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 guaranteedregardless 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.
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 Tabernacleslong 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!
3 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. 4 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.” 5 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!” 6 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. 7 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.” 8 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.
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
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.
“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 thelaw 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.
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, immersing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Ruach ha-Kodesh, 20 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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
“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.
“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
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
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.