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]

March 2001 Topic: Living as the Family of Melchizedek

Dear Men,
“So Christ also did not take upon himself the glory of becoming a high priest. But God said to him, ‘You are my Son; today I have become your Father.’ And he says in another place, ‘You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek’” (Heb. 5:5,6).
Husbands and fathers, the priesthood of Melchizedek is probably the most important biblical truth for you to walk in, second only to the Gospel. This isn’t just a vain assertion. The importance of Christ as now being “a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek” is lost on most of us today. But the Priesthood of Jesus replaced the intermediary role of the Levitical priest—forever! We men have a special responsibility in representing Jesus, the High Priest, to our families: “Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God” (1Cor. 11:3).
Sadly, since most of us have not understood the implications, the church resurrected the Levitical priesthood centuries ago. Even though our Divine Priest Jesus replaced the Levitical men-priests, we men have continued to submit ourselves and our families to men-priests—men who act before God on our behalf. Much of today’s religious system is the Levitical priesthood reincarnated. It is a system in which certain men of position represent other individuals before God as intermediaries. The result? Someone else has usurped the responsibilities that God gave to each man:
• When you call a clergy person by title, or worse, as “the man of God”, you are reaffirming the Levitical system. (Are non-clergy not men of God?)
• When you rely on services at the “House of God” to revitalize your faith walk, you are back at the “temple” where Levites offered sacrifices.
• When your tithes are received and distributed without your input for their use, you are giving to Levi, not Melchizedek.
• If, because of his religious position, someone besides you baptized your children, you are serving Levi.
• When someone else because of religious position “does communion” for your family, you are serving Levi.

A Change of Covenant: From Levi to Melchizedek
Under the Old Covenant, when a new High Priest came in, the outgoing High Priest would baptize the incoming one in a mikvah. When Jesus came to John the Baptist, himself a Levitical priest through his father (see Luke 1:5), Jesus received the anointing of His Priesthood, not a baptism of repentance. Because John misperceived the Lord’s motive, he objected. But Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness” (Matt. 3: 15).
In effect, John, the last of the Levitical line, baptized Jesus in the “Jordan Mikvah”; through this act Jesus began the priesthood of Melchizedek—forever! A new covenant replaced the old: “For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant (Heb. 9:15).
Our Jesus is not the priest of a religious system; He is our personal intermediary in heaven. He wants you to know that He is there for you. As you serve Jesus as your “Melchizedek”, you are empowered by His Spirit, guided by His Spirit, and transformed into the nature of Jesus by the same Spirit. You don’t need temples or steeples. Because of the indwelling Spirit we His people are the temples of God.

A Demonic Pit: Under the Levitical-restored church, a man may not understand his need for an ongoing, viable, personal relationship with his Lord. The religious emphasis calls for him to attend services in a designated building where a paid clergy person conducts a religious performance on his behalf. Backed up by a worship team or choir, an organized ritual fulfills his religious expression. He can leave the service satisfied that he has observed spiritual practice, but his heart is still far from Jesus.
However, NO Levitical priest gets anyone to heaven! Only our Priest in the order of Melchizedek could fulfill that role once and for all. You can’t serve both Levi and Melchizedek—two different covenants—at the same time. Please think about this.

A Man Who Serves Melchizedek
As the heads of our families, we men are the primary human reference for our families to understand how to serve our High Priest Jesus. He gave us the prime directive when He said, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matt. 28:19,20). Jesus has told us, “Go do it!” Your family needs to see your relationship with Jesus lived out, not your religious obligations fulfilled.
In our home our conversations each evening are centered on how we saw our Lord operate during the day. We look forward to seeing each other at the end of the day to rejoice, pray, encourage, exhort each other in the encounters and circumstances of the past day. As a family we start our mornings in prayer. If following our “Melchizedek” Lord isn’t our foremost concern as we begin our day, there is little chance that this will change as the hours progress.
If you really want to come into union with “Melchizedek”, you must desire Him above all other people or concerns. As you humble yourself in this way, He’ll reveal His will to you. “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise” (Psa. 51:17). That is, He’ll give you the rhema you need so that you’ll know the specific path of obedience for you and your family for that day.
If you’re really courageous, have a man who is prophetically gifted as a close friend. Prophetic people can often detect hidden sin and help your heart to be pure toward our Father so that your prayers will be answered as you walk righteously! “Anyone who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet's reward” (Matt. 10: 41a). Prophetic individuals are not always the easiest men to befriend. When forced to, they will choose God over relationships; this choice may cause people who’d rather hide in their sin to speak evil of the prophetic person. But the Word reveals benefits for such a relationship:
• You receive a prophet’s reward.
• You keep yourself from a lot of human rationale that weighs the pros and cons in your decision making. A person who truly loves God is more concerned with obedience than with outcome. He asks, “Lord what do you want of me?” “Surely the Sovereign LORD does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7).

Your ongoing friendship with the prophetically gifted will help you to be serious about knowing and following God’s will. A man who does not regularly seek God’s rhema opens the door for the coyote to devour his family. (See Feb. 2001 Mishpachah Yeshua.)

Love with An Attitude!
The Hebrew word for the kind of love our Father desires is ahav. It means you yearn to possess Him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. If you’ve ever seen a lamb nurse, you’ll understand what I mean. Unlike most other animals who gently suckle, a lamb attacks the udder with such force that the mother’s hind legs are lifted off the ground! This intensity causes her to release the milk. This is the energetic earnestness our Lord wants from you as you seek His will and follow His commands.

“And these signs will accompany those who [trust]: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well” (Mark 16: 17).
Have you ever driven out a demon? Is your trust great enough to lay hands on someone for their healing? Our Lord never asked you to sit in a pew every weekend and leave satisfied that you’ve done your religious duty. Melchizedek requires much more from you: to represent Him with Divine power to the world. Your family needs to see in you an intense availability for His purposes to be accomplished through your yielded obedient trust.
When I’m invited to a house in which righteousness is missing, I go into the bathroom and, in the authority of Jesus, bind the demons in that home from interfering with my time there. There is an immediate change in the spiritual atmosphere! I ask God for wisdom as to the nature of the unrighteousness and privately mention it to the man of the house so that he can consider it before our Lord. Most men are grateful if their hearts want spiritual freedom for their families. But some are resentful because it was their pet sin that opened the door for the demons to enter in the first place.
Men, ask God if what I have briefly written about here is true. You can’t serve both the old Levitical covenant and the new Melchizedek one. Jesus, the High Priest of the New Covenant, wants you to represent Him and His purposes to your family and to the world. Don’t ever let anyone come between you and your Lord. Your children need to see you as their prime role model of living for Jesus. Remember this: You can’t lead them into Jesus and then turn them over for others to disciple. “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other” (Matt. 6:24a). I encourage you to cry out to the Father; free yourself from a system that He did away with.
Join Jesus and find the joy of serving the true Priest!

Dear Women,
“If someone loves me, he will keep my word; and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Someone who doesn’t love me doesn’t keep my words—and the word you are hearing is not my own but that of the Father who sent me” (John 14:23,24).
Our inseparable union with our Lord and Master has privileged us to serve Him with our family in Jesus who are His chosen priesthood. Let me repeat that: We are called to serve even as our Savior served the interests of His Father through obedient love.
Now, serving an “invisible Lord” may seem wonderfully fulfilling. However, to serve means that our full availability — our hearts (our yieldedness to represent Him), our hands (our activities), our feet (our willingness to go or to stay wherever He wants)—is under His authority and under the authority of those He’s set in place with headship over us. That puts a very human face on our Lord’s command to keep His words! If you are married, Jesus has called your husband to live in sacrificial responsibility and love toward you. Just because he may not do it in the way you believe that Jesus would doesn’t nullify your responsibility to serve in obedience to our Lord’s commands for you as a wife!

So You Think You’re Hearing From God?
I’m so grateful that our Lord has chosen to give Mike a discernment that I don’t always find in myself! A case in point: I’m a stickler for accuracy in things to do with His Word. If I’m in a situation in which people are playing loose with the Word, I tend to dive right in with exegetical facts and exhortation on how to use them! Sometimes I fail to realize that being a proficient arguer can disrupt the harmony of our home!
In one particular Sunday School class which I attended regularly, I came up against some men who repeatedly voiced liberal interpretation of the Word. Without my realizing it, I was becoming trained to argue! Mike was very uncomfortable with the growing tension in our home and came before our Lord for rhema. Our Father revealed my weekly apologetics debates as a key source of contentiousness. When he told me what our Father had revealed, I was so thankful that he’d obediently gone to God to restore harmony between us!
I stopped attending the class. Over the months to come, other couples came to us because of tension in their marriages. We shared what the Lord had shown us. This is only one of many instances in which my husband’s discernment has kept me from pursuing activities that seem right but are detrimental.
Even using the gifts He’s given us must coincide with His best purposes. Last summer we traveled with James and Joyce Skeet to a First Nations conference in Canada. Mike was on an apostolic mission to discover if prominent leaders among Native American believers had true servant hearts. We’d been invited to a luncheon for those who were going to be leading workshops. The leadership were already seated but a large number of us were standing along the periphery of the small room because too few chairs had been set up.
As the waitress came to take orders, I made a move to set up the chairs stacked against the wall as I would have done at the retreat center. Mike held my arm and said no. My service gift was yearning to serve but our Father had another purpose. When none of the men who were seated made a move to relieve the standees, Mike spoke up: “Gentlemen, not everyone has a place to sit!” At that point, a few of the leaders got up and orchestrated the seating of us all. Had I jumped in to serve, an impotant moment would have been forfeited. The need would have been met but the leadership would not have recognized that true leaders serve. I needed Mike’s discernment to see the bigger picture.

Are You Willing To Wait? 
The mysterious union between husbands and wives that Paul refers to in Ephesians 5:31,32 is a visible representation of the spiritual union between the Spirit and our spirits. That’s why the marriage covenant is intended to be permanent, sacrificial, and fruitful—because our relationship with our Lord is intended to be permanent, sacrificial, and fruitful!
Closely examine the words of a worship song that penetrated my heart this morning:
“All for Jesus, all I am and have and ever hope to be. All of my ambitions, hopes and plans, I surrender these into Your hands. For it is only in Your will that I am free.”
If you are not married, then any hope or expectation or plan to be married is to be placed on His altar. If you are married, any dreams of “doing spiritual things” on your own if your husband is not in God’s harness with you is to be forfeited until and if He releases you together for HIS purposes. There are so very many women out in the seminar/conference circuit who have chosen to be out from their husband’s protective authority in order to “more fully serve God.” But what reflection of Jesus, Who totally submitted Himself to His Father’s will and plans, are women offering who choose to follow their own heart’s desires at the expense of the commands of our Lord?
If we are to serve as our Jesus served His Father in full trust and obedience, then we must do it His way! And does that demand that we grow in patient endurance, persevering prayer, and joy in all trials and circumstances? Absolutely! Because if we cannot grow in the character of Jesus through the means His Word and His example have so amply illustrated, then we will be spreading the aroma of spiritual death and disobedience to our target audience of relationships rather than the fragrance of a Christlike life.
If you peeked at the men’s side, you may be wondering what this has to do with the Levitical priesthood and the bondage that issues from that. The Levitical priesthood depended on a “holy” intermediary to come before God on the people’s behalf. People are doing that today all around you in their religious practice. You may even be entrapped yourself if you feel guilty that other women are “doing so much for God” and all you’re doing is raising your children or making your home a peaceful sanctuary or working in an office.
 That’s Levitical thinking! That’s looking horizontally at the efforts and outcomes of other people’s lives and comparing yourself to them! THEY won’t be standing before our Lord’s throne as intermediaries to defend why you decided that their path was what you really wanted for your service to God! Our Lord’s piercing eyes of love are going to simply ask, “What was My call for YOU?” And if you are married, the two-who-are-one have a very special purpose TOGETHER as His servants.

Connectedness is Your Key to Peace!
If you’re familiar with the Restoration diagram, you’ll recall the Hebraic priorities: a relationship of obedient loving trust with our Father through Jesus that flows outward onto our spouse and children if we have them. It then flows outward onto loadbearing relationships that help one another to walk in the righteousness that finds prayers answered and the intimacy of extended family. These essential relationships pour out His power to encourage and edify other believers you encounter and to touch the lives of thirsty unbelievers, as the previous testimony confirms.
It is the connectedness with Jesus, your husband, your children, and your extended spiritual family that demonstrates your “true spiritual service” as His priests. Conjuring up a spiritual high doesn’t reveal your walk with our Lord (although He graciously refreshes and fills His hungry sheep). It’s that day-in and day-out walk of His revealed will for yourself, your family, and your load-bearers that puts practical action to spiritual truth. If you are disconnected from your husband, your children and your accountable relationships in Him insofar as it depends on you, then you’re responding from soulish desires that sound spiritual but are not lined up with our Father’s timing or purpose.
I’m belaboring this point because of a deceptive, worldly spirit that is convincing Christian women that they are being called to operate independent of their husbands in ministry. Like a computer virus, women’s hearts are being infiltrated to cast aside Biblical truth in favor of serving a God they’ve manufactured apart from His Word. Ask yourself: Is the Creator of the universe Who loved me enough to die for me not capable of changing the course of my husband’s life to coincide with His will? Is your husband such a huge mountain that God can’t change him? Or is our loving Father’s purposes so beyond our way of thinking that we just don’t want to wait for His purposes to be accomplished?
You may feel insignificant in His Kingdom right now. Restless. Purposeless. Pity-party material. Why do you think that we are admonished in the Word to take captive our thoughts (and will and emotions) and bring them into conformity with Jesus? HE was willing to endure humiliation and suffering that you may have had a sip of—but He chose to drink the full cup!
Instead of taking your dissatisfaction and hurt out on your family, earnestly cry out to Him and choose to trust His love for you! I’m no spiritual superwoman. Mike could tell you horror stories of emotional roller coaster rides with me as I’ve chosen to listen to tempting demonic voices of fear and rejection and bitterness. But my Father has NEVER FAILED to respond to my cries of repentant humility and pain, and without condemnation. (Thank You, Spirit, for moving upon James to pen 1:1,2!) However, our Father’s forgiveness does not free us to follow disobedient pursuits or willful emotional manipulation of others.
Our Father has called us women to maintain shalom in our homes: not just peace as in absence of bickering, but also harmony, health, and an atmosphere that reflects His presence. This is our role as Melchizedek women! We are the heart of our home, the one who is responsible to offer hospitality and warmth to everyone our Father brings. Anything that we do or allow to happen to disrupt this altar of service needs to be addressed immediately! Ask yourself if you might inadvertently be imprisoning your family into a Levitical system that takes away the peace of your home as His sanctuary:
•Do I get uptight if my husband doesn’t back me when I want to take part in “church activities”?
•Am I running my household ragged by giving in to my kids’ demands for too many activities or shopping expeditions? Shouldn’t I be teaching them to serve rather than serving them myself?
•Am I putting down my husband’s role as spiritual head of our household by pushing our kids into youth groups that displace him as a Melchizedek man?
•Have I decided in my heart that I’m more “spiritual” than my husband, and therefore manipulated his permission to be out doing “spiritual activities?”
•If I’m single, have I earnestly sought my Father for a spiritual extended family with whom I can intertwine my giftings for His purpose and my love as a true sister and “auntie”?
As a family or with your loadbearers, pray and seek His will. Develop halakhahs to testify to His guidance of your family and decisions. And make sure you do whatever He says!