Posts tagged ‘God’s Covenant’

IMPORTANT: What Jesus WANTS For *Godly Relationships!*

For those who don’t yet know my testimony or my story, I’ll give a brief overview here:

I had met Jesus personally during a couple of near-death experiences (one at around 23 months of age and another at just 14 years old). And at age 19, I knew who Jesus was. I had a huge children’s illustrated bible at my disposal (shortly after near-death experience #1), as well as the “official” KJV version I took from a ski resort condo when I was 15.

But at age 19-20, I still had NO IDEA what a “Christian” even WAS, the full extent to WHAT Jesus had done for mankind on the cross, or about any of the “meanings” of the words (“grace”, “born again”, “salvation”, etc.) of what I was reading in the “official” version of the KJV bible I was reading. I was really struggling to understand what it all meant. Well, one day in the mail, I got a invitation to a play (put on by a church) called: “Heaven’s Gate and Hell’s Flames”.

At first, I didn’t want to go. I thought I’d feel like the odd one out compared to all the people who’d been going to church their whole lives! However, after some grappling with the Lord over it, (i.e. remember when Moses got nervous about being the spokesman of Israel?) I decided to bite the bullet and take a chance and go, anyways! Well, I’m glad I did! First of all, I guy I had gone to High-School with had played the part of one of the angels! So hey, atleast I knew SOMEONE there, right?

And after the play, they handed out some FREE literature (Specifically, a small, brand-new pocket-sized “God’s Word: New Testament & Psalms). They told me to read it, look over it and then call them if I had any questions about what I was reading. They also assigned to me something called a “prayer accountability partner”, even though I didn’t really know what that meant at the time. And even though I was grateful for the FREE play and FREE literature, I was still somewhat hesitant about “attending church”. I just felt OVERWHELMED!

So I didn’t end up becoming a member of that church. Instead, I thanked them for the free bible and begun to read that God’s Word translation from cover to cover at home, in my own free time. But what really got me were the very first introductory pages! They just explained things to me SO WELL! Plus they even put the most important things IN BOLD! I knew that Jesus had some wonderful things in store for me by having them give me that easy-to-understand version of the New Testament! It’s just exactly what I needed at that time!

And as I begin to read and pour over the pages, I FINALLY began to understand what all those “words” meant (i.e. “grace”, “born again”, “salvation”), about what Jesus did, about how we’re all sinners and about how ONLY Jesus can save us from our sins! And so once I felt I had a firm grasp and understanding on THAT God’s Word translation, I quickly decided I was then gonna read the “official” King James Version, cover to cover, no matter how long it took!

(Please keep in mind that I had NO job at this point, had broken up with my S.O. AND had gotten kicked out of college! I was living off of savings/credit cards at that point. So for 8 months straight, that’s how Jesus orchestrated that time in my life so that it was just me and Him at that time! And what a wonderful BLESSING that turned out to be! Jesus was giving me a break from EVERYTHING and EVERYONE so that I could PEACEFULLY learn more about HIM and HIS GOSPEL!)

I understood most of everything I had read and was “amazed” at all the “love stories” (Boaz and Ruth, Jacob and Rachel, Isaac and Rebekah) that I had read! And I was young and filled with promise! I thought: “Hey, if it could happen to these folks in the bible, it can happen to ME, too!” I had this idea or picture in my mind that I’d meet my spouse by the age of 25, have kids by 30, and have a house by 35! In fact, don’t we ALL have pre-conceived notions in our mind like that?

So even though I had the KNOWLEDGE of Jesus and his gospel by age 21, I didn’t quite yet have the FAITH in Jesus that’s required! And so, for many years afterwards, that LACK OF FAITH in Jesus (concerning my love-life and considering other areas of my life) did me some SERIOUS HARM!

In fact, I was “mad at Jesus” for not bringing me a spouse for such a long, long time! I’m ashamed to even type this across the page but my “thoughts” for a LONG time concerning my love-life were the following: Jesus, you bring EVERYONE ELSE a spouse but not ME! Why? What’s wrong with ME? What are you punishing ME for? What wrong have “I” done against thee? Why am “I” not so-called deserving of a spouse but yet, other people seemingly ARE? Those people don’t even worship you AT ALL and they got a spouse before me! Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Tell me WHY!!!!???” 

I ended up not only being angry and bitter for MANY YEARS towards a few people that had majorly hurt me in my life but I also later ended up in FOUR consecutive abusive relationships! (Note: I had gotten so tired of “waiting on God” at that particular point in my life that I decided to “take matters into my own hands”).

Though none of them were physically abusive (I atleast got lucky in THAT regard), they were all emotionally, psychologically, mentally and SPIRITUALLY ABUSIVE! They CUT AWAY at my self-esteem, made me doubt myself, somewhat made me doubt God/Jesus, tampered with my faith, got me feeling VERY hopeless and depressed and ALMOST completely RUINED ME as a Christian! 

I had SO MUCH HATE in my heart towards the individuals who hurt me. “How could they?” I thought: “Jesus, how could you ALLOW that to happen to me at the hands of these people? Don’t you care about me AT ALL, Jesus? I was in this bitter, bitter place of anger, hurt, resentment, restlessness and mental/emotional ANGUISH! I was TORMENTED by the angered hatred I felt for those those individuals!

Odd thing is, I didn’t even really WANT to hate those individuals but my PRIDE got in the way of that! Even when Jesus gently said to me in my spirit: Told ya so! You should’ve listened to me and done things MY way, instead of your OWN way”, I was STILL stubborn about it. “But you don’t understand, Lord! You don’t understand what it’s like to be ME!” And the Lord seemed to say to me in my spirit, in response: “I CREATED you! I know you better than you even know YOURSELF!” 

It wasn’t really until I was about 30 years old or so that Jesus began to “soften” my heart towards the individuals who had hurt me and I began to see how my hate and resentment was EATING AWAY AT ME ON THE INSIDE! The Holy Spirit even revealed to me that my “hate” was eating away at MY SOUL! Wow! What a powerful, convicting description!

Eventually, I surrendered all that hurt, anger, fear, resentment to Jesus. I prayed: “Jesus, I don’t WANT to hate or resent anymore, it’s already taken SO MUCH from me! I WANT to be able to FORGIVE, so please HELP ME to FORGIVE and MOVE ON, as I know I can’t do it alone……only WITH your divine help, Lord!

And ya know what? Jesus IS faithful and true! He DID help me to forgive them. He pointed out SEVERAL things to me. First of all, he informed me that the people who hurt me were themselves hurting on the inside. Secondly, they didn’t even fully consciously realize how much they had hurt me. Thirdly, Jesus wanted me to know that it wasn’t my fault and that their OWN healing would ALSO someday come about BY my forgiving them! Wow! Such powerful words of wisdom!

And AS I forgave them [Jesus had me starting out by writing “forgiveness letters” to each person who had hurt me – though I had never hand-delivered the letters to them personally], I felt SO MUCH BAGGAGE lift OFF of me and my SPIRIT! I felt FREE for the first time in a VERY long time! My SOUL felt FREE! I felt PEACE! I felt LOVE! I felt JOY! I felt CONTENTMENT!

I no longer had “heart palpitations” or “anxiety attacks!” It was like a HUGE ANCHOR had been LIFTED off of me! I no longer felt “weighed down” by anger and hate! In fact, I was the happiest I had ever been! In fact, people started to notice. The relationships with the people who had hurt me began to DRASTICALLY improve! It was nothing short of a MIRACLE! (This was when I was around age 34 or so, I believe?)

However, even at 34, there was still alot of “spiritual work” to be done! Because at THAT point in my life, I STILL had no idea about the TRUTH about church history, the Judeo roots of Christianity, etc. I would learn all of that later (like, age 36 or so). It’s funny how the Lord reveals things to me in “stages”. Sometimes, I wish he’d reveal things to me all at once, but that’s a different post for a different day! 😉 Jesus has also (in the last several months) helped me to soften my heart towards HIMSELF, concerning certain things in my life! 

Okay, now fast forward to today. Even though I’ve been a Christian for about 20 years now, I’ve only most recently learned what Jesus expects for a GODLY RELATIONSHIP (be it a relationship, a friendship, a marriage, etc.) And what I learned in the series just BLEW ME AWAY! Wow! How had I not ever seen this before? And then I got to thinking. How many OTHERS out there have not seen this before? Probably SEVERAL

I’ve most recently viewed an 8-part series and a powerful one-hour+ sermon on the matter. And ALL of them were eye-opening! And ALL of them ask the same questions: “Am I seeking a spouse with the RIGHT spiritual mind, heart and attitude before God? If not, why? If so, is it GOD’S time for me to have a spouse yet? If not, am I willing to wait on God instead of giving in to my own selfish desires? And if already married, am I bringing Christ INTO the marriage?” 

I will embed all the videos down below. [NOTE: PLEASE GET OUT A PEN AND PAPER AND TAKE LOTS OF NOTES!!!!!] I pray and hope that these will help you and enlighten you as much as they helped and enlightened ME! 😉 The first video is entitled “5 Keys To Identifying Your SoulMate” by Toure Roberts in L.A. and the next SEVERAL videos are the 8-PART series by Michael Todd from Transformation Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma!

The 7th-Day Sabbath (Saturday): A SIGN of God’s Covenant!

Many “Christian” churches today worship on Sunday, the FIRST day of the week! To many Christians, that is their “Sabbath!” But is that the CORRECT biblical Sabbath? Let us examine:

And I gave them my statutes, and shewed them my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them. Moreover also I gave them MY sabbaths, TO BE A SIGN between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them” – [Ezekiel 20: 11-12]

I am the Lord your God; walk in my statutes, and keep my judgments, and do them; And hallow MY sabbaths; and THEY SHALL BE A SIGN between me and you, that ye may know that I am the Lord your God – [Ezekiel 20:1 9-20]

“For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it

– [Exodus 20:11]

“Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you” – [Exodus 31:13]

“Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generationsfor a PERPETUAL COVENANT” – [Exodus 31:16]

And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made” – [Genesis 2: 2-3]

Hhhmm……There seems to be a SEVERE inconsistency between what the BIBLE says and what “the church” says, regarding the “Biblical Sabbath”, so who’s right? To get a more clearer picture, lets examine some quotes about WHY “the church” worships on Sunday, the FIRST day of the week, instead of Saturday, the 7th day of the week, for some more clues:

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[Source: http://amazingdiscoveries.org/S-deception-Sabbath_Sunday_Catholic_Church]

Cardinal James Gibbons, The Faith of Our Fathers (Ayers Publishing, 1978): 108:

“But you may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find a single line authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. The Scriptures enforce the religious observance of Saturday, a day which we never sanctify”.

The Convert’s Catechism of Catholic Doctrine (1957): 50:

Q. Which is the Sabbath day?
A. Saturday is the Sabbath day.
Q. Why Do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday?
A. We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday.

Chancellor Albert Smith for Cardinal of Baltimore Archdiocese, letter dated February 10, 1920:

“If Protestants would follow the Bible, they should worship God on the Sabbath day created by God, which is Saturday. In keeping the Sunday, they are following a law of the Catholic Church”.

Stephen Keenan, Catholic—Doctrinal Catechism 3rd Edition: 174:

Question: Have you any other way of proving the Church has power to institute festivals of precept?

Answer: Had she not such power, she could not have done that in which all modern religionists agree with her, she could not have substituted the observance of Sunday the 1st day of the week, for the observance of Saturday the 7th day, a change for which there is no Scriptural authority.

Our Sunday Visitor (February 5, 1950):

“Practically everything Protestants regard as essential or important they have received from the Catholic Church… The Protestant mind does not seem to realize that in accepting the Bible and observing the Sunday, in keeping Christmas and Easter, they are accepting the authority of the spokesman for the church, the Pope“.

Catholic Priest T. Enright, CSSR, Kansas City, MO:

It was the holy Catholic Church that changed the day of rest from Saturday to Sunday, the 1st day of the week. And it not only compelled all to keep Sunday, but at the Council of Laodicea, AD 364, anathematized those who kept the Sabbath and urged all persons to labor on the 7th day under penalty of anathema.

Catholic Priest T. Enright, CSSR, lecture at Hartford, KS, Feb 18, 1884::

“I have repeatedly offered $1000 to any one who can furnish any proof from the Bible that Sunday is the day we are bound to keep…The Bible says, “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy,” but the Catholic Church says, “No, keep the first day of the week,” and the whole world bows in obedience”.

Cardinal John Newman, An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine (London: Basil Montague Pickering, 1878): 373::

The use of temples, and these dedicated to particular saints, and ornamented on occasions with branches of trees; incense, lamps, and candles; votive offerings on recovery from illness; holy water; asylums; holydays and seasons…are ALL of pagan origin and sanctified by their adoption into the Church.:

Catholic Record (September 1, 1923):

“The [catholic] Church is above the Bible, and this transference of the Sabbath observance is proof of that fact”.

Pope Leo XIII, Praeclara Gratulationis Publicae (The Reunion of Christendom), June 20, 1894:

“We hold upon this earth the place of God Almighty”.

“Pope,” Ferraris’ Ecclesiastic Dictionary:

“The Pope is of so great dignity and so exalted that he is not a mere man, but as it were God, and the vicar of God”. [Note: Vicar of God means “Son of God”, the same title that JESUS has!]

American Catholic Quarterly Review (January 1883):

“Sunday…is purely a creation of the Catholic Church”.

Catholic American Sentinel (June 1893):

“Sunday…It is a law of the Catholic Church alone…”

“The Question Box,” The Catholic Universe Bulletin (August 14, 1942): 4:

“The (Catholic) Church changed the observance of the Sabbath to Sunday by right of the divine, infallible authority given to her by her Founder, Jesus Christ. The Protestant claiming the Bible to be the only guide of faith, has no warrant for observing Sunday. In this matter, the Seventh-day Adventist is the only consistent Protestant.”

NOTE: This change from Saturday to Sunday Sabbath was prophesied about in Daniel 7. The great reformer Philipp Melanchton knew this truth five centuries ago. He wrote this:

“…….They have changed God’s laws and turned them into their own traditions to be kept above God’s precepts”.

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Alright here folks, so what can we conclude from all this? Simple. 5 things:

1). The Roman Catholic Church CHANGED the biblical Sabbath from the 7th day of the week (Saturday) to Sunday (the 1st day of the week).

2). The Roman Catholic Church HAD NO BIBLICAL AUTHORITY TO DO SO!

3). Nearly ALL Protestant churches (except the 7th-day Adventists) have followed suit!

4). The 7th-Day Biblical Sabbath is on SATURDAY, not Sunday!

5). The 7th-Day Biblical Sabbath (Saturday) is A SIGN of God’s Covenant between God/Jesus and his people!

Reading through the bible (from Old to New Testaments), God/Jesus had many “signs” of his covenant between he and his people! One of the signs of his covenant was circumcision! Another sign was his biblical feasts and biblical precepts! But THE MOST important sign of the covenant between he and his people was KEEPING THE 7TH-DAY SABBATH (SATURDAY) HOLY!

So…..are all the Christians out there who are keeping the Sunday Sabbath BREAKING God’s Covenant? The simple answer is YES! (However, most of them are probably unaware of this fact and I pray that Jesus has mercy upon their souls! Afterall, I myself followed the 1st day Sabbath – Sunday – until I became “born again” and came to know better!)

But of all the Christians in the world, just THINK how many are “guilty” (rather they realize it or not) of BREAKING THE BIBLICAL SABBATH (which is Saturday!) That number would have to be in the MILLIONS, possibly BILLIONS! This is SCARY, folks! This is quite sobering!

Jesus says in Hosea 4: 6-7 [Old Testament, Book of Hosea, Chapter 4, Verses 6-7] “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. As they were increased, so they sinned against me: therefore will I change their glory into shame”. OUCH!

Therefore, Jesus is saying here that BECAUSE Christians (as a whole) have REJECTED his true Jewish gospel and forgotten the “Jewish laws” of God, that he will reject them AND their children and allow them to “spiritually perish”, ALL those who REJECT his biblical laws, his biblical Sabbath AND his biblical holidays and HAVE NO DESIRE to *learn them!* DOUBLE OUCH!

In other words, many people in today’s world claim to KNOW Christ but they don’t truly OBEY CHRIST! For to OBEY Christ actually means to FOLLOW Christ’s biblical commands!

Jesus says in Matthew 5: 17-18 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled”.

In other words, what Jesus is saying here is that the Old Testament laws (minus animal sacrifice, since Jesus eventually became the sacrifice HIMSELF for all of mankind) STILL APPLY! Hebrews 13:8 states “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever”. So what does that mean in plain English, folks? It means that Jesus Christ DOES NOT CHANGE and that his biblical laws DO NOT CHANGE! 

Therefore, even today in 2018 & beyond, we must STILL follow in the 7th day BIBLICAL SABBATH (SATURDAY) and in the BIBLICAL HOLIDAYS (such as Passover, Tabernacles, Pentecost, etc.) Now, there’s around 2.3 billion (plus or minus) Christians in the world, out of about 7.3 billion people on the planet. And the bible says that ALL of those 2.3 billion or so Christians must OBEY CHRIST’S JEWISH/BIBLICAL LAWS!

And so just how many Christians do you think are actually doing that, these days? How many Christians out there do you think are following the 7th day BIBLICAL Sabbath, are celebrating in the BIBLICAL holidays (Passover, Tabernacles, Pentecost, etc.) and are following the BIBLICAL laws (such as no eating pork, no wearing mixed fabrics, etc.?) Not very many, I can tell you that right now!

“Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” – Mark 7:7

Many Christians these days are simply unaware of the fact that they’re profaning the BIBLICAL Sabbath by celebrating in the Sun-day/man-made (Catholic Church) Sabbath! And I pray that the Lord Jesus has mercy upon those folks and that He finds any number of ways to try to reach them with THE TRUTH before it’s too late!

Because MANY Christians, upon learning THE TRUTH about “the church’s” history will GLADLY follow the Lord’s commandments, once they really learn what the Lord’s commands REALLY ARE! Others sit on the fence awhile, comfortably clinging to their own “tradition”, figuring that eventually, they’ll stop their man-made traditions in order to fully follow Christ. And yet others aren’t really sure WHAT to think and waver between two opinions for far too long!

But in fact, in 1 Kings 18:21 it says: “And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word”

The fact that the people “answered him not a word” says ALOT! It says that:

A). They didn’t truly know their God, the God of Israel (Jesus Christ Almighty)

B). They had given themselves over to demons/demonic spirits

C). They were full of “confusion”. 1 Corinthians 14:33 proclaims that “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints”.

In other words, the gospel of Jesus Christ (in and of itself) is NOT supposed to be “confusing”. However, all OTHER gospels and all OTHER religions contradict themselves. But Messianic Judaism/Jewish-roots Christianity is the ONLY religion on Earth that does NOT contradict itself! Reason being? It doesn’t have to! Everything is there in place, in neatly divined order and nothing’s out of place.

In other words, our God (the God of the bible) is NOT a God of Chaos but of NEATLY-DEFINED ORDER! From the laws of physics to the complexity of DNA, there is nothing out of place, no what ifs, everything is organized and in place! Everything is unique and has its very own special unique properties!

Another VERY INTERESTING fact from the Old Testament concerning The Sabbath is in Exodus 31:14 – “Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people”.

So in other words, the Lord God considers The 7th-Day Sabbath SO important that he proclaims that ANYONE who profaned it (back in Old Testament times) should be EXECUTED/PUT TO DEATH! OUCH! That’s pretty heavy, folks! Nevertheless, that truly tells us something, here: that tells us that if Jesus considered the profaning of the Sabbath to SUCH a degree in the Old Testament, that he most likely considers it JUST AS “weighty” in the New Testament & beyond! THIS IS SOBERING, FOLKS!

There are SO many Christians out there today that claim “it doesn’t matter on WHAT day you follow as The Sabbath, just AS LONG AS you follow ONE day a week FOR the Sabbath!” Wow! Such strong words! Jesus would likely be SPIRITUALLY APPALLED at those words! But lets start with the first three: “it doesn’t matter”. Well, we know from the bible that it DOES matter, it matters VERY, VERY MUCH! In fact, it mattered SO MUCH in the Old Testament that people were PUT TO DEATH for profaning it! So CLEARLY it DOES matter on WHICH day you follow as The Sabbath!

One interesting paradigm in the bible considers the two cases of Ishmael (Abraham’s son by his Egyptian slave woman, Hagar) and Isaac (his natural-born son by his wife, Sarah). Isaac is PART of the Covenant of God while Ishmael is NOT! Now why is that, do you think? Answer: Ishmael was born out of a time of “sin” (i.e. NOT waiting on God and acting prematurely IN PLACE OF GOD!)

Now what other instance in the bible can we think of where a supposed one of God ACTED PREMATURELY in PLACE OF GOD? Answer: When King Saul went ahead and made the animal sacrifice WITHOUT waiting on the prophet Samuel to arrive! And look what happened to HIM! Abraham, on the other hand, had a true heart for God and was FORGIVEN of his sin of “pre-maturing” the will of God

After Abraham REPENTED of his sin of “pre-maturing the will of God” and decided to WAIT for the will of God, Isaac was born! Therefore, Isaac was born at a time when there was NO sin surrounding the time of his birth! That’s why Isaac got to be a part of God’s Covenant, but Ishmael did NOT! Furthermore, Ishmael MOCKED Isaac and was cast out (along with his mother, Hagar) from the home of Abraham! And this was a foreshadowing of all the people that will be loved but still THROWN OUT of the presense of God at the time of the End! Why? Because they MOCKED the divine providence of God! Make sense?

And the covenant being with Isaac…….? Isaac is a prototype of all of today’s Christians that don’t just BELIEVE in Almighty God but OBEY HIM…….JOYFULLY OBEY HIM! Therefore, Isaac was a foreshadowing of all of today’s Christians that WILL BE/ARE a part of God’s TRUE biblical covenant! And so WHAT, once again, is **THE SIGN** OF that covenant? Answer: It is the keeping of the 7-day Biblical Sabbath (SATURDAY!)

[[P.S.: On a side note, you just KNOW we’re living in the Last Days when even some of the Jews THEMSELVES are trying NOT to keep the Biblical Sabbath Laws!]] 

https://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Supreme-court-lays-down-the-law-on-Shabbat-businesses-508479

Therefore, we have a choice: We can CHOOSE to become the spiritual essence of either Ishmael (the “cast out” son) or of Isaac (the “blessed son”). We’re free to make the choice, but what we are NOT free from is the eternal consequence of said choice. So for example, IF we make the WRONG CHOICE (i.e. choose to become the spiritual essence of Ishmael, the “cast out” son), and DIE in that choice, we are NOT free from the eternal lake of fire that awaits us! But if we choose the RIGHT CHOICE (becoming the spiritual essence of Isaac, the BLESSED SON), then we ARE automatically spared from the eternal lake of fire. Make sense, folks?

It is my hope and prayer that you will decide to become an “Isaac” (a 7th-Day Sabbath & biblical feasts/laws keeper) rather than an “Ishmael” (a person that thinks they can mock the God of the bible – rather directly or indirectly – and live their own way and celebrate in their own man-made Sabbaths/laws/feasts). Amen.