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]

 

November 1997 Topic: Judgment Throne

 

Dear Friends,

Will You Find a Friend at the Judgment Throne?

Do you think that there will be time for you to establish friendship with the Lord when you stand in front of Him and He passes judgment? Are you or your relatives willing to wait until then to find out? What does friendship with Jesus look like? He tells us Himself what friendship entails: “You are my friends if you do what I command” (John 15:14). He also states, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me” (John 14:23,24). Hebraic faith equaled active, loving obedience.
Let’s face it, none of us can afford to show up at the judgment throne falsely believing that we can give excuses for not having lived in friendship with Jesus. Picture Whom you will be facing as Judge. You will be facing Jesus, both God and Man, who in absolute obedience to the Father suffered humiliation and death at the hands of man. Through His loving obedience, the greatest act of sacrificial love ever enacted by any person, your sins were forgiven. Opportunity was provided for you to have eternal life by fully trusting in Jesus’ payment through His shed blood and yielding your life to His Lordship.
What is left for you to do? After you have put your trust in Jesus, by the power of the indwelling Spirit carry out the commands He has given you in the Bible.

At The Throne, Jesus Will be Looking for the Seal

Our Father’s covenants are sealed with a noticeable sign. With Noah, He placed the rainbow in the heavens. As a sign of His covenant with Abraham, men had to be circumcised (see Rom. 4:11). Those who accept the covenant our Father offers through the shed blood of His Son are sealed with the Holy Spirit: “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory” (Eph. 1:13,14). Should the presence of the Holy Spirit, empowering you to obey His commands, be any less evident in your life than the physical evidence of a rainbow or circumcision? Think about this.
Many believe that their stagnant religious practices will satisfy the Judge. They think that because they don’t steal or commit adultery, they are living a life pleasing to our Lord. Brothers and sisters, He wants much more!!! Jesus, Who baptizes with His Spirit, knows what a Spirit-led life should be. Too many people see a pleading Jesus standing outside the door of their hearts anxiously waiting for them to feel like obeying. The King of Kings and Lord of Lords is not pleading. He did His part in fulfilling the Father’s plan. The soon-to-be Judge now sits next to Him interceding on our behalf.
The Bible describes an awful situation inflicted on those who habitually disobey God by quenching and grieving His Spirit. This affliction often begins with the phrase, “Therefore God gave them over. . .”:
“Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts” (Rom. 1:24).
“God gave them over to shameful lusts” (Rom. 1:26).
“Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind... Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them” (Rom. 1:28,32).
“For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness” (2 Thess. 2:11,12).
People who call themselves “Christian” and yet continue to go on sinning defame the preciousness of their covenant relationship. They are relegated by our Father to live a life deceived by their own desires. Those of you who have read Demolishing Strongholds will recognize our quote from Francis Frangipane, “Once a person is deceived, he does not recognize that he is deceived, because he has been deceived!” If you even sense you are deceived because your life shows little or no evidence of an obedient friendship with Jesus, get on your knees and repent. Ask for forgiveness and for spiritual empowerment to obey our Father’s commands. Without repentance and forgiveness, nothing you do is worth anything.

Don’t change your behavior, let repentance change your heart.

We previously warned you about the antinomian spirit which is so prevalent in a large segment of the Church in the US. This spirit denies our responsibility to heed God’s commands, overlooking even the 1,050 commands that appear in the New Testament alone. Hidden behind the antinomian definition of grace is the unbiblical message that “Through grace, God excuses our failure to obey His commands.” “Lawlessness” disguises itself behind the arguments of “grace vs. law” and “grace vs. works.” It deceptively assumes that grace is the opposite of both law and works. To our sinful nature, this is like comparing ice cream to liver. Of course we are attracted to the type of grace that excuses disobedience.
A biblical definition of grace is “the desire and power to obey God’s commands.” Only with this understanding of grace can we grasp Paul’s Hebraic teachings on faith, law, and the commands of God: “Does it follow that we abolish Torah [the teachings of God] by this trusting [in Jesus]? Heaven forbid! On the contrary, we confirm Torah” (Rom. 3:31, JNT).
Because of the subtle anti-Semitism still embraced by many teachers in the Church today, believers are taught that since “works of the law” are not necessary for salvation, Torah itself is done away with. (And they don’t care whether Torah refers to the first five books of the Old Testament or to the whole OT—to them, the teachings of Hebrew Scripture are irrelevant.) They have been falsely indoctrinated that the Jews were mechanical rule-keepers. Heaven forbid! This errant view is easily embraced by those who follow a false gospel and have never put their trust in Jesus. They become seduced by the spirit of antinomianism, living a life that excuses their sinful path, negating both the Word and the works which evidence the Spirit’s presence.
Those who embrace the true Gospel which is found in the Hebrew Bible know that trusting, not mechanical rule-keeping, is the very basis and essence of Torah. [Read Romans chapter 7, and 9-11 for a full understanding of how Paul fits together trust in Jesus as the goal of, and not the end of, Torah.]
Remember that Paul’s Gospel was based on the Torah and the writings of the Prophets:
“They arranged to meet Paul on a certain day, and came in even larger numbers to the place where he was staying. From morning till evening he explained the matter to them, and declared to them the kingdom of God and tried to convince them about Jesus from the Torah of Moses and from the Prophets” (Acts 28:23).

“Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him” (Psa. 127:3)

Each generation gives something to succeeding generations. The heritage our descendants will inherit can be divided into two areas, spiritual and physical. Before this holiday season, be it Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, or Christmas, consider these two areas as gifts to the next generation. Take the time to evaluate the spiritual and physical heritage with which you have endowed your children. Are they better off materially than you were but more spiritually impoverished than either you or your parents? Specify the ways in which you can see that your children or grandchildren are better off or worse off materially and/or spiritually than you are. This might be a wonderful point of discussion between the generations in your family as you come together to celebrate. I am reminded of the words of Jesus, “...the truth will set you free.”
To you grandparents I ask: Are you confident that your children and grandchildren will find a Friend at the Judgment Throne? Or, will they burn forever in hell? If you have doubts about them finding that Friend, what did you teach them? Was it religious practice and “acceptable” Christian behavior? Did they acquire from you a loving-trust in the Messiah? “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it” (Pro. 22:6). Have you consistently and faithfully prayed for them to yield their lives to Jesus no matter how hopeless and lost they seem?
If your children are older, what are they doing about their relationship with God? Are they excusing their own children from learning to love God and to keep His commands? Did they learn excuse-making from you? I realize that these are sobering questions, but the consequences are very real. The impact of the changes that you can make now cannot be overstated.
At Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem, there is a special memorial to the million-plus Jewish children who were murdered. Through imagery the display shows the generations who were cut off because of the premature death of these youngsters. How many of your descendants will be cut off from heaven because they did not find a Friend at the Judgment Throne? Does it matter enough for you to take appropriate steps so that your descendants may join you in heaven? Do you love them enough to do whatever God directs?
Will you even now take responsibility for failing to show them loving-trust in Jesus and ask our Father to forgive you? Drawing near to God through repentance allows Him the privilege to undo your failures and bring about blessing instead of curse. As you humbly turn from your shortcomings and turn toward Him, He forgives and remembers your sins no more. The Lord sees the condition of your family and He can act on your behalf. After all, our Lord wants them in heaven more than you do!!!!
If you have the courage during the forthcoming holiday season, would you consider asking your children and grandchildren forgiveness for not passing on to them a loving-trust in the Son of God? “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous [grandparent] is powerful and effective” (James 5:16). Pray unceasingly on behalf of your offspring. Watch what God can do once your sins are confessed and forgiven. Hallelujah!!!
My mother had just attended an evening service, and as she looked out the window she’d seen how dark it had become. Knowing her difficulty in driving at night, she prayed that Jesus would send someone to drive her home. My brother Jack and his son Jason slipped next to her just then in the front pew. Jason drove her home, and she told her grandson how he was God’s answer to her prayer. Something that simple became a “teachable moment” for one generation to pass onto another her trusting faith in a Caring Provider!
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother’—which is the first commandment with a promise—’that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth’” (Eph. 6:1-3).
You parents and children have no room to blame the generations ahead of you: “You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on [your parents or grandparents], for at whatever point you judge [them], you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things” (Rom. 2:1). Your sins come out of your own heart. Repent and confess your lack of loving-trust in Jesus.
There is no age at which a child is not commanded to honor his or her parents. Rid yourself of the anti-Torah teaching that dispenses with concern and responsibility toward your parents. Regrettably, this teaching permeates the American church today. I can’t tell you how many times over the years I have heard comments that came straight from the pit of hell: “Oh, I don’t have to honor my parents, they aren’t believers.” “You can’t ask me to honor them, you don’t know how they treated me.” “If my parent(s) would ask forgiveness for failing me so much, maybe then I could honor them.” The Ephesians command above contains no qualifying remarks or escape clauses. It is an imperative command so that God’s blessings can be given to you. If you continue to disregard His blessing, you will destroy your children’s growth in spiritual responsibility. Your children are watching to see how you treat their grandparents. You will reap what you sow in due time.
“Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4)

Fathers, you play such a critical role in passing along the commands of our Lord to your children. Excuses are unacceptable to the Lord. If you don’t teach and model God’s commands, your children will go through life not knowing where His boundaries of protection are. They will feel unvalued, unloved, and hostile inside: “exasperated.” Many will compensate with sinful actions and relationships.
Our heavenly Father requires a man to know His commands and to pass them on to his children. Don’t show up at the Judgment Throne and try to excuse your irresponsibility. You won’t find a Friend. Negligent fathers and Nazi guards who murdered Jewish children are the same in the Father’s eyes: Both of them cut off generations of children who might have loved and served Him. “It would be better for [that father] to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause [his children] to sin” (Luke 17:2).
Fathers! Repent and confess your disobedience so that your children may be blessed: “The righteous man leads a blameless life; blessed are his children after him” (Pro. 20:7).
Now consider your responsibility to your wife: “Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers” (1 Peter 3:7). It takes a lot of humility to be a considerate husband. Until recently, 75% of the divorces in this country were initiated by men. Now the reverse is true. Women are escaping marriages in droves. If you have a wife, you need God’s help to keep her. Ask forgiveness from both Him and her for your failure to be truly considerate.

“A foolish son is his father’s ruin, and a quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping” (Pro. 19:13).

God holds other family members responsible too. Sons, ask your dad, “Is it a joy to have me as your son?” No matter what he answers, don’t end the conversation until you find out the ‘why’ behind his answer.
Wives, ask your husband and children if you are a quarrelsome or contentious woman. So many women control rather than love their husbands and children. The fruit of control is sons fearful of marriage; they’ve seen what their fathers endured and aren’t eager to duplicate that experience. Control robs your daughters of loving intimacy in their marriages. Intercourse becomes a means of controlling a man instead of intimate expression. Is this the legacy you want to pass on?
Until the beginning of this century, the word “education” referred to a mother’s relationship with her children. Children begin their education at their mother’s breast, where relational intimacy begins. Education continues through corrective discipline of the child: “The rod of correction imparts wisdom, but a child left to himself disgraces his mother” (Pro. 29:15). Have you borne children only to let others “educate” them? You are God’s primary nurturer. He didn’t relegate this responsibility to anyone else. If you need to, repent and confess to the Lord. See what God will then do in your family!
Jesus, Both Friend and Family

Even if you’ve memorized the whole Bible, such knowledge won’t gain you a Friend at the Judgment Throne. Keeping God’s commands out of loving trust in Jesus not only brings His friendship, but indicates that you are part of the Family: “For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother” (Matt. 12:50).
Look at your family with spiritual eyes. Where will they end up? Are you and they living out God’s commands through the power of the Holy Spirit? Has God relegated you or them to deception and depravity because you have perverted His grace into license to sin? Christmas—the celebration of the King coming to be the sacrificial Lamb for your sins—has no real meaning if you and your family will not be welcomed at the Judgment Throne. What must matter is that your loving-trust in the Messiah is evidenced by your loving willingness to carry out His commands, both for your sake and for the sake of your offspring.
Christmas eve in the Polish community is called Vigilia (vi-lee’-a), known as the “The Ingathering.” On this night, the most hallowed of the year, families gather to break unleavened bread. This is a time both for blessing one another and for asking forgiveness from each other for past wrongs as the bread is broken with each person. We encourage you to incorporate the essence of this before the holidays arrive. Don’t let the holidays come without total forgiveness among those in your family.
Our love,
Mike & Sue Dowgiewicz