is my birthday – my 70th birthday. Even though the Bible doesn’t give specific customs that relate to the celebration of anyone’s 70th birthday,  the Jewish sages not only thought 70 was a special number but also thought that it was definitely appropriate for a person celebrating a 70th birthday to mark the occasion by expressing gratitude for having lived what the Rabbis considered to be “a full life.”

For sure, biblically speaking, 70 is a special number that appears over and over again in Scripture. Therefore, 70 is a number of significant importance, especially since 70 represents completeness – the completeness of the nations of the world, the founding members of the Children of Israel, and the components of the authoritative judicial body of Israel. These and other biblical 70 years, according to the Jewish sages, are also why a person who has reached the age of 70 has achieved a “fullness of years.”

“For thus says the Lord: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place.” – Jeremiah 29:10, TLV

“Seventy weeks are decreed concerning your people and your holy city,
to put an end to transgression
to bring sin to an end,
to atone for iniquity,
to bring in everlasting righteousness,
to seal up vision and prophecy,
and to anoint the Holy of Holies.” – Daniel 9:24, TLV

In the Torah (Old Testament), the number 70 is often connected with YeHoVaH’s creation of the nations of the world, according to the number of Israel. After the Flood, the world was repopulated through 70 descendants of Noah (Genesis 10). Seventy (70) souls of Jacob’s family went down to Egypt (Genesis 46:27). Seventy (70) elders were appointed to help Moses administer Israel in the wilderness (Numbers 11:16); the people of Judah spent 70 years of exile in Babylon (Jeremiah 25:11 and 29:10). Seventy (70) weeks, 70 units of seven for a total of 490 years, were decreed by YeHoVaH as the period in which Messianic redemption was to be accomplished (Daniel 9:24). In the New Testament, Yeshua sent out the Seventy (Luke 10:1, in some manuscripts the number is 72); Yeshua commanded forgiveness ‘until seventy times seven’ (Matthew 18:22).  

Once again, even though the Bible doesn’t give specific customs that relate to the celebration of anyone’s 70th birthday,  the Jewish sages not only thought 70 was a special number but also thought that it was definitely appropriate for a person celebrating a 70th birthday to mark the occasion by expressing gratitude for having lived what the Rabbis considered to be “a full life.” Today is my birthday – my 70th birthday.

Thank You, YeHoVaH, for letting me live to see my 70th birthday. Happy Birthday, to me!

We Will Recognize and Reunite with Deceased Loved Ones in Heaven

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Now we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who are asleep, so that you may not grieve like the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Yeshua died and rose again, so with Him [YeHoVaH] will also bring those who have fallen asleep in Yeshua. For this we tell you, by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord shall in no way precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself shall come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the blast of [YeHoVaH’s] shofar, and the dead in Messiah shall rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left behind, will be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air—and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words. – 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, TLV

There have been many times that I have been asked the following question: Do you believe we will be able to recognize our deceased loved ones when we see them in Heaven? My unequivocal answer is “yes.”

I believe everyone Yeshua saved will not only spiritually see and recognize their loved ones in Heaven but also will spiritually reunite with them. In 1 John 3:2, the apostle John says, “Loved ones, now we are YeHoVaH’s children; and it has not yet been revealed what we will be. But we do know that when it’s revealed, we shall be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.”

The above-quoted 1 John verse should make today’s believers in Yeshua ask, “How are we who have never seen Yeshua in His physical form going to recognize Him in Heaven when He will be in His Spirit being form?” I believe the apostle John’s verse is true because I believe everyone who is Yeshua’s spiritual Bride will definitely see and recognize Yeshua with his or her born-again spirit in his or her glorified body as soon as He gathers His Bride together (reunites everyone) in the air and then takes everyone with Him into the Third Heaven.   

In the Old Testament, we read that King David was comforted by what he believed, which was that he would see his deceased infant son again. David says, “It is I who will be going to him, but he will never return to me” (2 Samuel 12:23b). David also writes, “Precious in the sight of [YeHoVaH] is the death of His kedoshim” (Psalm 116:14). The Hebrew word “kedoshim” means holy ones.

In the New Testament, Peter, Jacob (a.k.a., James), and John, who were with Yeshua on the Mount of Transfiguration when Yeshua was transfigured and His heavenly Shekinah Glory shone through Him and through His clothes, recognized Moses and Elijah when they appeared. Now, none of Yeshua’s disciples had ever seen Moses or Elijah, yet the Scripture says, “And as they were leaving Yeshua, Peter said to Him, ‘Master, it’s good for us to be here. Let’s make three sukkot: one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah”—not knowing what he was saying” (Luke 9:33; see also Matthew 17:3-4).

At His Last Supper, after Yeshua had blessed and offered up to YeHoVaH a cup of wine, the Lord says the following to His disciples:  “Take this and share it among yourselves. For I tell you that I will never drink of the fruit of the vine from now on, until the kingdom of [YeHoVaH] comes” (Luke 22:17-18).

All the verses I have quoted above are why I believe our born-again spirits will not only see and recognize our deceased loved ones when we are all in YeHoVaH’s Heaven but also our born-again spirits will reunite with them there. We will see, recognize, and reunite with our earthly families and loved ones, as well as with the people of YeHoVaH from all the ages  – those we had seen before, and those we had never seen; those who had died a physical death, and those who had never died. Shalom!

Epiphany on Three Kings’ Day

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For this reason I, Paul, am a prisoner of Messiah Yeshua for the sake of you Gentiles. Surely you have heard about the plan of [YeHoVaH’s] grace given to me for you— that the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I wrote before briefly. When you read this, you can understand my insight into the mystery of Messiah— which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations, as it has now been revealed by the Ruach to His holy emissaries and prophets. This mystery is that the Gentiles are joint heirs and fellow members of the same body and co-sharers of the promise in Messiah Yeshua through the Good News. – Ephesians 3:1-6, TLV

YeHoVaH certainly moves in mysterious ways. Case in point, on Epiphany – a man-made holiday on which many Christians celebrate Yeshua’s physical manifestation to Gentiles (the Magi) – YeHoVaH allowed just a few of America’s many Trump enablers to experience a personal epiphany about how mentally unfit the leader of the free world is.

It took the failed insurrection on January 6, 2021, which Trump incited, before some United States senators, representatives, and the Vice President (Magi, of sorts) had a sudden and striking realization that theirs and Trump’s lies, conspiracy theories, and hateful rhetoric had motivated a pro-Trump mob – thugs, rioters – to breach Capitol security. After the smoke had settled, five Americans were dead. Their blood is on the hands of the following Republican Senators: Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, Cindy Hyde-Smith, Cynthia Lummis, Rick Scott (Florida), Roger Marshall, and Tommy Tuberville. These disgraceful seven Republican senators, and over a hundred dishonorable Republican representatives, carried through with objecting to the electors AFTER witnessing firsthand the pro-Trump mob’s anarchy.

The second day in America that will live in infamy – January 6, 2021 – also is a day that exposed just how fake many American Christians are, especially the ones who support Trump. Indeed, Muslim nations not only are laughing at our democratic process but also are laughing at the mayhem American Christians created.

Christian Nationalists

There is nothing Yeshua-like in a President who cannot accept defeat and who still is unwilling to officially concede the 2020 election. There is nothing Yeshua-like in a President who spent months stoking the anger of his supporters with lies about the Democrats stealing the 2020 election. There is nothing Yeshua-like in confessed believers storming, rioting, vandalizing, and looting the Capitol Building. There is nothing Yeshua-like in elected Christian congressional officials who not only refuse to ask the President to repent, after making so many false claims, but also reiterate the same false claims, while they, too, refuse to repent.

The epiphany so many Christian Americans – politicians, religious leaders, police, churchgoers, and so forth – should have experienced, either on January 6th or the day after, is that President Trump is not mentally sound. Without a doubt, YeHoVaH also has shown Americans how rotten our government and our Christianity are – rottenness that is in President Trump and runs throughout the United States Congress, law enforcement agencies, and Christian churches. A word to the wise should be sufficient.