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 2000 Topic: Hebraic Cross-culturally

Dear Friends,
Sue, Matt, and I have been in our apartment alongside Inter-state 40 in Flagstaff, AZ for several weeks. When I say “alongside”, I mean a watermelon seed spit away! We have never lived this close to a trailer truck every 30 seconds and a train every 13 minutes. As I prayed early our second morning here, the Holy Spirit impressed on me, “The highway and railroad are physical reminders to you that the Father has brought you to a special place along the by-ways to give the Hebraic message to others who will take it where you cannot go.” 
Besides the many Native Americans living in Flagstaff and our proximity to the reservations, numerous students from the Pacific rim attend Northern Arizona U. in town.

Nuestra Casa Es Su Casa
Our Home is Your Home
Our home has quickly be-come a place for Native Ameri-cans and those ministering to them to drop by. [Four watermelon seeds’ distance from the exit helps!] This past weekend we traveled with James and Joyce Skeet through the Hopi, Navajo, and Zuni reservations. The trip was primarily to familiarize ourselves with reservation (res) life. While at the Hopi res we were privileged to meet Will & Millie Toms, who have served on the res for 4 years with Youth With A Mission. In just a few days we have become fast friends. Sue spent last night with Millie on the res and Matt helped Will repair a home they rent out in Flagstaff.
I spent the past two days in our living room discussing the Hebraic Foundations with Dave & Leona Douglas, who minister at Immanuel Mission in Sweetwater, AZ. [Last week we met and ate with some wonderful new friends, Scott & Bev Salley, who minister to the Native peoples with Compassion, Int’l. God’s connections just keep on coming!] Sharing with Dave & Leona in the intimacy of our home, I realized how much more I enjoy the give-and-take of questions and discussion than presenting these truths at seminars. I am particularly thrilled to discuss the Hebraic Foundations with people who have given their lives to see God’s Kingdom advanced. They are keenly aware that heaven and hell hang in the balance for the people to whom they minister.
I sometimes share my own motive for our ministry: “We have been invited to a banquet, and the Host has given us permission to bring as many as we want to sit at our table. It would be an awful thing to arrive and have to sit alone.”

Travels Among the First Nations
On June 17 Sue and I will accompany James and his family to Many Nations, One Voice Celebration 2000. It is being held from June 22-24 in Calgary, AB, Canada. The purpose of the gathering is:
To encourage and facilitate the development of legitimate partnerships between First Nations believers and others in the Body of Christ for the purposes of:
A. Exploring new cross-cultural evangelism and discipleship strategies, and the formation of multicultural teaching ministry teams.
B. Promoting unity and biblical reconciliation in the Church that honors Christ.
C. Taking advantage of the global fascination with First Nations cultures for world mission.
D. Recognizing, affirming, and embracing First Nations believers as essential partners in the mission of the Church for the next millennium.
E. Promoting shared resources by networking and building relationships.

From Richard Twiss, one of the Native leaders:
“As a Sioux Indian...I see Native Americans being recognized as a needed part of the church in America...[We Native peoples are not] blameless for our nation’s fragmented condition. As the ‘host’ people of this great land, we are willing again to welcome our white brethren, release our bitterness, forgive centuries of neglect and injustice, and join with you in healing America’s wounds.”

Sue and I have seen the healing power of the Hebraic Restoration among the Jewish, Black, and Native Americans who have received it as our Father intended. In Calgary we will co-teach a workshop with James and will have a ministry table to discuss these truths more fully with attendees. Following the seminar we will be traveling back through reservations in Canada, Montana, the Dakotas and elsewhere on our way back to Flagstaff.

The Cross-cultural Gospel:
Early Church Style
I want to provide you with a short overview of how cross-cultural evangelism operated in the early Church. Sue and I hope, the Lord willing, to have a complete writing on it by this fall.
Background: There are many, many Jewish writings preceding and following the time of Christ which give tremendous insight into the life and patterns of the earliest Christians. Due to the extreme anti-Semitism of the Church for centuries, however, few followers of Jesus have turned to these writings for wisdom. Instead, theologians and church councils have hammered out myriads of divisive doctrines by arguing over the interpretation of the scriptural words.
An increasing number of you now understand how really far away the “church” is from that which God gave our to Hebraic forefathers. But now our Father is at work restoring the Jewish people to the land of Israel and giving us Gentiles the foundations of understanding His ways.

Some Basic Understandings:
1. The Older Testament is not obsolete. The Bible doesn’t teach that, Satan does. The covenant in Jesus’ blood is new, but God’s Word is a continuum of His revelation to mankind. Satan doesn’t want anyone to know and apply the foundations of God’s instructions for us that are found in Torah (the teachings of God) before the incarnation of Jesus. Some of you may remember that our research revealed that every practice of the early Church was being enacted among the synagogues of Israel. All that was needed was the final atoning sacrifice—The LAMB OF GOD—to bring fullness of meaning to their trust and practice.

2. Beginning with the teachings of Jesus—a number of which are quotes of rabbis who preceded Him—through to the end of the Bible, we are not encountering ‘new teachings’ that are removed from the foundations of Torah. What we see is halakhic application of Torah as the Gospel reached new people groups. From Jesus, through Paul, Peter, et al., the Hebrew Bible is cited as the foundational reference from which an application is then given.
Who has the privilege to establish halakhahs? We all do! In the two times Jesus mentions the “called out ones”, that is, the “church”, He gives followers the authority to apply halakhahs: “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven” (Matt. 16:19; see also 18:18).
Except for the influence of “Judaizers” against whom Paul warned and the council in Jerusalem resisted (see Acts 15), the Gospel accounts contain NO element that people needed to become Jewish to follow Jesus. The decision of the council, “to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood” (v.20), was a halakhic application for the Gentile to  walk in righteousness.
Consider Mr. Torah himself, Paul: He is told by Chloe’s household, “there are quarrels among [us]” (1Cor. 1: 11). That entire letter consists of Paul assisting those followers to apply halakhahs to their problems. “Can Gentiles eat meat offered to idols?” Paul: “Eat anything sold in the meat market without raising questions of conscience, for, ‘The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it’” (1Cor. 10: 25,26). 
Then Paul goes on to add an additional halakhah based on the second greatest commandment, “But if anyone says to you, ‘This has been offered in sacrifice,’ then do not eat it...” (v. 28).
[In 1 Cor. 16:8,9 we see Paul making a halakhic choice between observing Torah by going to Jerusalem for Passover or fulfilling his anointing to be an “apostle to the Gentiles.” He chose the latter.]

3. Each culture has protocols which need to be followed in order to not give unnecessary offense. Protocols represent the significant customs and values of a culture that define respect, bring group harmony, and minimize conflict. Western society, including the church, knows little about observing cross-cultural protocols. Too often, ministry is conducted via “the end justifies the means.” Several mission agencies with whom we have had contact are halakhically shallow. In fact, they gave themselves an ‘F’ in Bible application. Knowledge that doesn’t transform into life application only serves to puff up.
The Hebraic understands the need to learn a culture’s protocols in order to gain a hearing. When Restoration truths were being shared with a tribe in Africa recently, the missionaries followed tribal protocols and gained favor by asking to first speak with the elders of the tribe. The leaders were surprised that these missionaries followed protocol: “None of the other whites have done this before.” After hearing the missionaries and seeing their genuine concern for the people, permission was granted to share with the whole tribe.
While I was in the Navy be-fore coming to Christ, the base chaplain saw Sue’s eagerness for spiritual things. Instead of “plowing with my heifer,” though, he focused on me. Later, when I did put my trust in Jesus, I greatly appreciated his methodology.
Missionaries who just go in and do “youth work” or conduct “women’s ministry” find little lasting fruit for their efforts when they bypass protocols of culture.

Violating Family Protocol:
One of the most satanically-inspired violations of protocol is youth ministry done by Anglos among themselves as well as cross-culturally. Do you know the average time a youth director holds his/her position in the US? 9-12 months. Do you know the national success rate of youth ministry? 3%. The divorce rate in the “Bible belt” is 20% higher than the national average, and 80% of the young people raised in the church leave the church when they leave home. Where are most children taken from parents and handed over to youth directors? The “Bible belt.” (Statistics are quoted from national leaders on a video distributed to 300,000 religious organizations.)
The cross-cultural fruit of all this: Mission agencies, with no questions asked, have adopted these practices which have no halakhic basis and fail to apply biblical protocols that respect the responsibility of parents and elders. 
Ask God if this might be true: Satan takes children from parents to teach them. God gives children to parents to train them. (See Gen. 18:19).

4. The earliest Church did not have “doctrines” as we understand them today—divisive issues that have produced 22,000 denominations. As we have written before, these divisions are the fruit of the Greek philosophical spirit, not of God or His Word.
 When Paul encourages Timothy, “Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers” (1Tim. 4:16; see also Tit. 1:9, 2:1), Paul’s understanding of “doctrine” has nothing in common with “doctrine” in the church today. The Greek word for “doctrine” is didaskalia and means teaching, instruction. Paul taught a way of life in which Torah was applied to the situations and circumstances he encountered as he shared the Gospel. Can you see the importance of a “way of life” stressed in Paul’s words, “Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you” (Phil. 3: 17)? 80-90% of a rabbi’s influence was the way he lived his life. His example opened the way for him to share the biblical basis for his actions.

5. The Hebraic doesn’t separate life into the spiritual and the physical. It was all one and interconnected. Our forebears understood the interaction of angels and demons with mankind. They saw God in creation as the Native American does. “God’s house” is not a building with a steeple, but the people indwelt by His Spirit. There is no “higher calling” except to fulfill the purposes God has prepared for us.

6. I was recently given a Missionary Handbook from a mission agency. After reading it I asked, “Did [a certain European nationality] write this?” “Yes, how did you know?” “Their Christian writings always smack of control and subjugation.” The tone and phraseology of that handbook left me feeling that:
• Missionaries on the field are not to be trusted. • The Board at the home office controls everything. • A husband has no authority in his own home. • Instead, the mission has control over his family.
I received an affirmative reply when I asked if half the mission personnel on that field had been divorced, and if at least the same percent don’t make it through their first tour. Why does this hurt me? In conversations with Native people, they ask, “Will you remain with us or leave us like the other white people? Why do the whites live in compounds in fear of us and yet claim they love us?”
Two European countries, in particular, have influenced the pattern of missions in the US. Their missions ministry uses a pedagogical approach to the people to whom they minister. That is, the Native people are considered ignorant children and the missionary the adult who must help them. [As I was writing this letter, Sue handed me the following statistic about a country which has been influenced tremendously by European missions: “In 1998 alone, 26 new missionaries were sent out, 21 resigned the same year.” Tragic!]

An Andrological Approach
Treating Other Adults as Adults
Sue and I received cross-cultural training under the guidance of Elisabeth Elliot, whose husband was martyred by the Auca Indians in Equador in 1956. After the death of her husband, she remained on the field. Two years later she had the privilege to live with the people who had killed her husband. She taught us to respect other cultures and their protocols, and to not think too highly of ourselves. We were  “freaks” when we lived in another culture: “The littlest child knows more about surviving in that culture than you do!” We were but “clay vessels carrying an eternal treasure.”
She insisted on this, and the Hebraic demands it: The people and culture with whom we are sharing Jesus must be treated with respect. Every human is made in the image of God; for each the sacrifice of Jesus was made. We know that “[God] has set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end” (Ecc. 3:11). Therefore, we were to taught to seek the “redemptive analogies” that link the Scrip-tures to their culture because our Father has not left them without a witness!
For instance, as we shared with Native people last month at the Southwest Indian Ministry Center, the Holy Spirit prompted me to use these words: “Marriages that are encountering the Hebraic foundations are like two vases being placed back on the potter’s wheel. They must keep themselves on the wheel until The Potter forms them into one vase.” 
As I presented this understanding to those in attendance, the Native people exclaimed, “We know what you mean!” When they marry, a couple is given a vase with two spouts. Wow! Was I ever blown away by our Lord’s advance preparation!

Mike & Sue Dowgiewicz

See Jeremiah 1:17-19 & Isaiah 35