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]

June/July 1999 Topic: Crossing The Jordan

Dear Friends,

Sue and I just returned from a six-week, 8K trip around the US. What terrific hospitality and true spirit-rejoicing fellowship we experienced! Thank you to each of you who made the trip so memorable! Our journey was meaningful to us in many ways. In particular, we received new insight into the message of the Hebraic restoration. We’d like to share this with you in this month’s letter. Due to its length, we’ll be combining the June/July Mishpachah Yeshua.

As we embarked on the trip Sue had a strong feeling that our travels would be like Paul’s third missionary journey. He had gone back to touch base with people who had heard the Gospel from him on earlier journeys. At each place he was able to encourage them to stay true to the message they had received.

This is how we felt. In so many instances we would hear, “Your being here is God’s perfect timing,” or, “You’ve helped us focus again on why God has us here.”

Passing Through the Sinai

About halfway through the trip the Lord imparted to me the parallel between the Israelites departing Egypt for the Promised Land and God’s people of today learning the Hebraic foundations of the early Church. I was impressed with these words from our Lord:

“My people today are like the Israelites whom I brought to the Promised Land. Each person who has put trust in My Son was once in Egypt. Their idols of human pursuits kept them in captivity. Those who sought truth have left Egypt. Through a variety of experiences I have been leading them through the ‘Sinai desert’. Many have been hurt in different faith communities. Sadly, they do not see the hurt as part of My plan for them.

“During this trip around the country you are encountering many who are approaching the shores of, or who are in, the Jordan River. Through this trip I am sending you and Sue back from the Promised Land to the shores of the Jordan. You cannot enter the river yourselves or cross back over it, but you can speak from the shore to those on the opposite shore or in the river.

“The Jordan River is the demarcation between the Sinai and the Promised Land. The Sinai is a time of testing to see if my people would grow in their trust of Me. There are many who remain in the Sinai and refuse to enter the river. Some of these, as they’ve approached the Jordan, have decided to try one last religious venture, believing that they will finally experience what they’ve been seeking all throughout the Sinai. A few, in error, believe that seeking signs and wonders pleases Me. They are deluded—they only please themselves.

“Others have been trapped in the Sinai because they’ve blindly followed their clergy. But as these clergy have approached the river, they’ve realized that once the people cross over to the Promised Land they’ll live in union with Me and with each other. The position and control they’ve had over My people would then be broken. Instead of leading them across, many clergy lead them along the Sinai shoreline of the river. They point across the river to the things of the Promised Land but won’t let anyone cross. They convince the people that seeing the Promised Land is the same as living there.

“Still others stop themselves from entering the river because they’re held captive by the bitterness and betrayals they experienced in failed relationships in the Sinai. Rather than seeing their suffering as part of their Father’s character development into My Image, they continue to resent the people and events that hurt them. Therefore I leave them prisoners in their own manmade cells in the Sinai until they humble themselves, repent, and forgive as I forgive.”

It was good!

“A king in Africa had a close friend that he grew up with. The friend had a habit of looking at every situation that ever occurred in his life (positive or negative) and remarking, ‘This is good!’

One day the king and his friend were out on a hunting expedition. The friend would load and prepare the guns for the king. The friend had apparently done something wrong in preparing one of the guns, for after taking the gun from his friend, the king fired it and his thumb was blown off. Examining the situation the friend remarked as usual, ‘This is good!’ to which the king replied, ‘No, this is NOT good!’ and proceeded to send his friend to jail.

About a year later, the king was hunting in an area that he should have known to stay clear of. Cannibals captured him and took him to their village. They tied his hands, stacked some wood, set up a stake and bound him to the stake. As they came near to set fire to the wood, they noticed that the king was missing a thumb. Being superstitious, they never ate anyone who was less than whole. So untying the king, they sent him on his way.

As he returned home, he was reminded of the event that had taken his thumb and felt remorse for his treatment of his friend. He went immediately to the jail to speak with his friend. ‘You were right,’ he said. ‘It was good that my thumb was blown off.’ And he proceeded to tell his friend all that had just happened. ‘And so I am very sorry for sending you to jail for so long. It was bad for me to do this.’

‘No,’ his friend replied, ‘this is good!’

‘What do you mean, “this is good!”? How could it be good that I sent my friend to jail for a year?’

‘If I had NOT been in jail, I would have been with you!’”

If and when you forgive others from your heart and you cross the Jordan River into the Promised Land, you too will say, “It is good that I was wounded in the Sinai. I will not desire to ever cross back over the Jordan or go back that way again. My God is good!”

Crossing the Jordan River: Discussing the Hebraic Truths

The Lord continued with what He wanted me to share with you:

“There are those who have entered the river and have had difficulty crossing. It takes the persevering courage of Caleb to want the land I promised. When the other spies discouraged the Israelites from entering the Promised Land, ‘Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it”’ (Num. 13:30).

“Give my people in the Jordan the encouragement that Caleb gave. Those who have seen the Promised Land must go back to the shores of the Jordan and tell them how to come across. Mike, My people have seen you and Sue as writers of books. You have failed to emphasize that you two diligently discussed each of the principles of the Hebraic restoration until they became part of your relationship with Me and each other. It was in the discussion together that I, the Lord, changed you both. Now, together, you both minister to others from the changes I made in your marriage. You minister from that which I have been promising all my children—the Promised Land. Everything is seen differently when you experience all that I have promised My people.

“Warn my people! No married couple who enters the Jordan will set foot on the shore of the Promised Land unless both of them do so in union together. This message is not intended to divide marriages. They will both stay in the river until they both, in earnest, decide to cross. Discord, unbelief, or fixation on the events of the Sinai by either of them will keep them both from crossing.

“For the unmarried, find someone else who wants to cross with them. [Note: If you’re in this category, pray earnestly and fast if He so guides so that you may discover whom He has for you in load-bearing relationship. One woman from Florida reported to us that after a week of earnest prayer He brought to her 3 older women and 2 families!] The Hebraic truths must be discussed and applied. This is the way that I change the very heart of My people. Together, they too will cross. The truths you and Sue are sharing are not only for crossing the Jordan, but also for enabling My people to live in the land of My promises—a place of freedom to live in union with Me and with each other.” 

The Lord shared this message with us as we traveled around the country. Everywhere we journeyed, our Father’s favor was showered on us through His people. He wanted this trip to take place to show us what He wants to occur next in our ministry. For the last five years we’ve been busy helping people become aware that a Hebraic restoration is underway. Now, in union with others, we are embarking on helping equip God’s people to cross the river and live out these truths.

Living in the Promised Land: Freedom to live in union with Christ and each other

The Promised Land, that is, walking out our salvation, is a place to live in freedom. Paul affirms this emphatically when he says, “What the Messiah has freed us for is freedom. Therefore, stand firm, and don’t let yourselves be tied up again in a yoke of slavery” (Gal. 5:1). Paul goes on to warn us not to go back into perverted legalism thinking we can be justified by our good works.

He also warns us, “For, brothers, you were called to be free. Only do not let that freedom be an excuse for allowing the old nature to have its way. Instead, serve one another in love. For the whole of the Torah is summed up in this one sentence: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself;’ but if you go on snapping at each other and tearing each other to pieces, watch out, or you will be destroyed by each other” (Gal. 5:13-15). And isn’t Paul’s warning to stop “snapping at each other” critical to keeping peace in our marriages?

Paul knew that to live in the freedom offered by Jesus, each person and married couple would need the empowerment of the Holy Spirit: “What I am saying is run your lives by the Spirit. Then you will not do what your old nature wants. For the old nature wants what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit wants what is contrary to the old nature” (Gal. 5:16,17a).

In essence, we are told that we have the freedom to love as we are empowered by the Spirit. It is in their marriage first (for those who’ve wed) that this love should be experienced. Paul describes what the abiding presence of the Spirit in our lives and homes produces: “Always be humble, gentle, and patient, bearing with one another in love, and making every effort to preserve the unity the Spirit gives through the binding power of shalom ...Be kind to each other, tender-hearted; and forgiving each other, just as the Messiah God has also forgiven you. So, imitate God, as his dear children; and live a life of love, just as also the Messiah loved us” (Eph 4:2,32-5:1,2a).

The truths of our God’s Word must first be a part of our home life. The Hebraic foundations are His way of enabling us to live in union with Him and each other.

Living in Union With Each Other

The Complete Jewish Bible does a wonderful job using the words “union” and “united” when dealing with our relationship with our Lord and each other. What is “union?” The bringing together of two or more persons whose combined life and efforts are seen as one.

We are told, “For you used to be darkness; but now, united with the Lord, you are light. Live like children of the light, for the fruit of light is in every kind of goodness, righteousness and truth—try to determine what will please the Lord” (Eph. 5:8-10).

When you weld metals together, the point of the weld where the two metals are joined together becomes the strongest part. It is easier to weld similar metals because it requires the same time and heat intensity to fuse the material. Welding dissimilar metals is a little trickier because the fusion has different heat and time requirements.

Bringing together in union a husband and wife is like welding two dissimilar metals. It is easier for husband and wife to combine their DNA to produce children than to unite their gender, personality, and spiritual gifting differences into a marriage that represents their union with Jesus.

Children, too, have a responsibility in maintaining union in the family: “Children, what you should do in union with the Lord is obey your parents, for this right” (Eph. 6:1).

Please note: The Hebraic life-style was one of intimate union, and the Christian experience of today seems to have missed this. All of us need to learn what now isn’t, but once was, part of everyday life for God’s people—living in union. The herald of our family life needs to become, Grow powerful in union with the Lord, in union with his mighty strength (Eph. 6:10).

Would you like to cross the Jordan?

In essence, crossing the Jordan is a combination of trusting obedience and divine intervention. How would you like to have been the priests whom Joshua ordered, “‘Take up the ark of the covenant and pass on ahead of the people.’ So they took it up and went ahead of them…Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing” (Jos. 3:6,14-16a). The miracle for us happens when our trust leads to obedience!

Remember: Our Father tests our faith in the Sinai to expose and burn away the dross of distrust in Him and our propensity to yearn for the comforts of the flesh and the world. Our continued trusting obedience will lead us across the Jordan if we are willing to cross it under the terms He desires.

No married couple who enters the Jordan will set foot on the shore of the Promised Land unless both of them do so in union together.

As we mentioned, a marriage is like the welding of two dissimilar metals. Let’s examine separately the husband’s and wife’s roles in fulfilling their part in the union. Then we can see more clearly what each is responsible to God for in the marriage union.

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the [rhema] word” (Eph. 5:25,26).

Desoto, Texas found us confronting a powerful truth of the Hebraic restoration set in computer-age terms: “Tragically, husbands have been permitted to ‘outsource’ their wives to the clergy for water and rhema, and their children have been ‘outsourced’ to the Sunday school for the spiritual training that should take place in the home.” Marion Pattillo’s words resonated in our spirits.

The phrase “cleansing her by the washing with water through the word” points to a vital role for a husband in his part of the union with his wife. “Word” in this passage is rhema, not logos. The husband is not being enjoined in this passage to teach his wife the logos, that is, the Bible. His responsibility is far more than that. He is to bring to light the application of the truths of God, the rhema, to her life. As the priest in his home, he is commanded to know God’s will and reveal it to his wife and family.  

Today’s Outsourcers: Corporate America, the Church, and Husbands 

“Outsourcing” gets someone else to do the work for you. In a marriage it is a form of “buck passing.” And not only have men gotten away with it, the church has encouraged it through its multitude of programs!

It makes terrible sense as to why Protestant clergy lead the country in divorce. Aren't they experiencing God’s judgment for usurping the husband’s responsibility in carrying out his part of the marriage union? What man can measure up to the Bible knowledge of his clergy, especially if his wife has elevated that person on a pedestal?

Husband, in the Name of the Lord Jesus, you take your wife across the Jordan.

Crossing the Jordan requires that you discuss the truths of the Hebraic Restoration with your wife. This is the first step of “insourcing”, or taking personal responsibility for the spiritual development of your own family.

How vital are the concepts of discussion and dialogue: one person experiencing give-and-take verbal exchange with another! Few husbands we encountered on our trip had been trained by their clergy to discuss the truths of God with their wives and families. Few had any idea how to even initiate a dialogue about spiritual things with family members.

Just a reminder: The Greek form of teaching speaks at. Those of you who have read Restoring the Early Church may recall the trouble my seminary paper got me into when it was given to the faculty senate. The Greek method of teaching at was the hallowed method of choice. This is true of almost all seminaries. To speak at indicates control over not only the content but also the listener.

I faced difficult moments as different professors approached me: “Is your name Dowgiewicz? I read your paper and you better not show up in any of my classes.” All that the paper affirmed was the importance of discussion and application. I may still have a copy of it somewhere. If you read it, you’d probably say, “I don’t see the problem?” That’s because, the majority of you reading this letter would never think of controlling others by the use of Bible knowledge.

Talking together...How nice!

The Hebraic form of teaching speaks with, especially in coming to the correct application of the truths being discussed. The NIV uses reason, reasoned together, or reasoned with as a means of conveying “dialogue.”

“Come now, let us reason together,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool’” (Isa. 1:18).

“As was his custom, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures” (Acts 17:2).

“So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there” (Acts 17:17).

“They arrived at Ephesus, where Paul left Priscilla and Aquila. He himself went into the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews” (Acts 18:19).

Why is it Difficult to Discuss Spiritual Truths?

Because so many Christians learned biblical truths via a lecture through sermons and Sunday school classes, they find it difficult to dialogue with others about scriptural applications. As well-meaning as our attempts may be, we inevitably end up lecturing at people in the same manner that we were lectured! How often do you dialogue with others with the goal of applying biblical truths in a way that shows He’s changed your life? The context in which the content is taught, that is, the place and method you learned something, is the context in which you will use that content.

Rather than being able to discuss in their homes the application of God’s Word for their family, many adults, both men and women, find it easier to teach a Sunday School class or lead a Bible study. Is that your situation?

When the Automobile Industry Failed to Retool... 

Many of us don’t remember how the auto industry “cut its own throat.” The US once dominated the world production of automobiles but in the 1960-70’s, with gas prices soaring, Americans were calling for smaller, more economical cars. Detroit, in its arrogance, would not retool—they continued to produce the big gas guzzlers.

Japan, who at the time barely had a piece of the American car market, met the consumer demand. In a few short years they captured almost one-third of the US market. Things got so bad for Chrysler that the government gave them a $2 billion loan to save the company!

When Husbands Fail to Retool 

The failure of Christian men to retool has led to people in churches having a higher divorce rate than the unchurched. 85% of all divorces are now initiated by the wife. How long do men expect their wives to stand in the river waiting for him to do what God commands him to do?

In order for their wives and families to cross the Jordan, husbands and fathers need to retool. We must learn to dialogue again as our forefathers in the faith did. That is, we must learn to listen and interact with the one with whom we’re sharing. In doing so, the miracle of the Holy Spirit will occur—you will be changed. It begins first in you heart and then is reflected in your behavior.

WOW Moments of Change

If Jesus is indeed transforming you into His likeness, there should be times when those who’ve known you in the past will commend you and say, “WOW! I remember when you used to respond like thus-and-such, but now you are responding like this!” Maybe you used to get angry when someone cut you off while driving, but now you’re at peace. Maybe you used to just mumble a few words when you were asked to pray aloud but now you’re overflowing with praise to our Lord. People notice the change in you when the Spirit has been at work. Those are the WOW! moments—and we need to encourage each other by taking note of those changes and giving God the glory! Has anyone noticed any changes in you lately?

“For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior” (Eph. 5:23).

Our God is not a God of chaos and disorder. He has given authority as a means of maintaining peace, and the Bible stipulates that men are to have authority in their homes. This is not because it’s natural for a man, but because a man has to depend on the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.

A man renders account to God for the humble exercise of that authority. God-given authority encompasses the responsibility to include and exclude; to commend and to correct. By his authority, a husband/father renders account to God for the peace in his home. It is his responsibility to keep out those people/things that rob a home of peace and to permit in those people/things that contribute to peace. Within his home he needs to commend those attitudes and behaviors that contribute to peace and correct those things that rob the home of peace.

The Lord dwells with His people

Our forefathers in the faith recognized that God loves to be among his people. That is, He loves to actively live in union with them. This includes coming into our homes through His Spirit. He told the Israelites, “As part of your equipment have something to dig with, and when you relieve yourself, dig a hole and cover up your excrement. For the Lord your God moves about in your camp to protect you and to deliver your enemies to you. Your camp must be holy, so that he will not see among you anything indecent and turn away from you” (Deu. 23:13,14).

Consider the name the angel told Mary to give the Christ child: “Immanuel—which means, ‘God with us’(Mat. 1:23b).

Peace in the home, that is, the shalom bayit of wholeness, harmony, and well-being of each person living there, is the foundation supporting the loving warmth needed to nurture a wife and children in the way of our Lord. When Jesus sent His disciples out He gave them an indicator for locating a home they could stay in. That sign was peace:

“When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; if not, it will return to you. Stay in that house, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house” Luke 10:5-7). A man who knows how to promote peace in his home is carrying out his responsibilities to God.

The Lord goes on to imply that ‘if the man does not have peace shake the dust off your feet, it will be better for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment then for a man who does not know how to keep peace in his home.’ Men! The correct use of your authority to bring peace in your home is THE PRIME DIRECTIVE. Failure to do this has severe consequences. A man cannot “outsource” this responsibility.

Visiting a man in his home will give you the crucial indicators of who he really is. This is why it is important that we fellowship in each other’s homes. A man’s true nature is best seen in his home with his family, where it’s harder to hide an atmosphere of apprehension or discord.

The Process of Developing Union

The process of developing union is the same for our relationship with our Lord, our marriage, and with others.

First, there is the point in which our lives meet.

Then we have two choices:

 

 

We can seek those things which give us a parallel existence without intimate union.

 

 

We can seek those things which give us a parallel existence without intimate union.

 

 

Before our research in Israel and subsequent discussion, Sue and I lived a parallel existence. Like so many clergy I was counseling, I had made ministry more important than my marriage. As a result Sue would describe our parallel existence like railroad tracks with the ties representing a few things we had in common.

After our discussion and application of these restorative Hebraic truths, the Holy Spirit changed our hearts, bringing us into a more intimate union with Christ and each other.

Being a Wife of Union:A Loyal Companion 

How our Lord loves wives! Not only are they to be nurtured by their husbands, but they are also to be mentored by older women. In our survey of women during our time at the retreat center, the vast majority admitted to controlling their husbands and families rather than loving them. They felt that they knew what was best and were convinced that it was up to them to bring it about.

We cannot overemphasize the importance of Paul’s encouragement to Titus: “Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good [to teach the way of peace in the home]. Then they can train the younger women to love [to be the loyal companion to] their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands [helping their husbands promote peace], so that no one will malign the word of God [and so that Jesus would not have to shake the dust off His feet against your home] (Titus 2:3-5). If you’re not married, remember: you don’t live in a vacuum! Your married friends need your wisdom, encouragement and exhortation in their lives—all part of our one-anothering relational responsibility! And you’re available to be fully about our Lord’s affairs.

Well, shut my mouth!”

Many years ago when I was an elder in a large congregation, a tremendous amount of negative information was floating around about various men in the congregation. As I pursued the source of the slanderous comments, I traced them back to the women’s prayer group. Under the guise of “prayer needs”, men and children were being slandered: “Please pray for my husband, he’s always getting angry at our kids,” or, “Please pray for my son. If he keeps hanging around with that kid across the street, he might not go out for the soccer team.”

During our years at the retreat center, men on retreat almost never brought up anything negative about their wives or children. Not so with women on retreat together. Their negative reports abounded, one woman outdoing another in “microanalysis” of her husband’s and children’s behavioral flaws. A few of the women recognized the disloyalty in the unbridled slander. Sadly, however, most felt better about their own situation when they heard other women put down their families.

And what was their sin? Gossip and slander. What they were saying about their husbands and families they would not want said about themselves.

Gossip is sharing detrimental information about a person with those who not part of the problem or the solution.

Slander is telling part of the truth or presenting error with the design to hurt someone or to make yourself appear better by comparison.

During youth retreats we were painfully aware of how a wife’s or mother’s disloyalty crippled her family. How important it is that older women recognize their role in bringing about the loyal companionship God requires of a wife! You may find the following Steps of Disloyalty useful in discerning the level a woman operates from when she complains about her husband or children. 

STEPS OF DISLOYALTY: Being a poor companion
[from the Institute in Basic Life Principles Seminar]

 

Level 1. Inward Attitude: Independent Spirit

Possible Outward Evidences:

• You focus on your own rights.

• You have unrealistic or wrong expectations about others.

• You use people for your own purposes or ambitions.

 

Level 2. Inward Attitude: Wounded Spirit

Possible Outward Evidences:

• You experience distrust or apathy toward your husband’s authority.

• You need detailed instructions and lack follow-through when you’re asked to do something.

• You have difficulty in establishing proper priorities and goals as part of a family team.

Level 3. Inward Attitude: Alertness to the Discontent of Others

Possible Outward Evidences:

• You listen to bad reports about others, and even express sympathy and encouragement for discontented friends.

• You take up offenses for others against those who’ve done you no personal harm.

Level 4. Inward Attitude: Judgmental Spirit

Possible Outward Evidences:

• You magnify reports of discontent that you overhear.

• You exaggerate situations or perceived wrongdoings.

• You are unwilling or unable to restore broken relationships.

Outsourcing Our Children

Some of you may know about the Humanist Manifesto signed by John Dewey and other noted educators in 1932. Although there are many facets to the manifesto, the basic intent was to use the public school to remove children from the influence of their parents. This goal has been successful not only in the public schools, but also in the programs of the church. Any time a children’s program in the church permits a father to “outsource” his children so that others are charged with carrying out his God-given responsibilities, the goals of the Humanist Manifesto are achieved.

Some Things to Discuss

1. Is your home known for its peace?

2. What things rob your home of peace?

3. What things contribute to the peace of your home?

4. As a husband, do you seek out and correct those things in your home that produce apprehension?

5. As a husband, do you discuss the truths of God with your wife and children?

6. As a husband, are you known for seeking the rhema of God?

7. As a husband, are you outsourcing the teaching and spiritual nurturing of your family to others?

8. As a wife, do you share detrimental information about your family with others?

9. As a wife, do you listen to other women give bad reports about their families?

10. As a wife, are you known for your fear and anxiety?

11. As a married couple, do your lives together represent loving union with your Lord?

12. Do either of you live in regret or resentment over things from the past?

13. Are past church experiences still painful for you to recall?

14. If you have married children, do you bad-mouth their in-laws?

15. Do you permit your daughter to bad-mouth your son-in-law, or your son his wife?

16. So many parents of the bride anguish over whether their daughter and her husband “Should do this or that...” Are you one of these or do you encourage your son-in-law to get God’s guidance?

Finally, if you are married and would like to get across the Jordan together, remind yourself of this phrase:

Our marriage, yes our marriage must reflect our trusting union with our Lord.

Mike & Sue Dowgiewicz