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]

 

April 1998 Topic: Answered Prayer

Dear Friends,

While Cornelius was praying, an angel came and spoke the above words to him. What a delightful thing—to be on our Father’s mind! The Father had in mind that Cornelius should hear the Gospel so He sent a human messenger responsive to His call, Peter.

Sue and I are in the Kingdom because of the prayers of others. Several months after we put our trust in Jesus, Sue returned to the Navy base where we had previously been stationed. She unexpectedly encountered some people we’d known were Christians and shared with them about our conversion. How they praised God! They told Sue how the chaplain had asked his congregation each Sunday to pray for our salvation. The prayers of these faithful intercessors had opened our hearts to embrace Jesus.

On several occasions in the Book of Revelation the prayers of the saints rise to our Lord: “The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of the saints, went up before God from the angel's hand” (Rev. 8:4). When Peter was put in prison by Herod (Acts 11), “intense prayer was being made to God on his behalf.” In response to those trusting petitions, our caring Father sent a ministering angel to free Peter from his cell.

The many answered prayers in our years of walking with Jesus are like footprints in Sue’s and my walk. At our seminars we stress how important to us is the Lord’s intervention to answer our prayers. We encounter so many people who are not dependent on the Father and therefore do not trustingly rely on Him to answer.

My 15-year-old Thompson Chain-Reference Bible is a testimony to God answering prayer. When Sue and I ministered at the retreat center, we received no salary and had no savings. One day a man showed me a Chain-Reference Bible. As I thumbed through it, I said, “This is terrific! How much do they cost?” He replied, “$45.”

I didn’t have the money so I committed the Bible to prayer. The following Sunday a staff member spoke to a congregation in a nearby city. As he entered the building, a man handed him the Bible I now have. He said, “The Lord told me to give this to you because someone you know has been praying for a Bible like this.”

Another example: For years I have enjoyed playing golf to relax. As I’ve gotten older my shoulders have ached whenever I’ve played. Other golfers told me I needed to get rid of my metal shaft clubs and get graphite shafts to ease the shock of hitting the ball. Those were priced far out of my reach so I committed it to prayer. This was something that only my Father in heaven could answer, if that was His will.

Several weeks later as I walked away from the 18th green, the owner of the golf course walked up to me with an armful of new graphite-shaft golf clubs—the same kind that Tiger Woods uses! He said, “The Lord just told me to give these to you. Do you need them?” Does that mean God thinks golf is important? No—but He did choose to bring joy to His child in a way that only He could!

If we are not dependent on the Father for answered prayer and yielded to whatever answer He gives, we may find ourselves living in idolatry, trusting anyone and anything (including our own abilities) more than we trust His will and power. This is dangerous ground. In our book Demolishing Strongholds we list some symptoms of idolatry:

Frustrated Hopeless
Greedy/selfish Living a lie
Financial problems Apathetic
Wrong goals/decisions

The Adversary is always enticing us to have some priority other than our Father’s. Satan will do anything to deceive us into thinking we don’t need God. Our dependency is a healthy sign that we have no idols.

While conducting an adult retreat several years ago, I was prompted by the Holy Spirit to ask, “Who do you worship at your church?” The first response was, “God, of course!” After a few moments of silence, someone spoke up, “Actually, we worship our pastor’s sermon because that’s what he worships.” Everyone else nodded in agreement. A few days later I spoke to that pastor about the comment. He, too, agreed with their observation. He lasted a few more months in that congregation and was removed from his position. I am reminded of the account of Herod’s death in Acts 12:19-23. In his failure to depend on God, he forgot to give Him the glory.

Many people see Colorado Springs as becoming some kind of Christian Mecca. I’m told that there are now over 120 ministries here. Two weeks ago someone shared with us that the Holy Spirit had revealed to him a spirit of religious pride over this city. Yesterday, friends who once lived here wrote, “When we moved away from Colorado Springs, we sensed that we had left the territorial spirit of spiritual pride and kingdom building.” As you read articles about this city in Christian magazines, pray for the Lord to pour out a Spirit of repentance so that He alone may receive the praise and honor.

Religious pride—idolatry, if you will—is not confined to Colorado Springs. In several cities where we have conducted seminars, people have shared the same revelation about their cities. These cities have become known because of the presence of numerous Christian ministries and/or by several mega-size churches whose leaders export their management and growth techniques around the country. God calls people to Himself; woe to those who feel that “by the strength of their own hands” have believers come together. Paul, who preached “Christ and Him crucified,” would have a difficult time in today’s church culture.

“They may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!” (Mark 4:12).

 

Who is the Lord addressing in the above passage, believers or unbelievers? This is the question I asked Him early one morning as I meditated on this verse. A voice whispered in my spirit: “It applies to those who consider themselves Christians today but are not followers of mine.” They, like misguided Pharisees, have failed to embrace a viable, wholehearted relationship with God. Remember the Pharisees: Their pride caused them to seek knowledge about rather than relationship with the Lord:

“You diligently study the Scrip-tures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life. I do not accept praise from men, but I know you. I know that you have no love for God in your hearts (John 5:39-42).

Those of you who have been reading these newsletters for some time recognize the importance of a loving relationship with the Father. The Pharisees knew the Torah down to the letter, but Jesus accused them of “no love for God.” How frustrating for those who yearn to experience the Father’s love by reading their Bibles or attending Sunday school or home group. Sadly, they are still missing the critical element of faith: love. Their church tells them, seek more knowledge! More knowledge!! More knowledge!!!

We say: Repent! Turn from your sins to God! He desires to cleanse, heal, and restore you to Himself!

• Are you assured of and experiencing your Father’s love?

• Is He moving you to do things for the sole benefit of others, with no regard for yourself?

• If Jesus spoke to you right now, would He rebuke you for the idolatry of learning all about Him, but never coming to know Him?

 

Discuss these questions with your spouse or faith community:

1. What was the name of the woman who poured perfume on Jesus (Mark 14:1-9)? He said of her, “I tell you the truth, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her” (v.9).

2. What was the name of Jonathan’s armor-bearer (1 Sam. 14)? Jonathan and this young man, who courageously said, “Do all that you have in mind...Go ahead; I am with you heart and soul” (v.7), routed the Philistines when all Israel was hiding in fear.

3. Why did Abraham, who had received the promises from God concerning the Promised Land, give Lot first choice over where to live (Gen. 13)?

4. Why did Abraham refuse to accept the goods the King of Sodom offered him (Gen. 14:22,23)?

5. Why did Abraham give 10% of his goods to the priest Melchizedek (Gen. 14:20)?

6. Why did Jesus consider it a joy to embrace the cross (Heb. 12:2)?

7. On what understanding of our relationship with God does James base his encouragement when he says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds” (James 1:2)?

As you discover the answers, you will note individuals who had an intimate relationship with God that was based on humble dependence. Our Father is truly attentive to “the humble state of his servants.” He really means it when He encourages each one of us, “And without trusting it is impossible to be well pleasing to God, because whoever ap-proaches Him must trust that He does exist and that He becomes a Rewarder to those who seek him out (Heb. 11:6, JNT). Anyone who claims to be “Christian” but whose life’s goal and purpose are not the Father’s is not earnestly seeking Him.

A halfhearted walk is a life of sin that neglects the Father’s will. Idolatry keeps that person from experiencing His love and from having prayers answered. God hasn’t changed. He warned unrepentant Jewish people whose prayers were not being heard: “Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear (Isaiah 59:1,2). Peter affirms the importance of repentance for Christians today: “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil (1 Peter 3:12).

A key passage for those who desire all that the Father has for them is the following daily practice:

“If anyone wants to come after Me, let him say ‘No’ to himself, take up his execution stake, and keep following me. For whoever wants to save his own life [to live his life his own way] will destroy it, but whoever destroys his life [dies to his own desires] for My sake and for the sake of the Good News will save it” (Mark 8:34,35, JNT).

 

The Dangers of Islam

Our Lord desires to rescue people of every nation, tribe, and language. He keeps His promises, and we rejoice as we see Him fulfilling one of those promises in particular: bringing back to Israel the Jewish people who have been scattered all these centuries. Does that mean He is against Muslims? Not at all! He loves them and wants their bondage to Islam to be broken so that they too can have ears to hear the Good News and to trust Jesus alone for their salvation.

Much of the press in the US has printed the lie that Islam is a religion of peace. This is blatantly untrue. According to the revered forefathers of Islam come the following directives—commands—that are still in force and are therefore so dangerous (and NONE of Muhammad’s teachings can ever be altered): The wars waged by Islam’s followers were offensive wars to spread Islam by force, to plunder the countries, and to capture women and children for slavery (as is now happening in Sudan to the disgrace of the silent Church and our gov’t). And also in force today, any Muslim who leaves Islam is sentenced to death unless he repents.

In conquered lands, atheists must convert or die; Jews and Christians must convert, die, or pay a “poll tax” fee of humiliation. Muhammad taught regarding women: polygamy is acceptable; divorce by men is easy; fathers may force young girls to marry against their will; “disobedient” wives should be beaten; the majority of people in hell are women (because they were ungrateful to their husbands!); a woman is a slave to her husband; women are short on faith and intelligence, and the testimony of two women is needed to equal that of one man. [Data from Behind the Veil, published by Voice of the Martyrs.] Please pray for those ensnared in this satanic lie that our Father will reveal Jesus to them!

Mike & Sue Dowgiewicz