Mishpachah Yeshua Newsletter

A Newsletter To The Family Of Jesus From Restoration Ministries

The Hebraic family is not simply an individual or private matter.
Rather, it is an institution in which the whole community has a stake.
Thus, the Hebrew word “mishpachah,” meaning family, not only refers to parents and children, but to the whole extended family worldwide in the body of “Yeshua”—our Jesus.

[click here for a printable copy]

 

August 1997 Topic: Blessing The Jews

 

Dear Friends,
How do you bless you bless a nation?

Sue and I marvel as God continues to create avenues for the message of Restoration to reach His people. Several months ago we received a letter from Dr. Nityajeev Naidu in India. God had placed upon him and other Christians in India to restore the Hebraic foundations of the early Church. He didn’t mention how he heard about us, but he requested anything we could send. We sent Restoring the Early Church and other materials.
Last week we received this letter from him: “We are very thankful for the book which you have sent...With the help of it I could convince many Christian believers and make them to return to the practices of the early Church...We are very happy about your book. It has been enlightening thousands of people in India. All our congregations are conveying ‘SHALOM’ to you.”
Even as I write, I am humbled by his letter. I think of God’s wonderful way of using a few loaves to feed thousands. He commanded Sue and me in Israel, “Share this message...” We look forward to the day that innumerable Gentiles put the message of Restoration into practice, bringing glory to the Father through their lives.

“I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”
If you have read Restoring the Early Church or the short narrative Prodigal Church, you know that our primary ministry focus is to the Gentiles: 1) To share the facets of the early Church which made it both intimate and powerful; and 2) to make them aware of what God is doing on behalf of the Jewish people.
God’s promise to Abraham to bless those who bless the Jewish people seems a little “Old Testament” to many Gentile believers today: “Surely this command of God has been done away with in the New Testament!” Not so!!!
Paul affirms God’s command,“...For if the Gentiles have shared in the Jews’ spiritual blessings, they owe it to the Jews to share with them their material blessings”(Rom. 15:27). How many Gentile believers even consider ‘we owe blessings’ to the Jews? Not many. Most of the ones we talk with carry subtle anti-Semitic attitudes hallowed by centuries of repetition in the Church. I want to encourage each of you to look into your relationship with the Jewish people for yourself.
[We’ve received several comments about our last letter on “Who are the gatekeepers in the Church today?” Some of you told us how fearful you were to share that particular letter with your church leadership. Others were strengthened by the encouragement to become personally responsible for what they believed. The Holy Spirit then prompted this thought: “Many people feel that when they get to the judgment throne, their church leadership will be there like H & R Block representing them during an IRS audit. No!! Each will stand alone for what he/she believed.” Although Jesus is interceding for you now before our heavenly Father, the time will come when He will be the judge of what you did in this life. Can you imagine, with the commands in the Bible as a witness, how we will feel for failing to obey His commands to bless the Jewish people?]
Before Sue and I went to Israel in the fall of 1993 to visit friends we had been taught that we Gentiles had replaced Israel in God’s plans. Our trip to Israel was my ‘road to Damascus’ where God had to knock me to the ground. As He opened our eyes to the prophecies being fulfilled on behalf of the Jews, Sue and I cried a great deal. We kiddingly say that we could have floated Israel on the tears we shed. How blinded we had been!!! We would have considered ourselves the last people God would have recruited to share this message. Isaiah’s words have special meaning for us: “‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord” (55:8).
While in Israel we encountered Our Father Abraham by Marvin Wilson. [Many years before I had been on staff at the college where the author taught. I remember thinking at that time, “Why is Marv wasting so much time over the Jewish people? They had their chance.” In Israel, God used this book to lay a foundation of how HE sees the Jews. Please, please get the book for yourself!!! At the end of this letter we will list some organizations ministering to the Jewish people. In Israel I spent three days alone with the Lord asking Him to take me through the Hebrew Bible to show me from His Word His view of what He is accomplishing at this time:

Fulfilling Biblical Prophecy:
Israel And The Jewish People Today

“This is what the Lord says...’Only if these decrees vanish from my sight,’ declares the Lord, ‘will the descendants of Israel ever cease to be a nation before me.’
This is what the Lord says: ‘Only if the heavens above
can be measured and the foundations of the earth below be searched out will I reject all the descendants of Israel because of all they have done,’ declares the Lord” (Jeremiah 31:35-37).

Scarcely a day passes without news of Israel appearing in the media. How remarkable from a purely secular viewpoint that such a tiny piece of real estate should consume such public attention!
The following small sampling of prophetic verses are predicated on:

• the eternal nature of the Abrahamic covenant
• God’s promises to, and relationship with, the Jewish people
• the biblical basis of the hatred of the Arabs toward the Jews
• God’s unconditional relationship to the land of Israel
• the regathering of the Jewish people back to Israel
• God’s purposes in this regathering as they pertain to Gentiles the world over
Please review the following verses thoughtfully and prayerfully.

God’s Promises to Abraham:
An Eternal Covenant

The duration of the covenant that God established with the people of Israel was forever. “All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever” (Genesis 13:15).
God’s actions on behalf of Israel emanated out of His love for them and out of His oath to the patriarchs. “The Lord did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples But it was because the Lord loved you and kept the oath he swore to your forefathers that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery” (Deuteronomy 7:7-8).
Similarly, Peter reminded believers that they too were chosen by God in His foreknowledge and through the work of the Holy Spirit. The election of followers of Christ as well as the chosenness of the Jewish people were initiated by God for His pleasure, purposes, and glory. “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To God’s elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout..., who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood” (1 Peter 1:1-2).
The Jews are God’s “treasured possession.” As such, He set them aside for His specific purposes. “For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession” (Deuteronomy 7:6).
God is prepared to destroy every other nation except the Jews. He has disciplined the Jewish people but has promised that He will not utterly destroy them. “‘Do not fear, O Jacob my servant, for I am with you,’ declares the Lord. ‘Though I completely destroy all the nations among which I scatter you, I will not completely destroy you. I will discipline you but only with justice; I will not let you go entirely unpunished’” (Jeremiah 46:28).
As a servant to the Jews, Jesus Christ validated the promises that God had given to the patriarchs and fulfilled His promise that many nations would be blessed through the seed of Abraham. “For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the Jews on behalf of God’s truth, to confirm the promises made to the patriarchs so that the Gentiles may glorify God for his mercy” (Romans 15:8,9).
God assured His people that there would be a second, worldwide regathering of the Jewish people to the land of Israel. It is HE Who will accomplish this. “In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his place of rest will be glorious. In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second time to reclaim the remnant that is left of his people... He will raise a banner for the nations and gather the exiles of Israel; he will assemble the scattered people of Judah from the four quarters of the earth” (Isaiah 11:10-12).
God promised that HE would use the Gentiles to help gather the Jews back to Israel. “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: ‘See, I will beckon to the Gentiles, I will lift up my banner to the peoples; they will bring your sons in their arms and carry your daughters on their shoulders’” (Isaiah 49:22).
God again affirmed through Ezekiel that HE was the One Who would scatter and gather the Jews. After HE has brought them back to Israel HE will give them a new spirit and a new heart. “Therefore say: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: “I will gather you from the nations and bring you back from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you back the land of Israel again.” They will return to it and remove all its vile images and detestable idols. I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God” (Ezekiel 11:17-20).
God forgave their sins not because of the merits of the Israelites but for His name’s sake. “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more” (Isaiah 43:25).
For His name’s sake God promised that He would not cut off the Jews. He afflicted them in order to bring them to repentance. “For my own name’s sake I delay my wrath; for the sake of my praise I hold it back from you, so as not to cut you off. See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. For my own sake, for my own sake, I do this. How can I let myself be defamed? I will not yield my glory to another” (Isaiah 48:9-11).

The Arab hatred toward the Jews is biblically recorded as animosity of the descendants of Ishmael toward the descendants of Isaac. God foretold to Hagar, the Egyptian slave, that the child she had conceived by Abraham (Ishmael, the father of the Arabs) would be hostile to his brothers. Isaac was Ishmael’s half-brother by Abraham and Sarah. “He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers’” (Genesis 16:12).
Unlike Abraham who procured a wife (Rebekah) for Isaac from God’s own people, Hagar obtained a wife for Ishmael from Egypt. Esau, a son of Isaac and the twin brother of Jacob, married two daughters of Ishmael. Also called Edom, Esau became the father of the Edomites who did harm to the Israelites when they entered the Promised Land in their Exodus from Egypt.
The Arabs also opposed the Israelites during the time of Nehemiah when the latter returned to the land of Israel from exile in Babylon. “But when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites and the men of Ashdod heard that the repairs to Jerusalem’s walls had gone ahead and that the gaps were being closed, they were very angry. They all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and stir up trouble against it.” (Nehemiah 4:7-8).
In the time of the Psalmist, the Arabs used cunning against the Israelites, just as the Arab nations do against the Jews of Israel today in order to secure their land. “O God, do not keep silent; be not quiet, O God, be not still. See how your enemies are astir, how your foes rear their heads. With cunning they conspire against your people; they plot against those you cherish. ‘Come,’ they say, ‘let us destroy them as a nation, that the name of Israel be remembered no more.’ With one mind they plot together; they form an alliance against you—the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, of Moab and the Hagrites’” (Psalm 83:1-6).
For many Gentiles, the verses from Isaiah 66:8-11, below, would have gone unnoticed and without meaning if, on November 29, 1947, God had not caused the United Nations to vote to partition British-held Palestine. This ballot established an official homeland for the Jews. In the face of great Arab adversity, on May 14, 1948, the State of Israel was declared—in a day! “‘Who has ever heard of such a thing? Who has ever seen such things? Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment? Yet no sooner is Zion in labor than she gives birth to her children. Do I bring to the moment of birth and not give delivery?’ says the Lord... ‘Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad for her, all you who love her” (Isaiah 66:8-10). As God shows favor and compassion for Israel, other nations of the world will learn to fear the Name of the Lord.
In the last days, people will go up to Israel to honor the Lord. Peace will pervade the nations and war will be a thing of the past. “In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and all nations will stream to it. Many peoples will come and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.’ The law will go out from Zion, the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore” (Isaiah 2:2-4).
God promises the nations that if they learn what He has taught the Jews, He will establish them among His people. Severe consequences await those who fail to learn obedience to Him. After He restores the Jews to Israel, He will judge the nations based upon their treatment of the Jewish people. “In those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jeho-shaphat. There I will enter into judgment against them concerning my inheritance, my people Israel, for they scattered my people among the nations and divided up my land” (Joel 3:1-2).

Activities For Believers to Consider

• As the Holy Spirit continues to move Christians to look favorably on the Jews as “the apple of [God’s] eye” (see Zechariah 2:8), pray for increased repentance on the part of believers for personal ignorance of God’s plan for the Jews as well as corporate repentance for the past atrocities of the Church as a whole. Beseech God to awaken relationships between Christians and Jews so that mutual love can pave the way for the Father to reveal Jesus.

• Rejoice in God’s power to fulfill His promises to the Jews! Praise Him for the arrival of 700,000 Jewish immigrants to Israel from the former USSR; the airlift of 15,000 Falasha Jews from Ethiopia to Israel; the return to Israel of Jews from China whose ancestry dates back to the exile period. God is using His activity as a “banner to the nations.” We trust that you will become sensitized to seeing these events as God’s fulfillment of His promises to the Jewish people. May the Holy Spirit encourage you in your faith and cause you to bless the Jews as He directs.

• The Bible commands a simple action—Pray!
Pray that God would continue to restore the Jewish people to Israel; for the Gentiles to help them; for God to establish the boundaries of Israel in accordance with His Word; and, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: ‘May those who love you be secure. May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels.’ For the sake of my brothers and friends, I will say, ‘Peace be within you’” Psalm 122: 6,8).

• There are six million Jews in the United States, more than there are in the State of Israel! Of these, 250,000 are Messianic Jews, sons of Abraham who recognize Jesus as the promised Messiah, the One Who is coming again! According to a survey taken by the Messianic Times, 71% of those Messianic believers polled indicated they “would move to Israel if Messianic Jews were allowed aliyah,” the “Law of Return” guaranteed to all Jews by the State of Israel. The current Israeli government considers Messianic Jews to be “Christians.” As such, they are not eligible for citizenship under the Law of Return. You can direct your prayers, then, that since “the authorities that exist have been established by God” (see Romans 13:1), God would change the hearts of Israeli government officials to allow the Jewish believers God is calling to the land to be able to do so. Also, a bill has come before the Knesset, Israel’s governing body, to impose jail sentences on anyone possessing or distributing Christian material with intent to convert. (Even as a tourist, your own Bible could make you suspect!) Please pray that this bill be rejected.

• Ask forgiveness from the Jews. You may have friends, neighbors, and co-workers who are Jewish. Pray that “the veil” over their hearts be removed and that they would have a longing for the Messiah as He has revealed Himself, Jesus. Make a diligent effort to examine the Scriptures with new intent to understand God’s relationship with the Jews.

Resources/Publications

Investigate the following agencies and organizations. These focused on building sincere relationships between the Jewish and Christian communities. They are dedicated, selfless, and zealous to present the true picture of what is happening in Israel. Contact any or all to become more familiar with the needs and news in the Land. Many of these publications overlap in content. Some have a prophetic focus, some are geared for intercession; all present information and insights about Israel that you certainly won’t find in US media!

Bridges for Peace
(Box 33145, Tulsa, OK 74153-1145 USA; Tel. (918) 461-8800;
FAX (918) 461-8808)
A Jerusalem-based Christian non-profit organization, Bridges for Peace encourages greater concern for the people and land of Israel through a variety of study materials and service opportunities. BFP offers concrete assistance to both the new immigrants and needy residents. Services available include Operation Ezra (food and clothing banks, dental/medical help, pro-life aid); worldwide intercessory prayer groups; speakers and teaching seminars both in Israel and abroad; short term service projects; planning assistance for study tours to Israel.
From Bridges for Peace:
DISPATCH FROM JERUSALEM. Bimonthly newspaper featuring positive, pertinent news from Israel and prophetic perspectives. Articles include current events from a Christian viewpoint, archeological findings, immigration news, recipes, scientific breakthroughs, and gospel research. (For any donation)
JERUSALEM PRAYER LETTER. Monthly teaching on Israel or the Jewish roots of Christianity. Presents specific prayer requests and answers concerning Israel. (For any donation)

Christian Friends of Israel
(PO Box 1813, Jerusalem, 91015 Israel; Tel. 972-2-894172/187;
FAX 972-2-894955)

CFI is a multifaceted Jerusalem-based ministry encompassing settlement assistance and material aid to the needy (new immigrants, holocaust survivors, destitute citizens) in the form of clothing, food vouchers, furniture, and home needs. You can participate directly by sending good used clothing to the main office, or even by packing new linens and extra toiletries in your suitcase to donate when you visit Israel! Intercessors are needed for their “Wall of Prayer” surrounding every border and village in the Land to pray for protection and reconciliation.
From Christian Friends of Israel:
WATCHMAN’S PRAYER LETTER. Monthly guide for overall prayer concerns for Israel, and specific prayer requests for particular villages, areas, needs in the Land. Pertinent Scripture portions for each prayer concern. (Free)
ISRAEL NEWS DIGEST. Penned by veteran journalists David Dolan and Robert Franklin, this monthly communiqué gets behind the scenes of world news reports as they pertain to Israel, Jews, and Christians, from a biblical perspective. ($25/year)
MIDDLE EAST UPDATE. Quarterly cassette tape from noted prophetic author Lance Lambert offers biblical perspective and views of the current situation in the Middle East. ($24/Year)
ZION QUARTERLY. In-depth insight into news events and key issues concerning Israel and the Middle East as a whole. ($12/year)

International Christian Embassy Jerusalem
(PO Box 1192, Jerusalem, 91010, Israel; Tel. 972-669823)

The Christian Embassy seeks to demonstrate to Israel that there are Christians all over the world who care for her. By participating in the Feast of Tabernacles celebration held annually in September, interceding privately or corporately on behalf of ICEJ with their Prayer Newsletter, and supporting their Social Assistance Program, you can help to “prepare the way for the Lord.”
From International Christian Embassy Jerusalem:
MIDDLE EAST INTELLIGENCE DIGEST. Monthly publication. Provides behind the scenes reporting of current events in Israel as they impact Christians and Jews. ($25/year)
A WORD FROM JERUSALEM. This bimonthly newsletter delineates news of ministry in the Land, and evangelistic outreaches among Jews and Arabs. (Free)

Operation Exodus - Ebenezer Emergency Fund
(PO Box 271653, Fort Collins, CO 80527-1653, USA;Tel. (303) 223-7353)
Tens of thousands of Russian Jews are desperately eager to reach the Promised Land. In April 1993, the first boatload of immigrants arrived in Israel via Operation Exodus, followed by 52 more groups during the next three years! As anti-Semitism is on the rise, Russian Jews are again being “hunted from every mountain and every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks” (Jer. 16:16). You can participate by praying through their newsletter, contributing to the fund to transport the immigrant hopefuls, and volunteering assistance on a future sailing from a Russian port to Israel. Invite an OE speaker to your worship gathering to further the message of the Jewish return to the land.

MESSIANIC TIMES — PO Box 1857, Hagerstown, MD 21742 (Tel. (301)766-4770; FAX (301)766-4773)
Large bimonthly newspaper reports articles of interest to Christians and Messianic Jews alike regarding events and activities in Israel and worldwide. Commentaries, viewpoints, archeology news, book reviews and an extensive list of messianic congregations and organizations worldwide. ($25/year)

FIRST FRUITS OF ZION — 6657 W. Ottawa Place Unit A-4, Littleton, CO 80128 (Tel. 800-775-4807; Fax. 303-933-0997; e-mail ffoz@netvision.net.il)
This illustrated monthly (B/W photos) contains much Hebraic exposition of Scripture as it applies to believers. Features family life activities and recipes from a Jewish perspective, and an in-depth weekly Torah commentary following the Jewish calendar of readings. ($34/year)

Please contact at least one of these organizations to keep your prayers current for Israel!

Shalom,
Mike & Sue Dowgiewicz