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 2001  Topic: The Awesome Preeminence of Jesus

Dear Brothers,
I got up at 4:30 AM on Good Friday knowing that this is the morning I needed to write. The Spirit had been prompting me for days to write: Contend for Jesus! 
Good Friday is the day we commemorate what I consider to be the greatest and most joyful day in Christiandom. Tragically, many believers have been duped by the anti-Christ spirit to see this day through eyes of sorrow for the Cross rather than with grateful joy in the victory Jesus achieved on it. After a woman delivers a baby we don’t focus on the pain she went through; we celebrate what she set out to do: to bring forth the child!
Fully grasping all that Jesus accomplished through His death enables us to live fully for Him and through Him. But if you don’t know what you've received in Jesus, then you don’t perceive what anti-Christ has stolen away. He’ll focus you on the cross, not the victory.

Brothers, if we are going to spiritually equip our families, we had better focus more on what Jesus achieved. He is more than just the center of the Restoration Diagram. What He accomplished permeates every facet of the diagram — every facet!!

I am often frustrated telling “Christians” about the Jesus of the Bible, Whom I know and in Whom I have placed my trust, because they have become impermeable to the work of the Living Lord. The “historical Jesus” has become an over-familiar concept rather than an ever-present Master. I learned about Him from earnestly searching my Bible: “As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him” (1 John 2:27).
We who have placed our trust in the Messiah, and the ones with whom our Father has consummated His covenant have the indwelling Holy Spirit. We are the temple of God! The full Presence of our Father and His precious Son, Jesus, resides in each person with whom our Father has consummated His covenant. The evidence of the Spirit’s presence is very noticeable. He produces “streams of living water.What greater identity can you have than this?

Contending for Jesus—Challenging anti-Christ
Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist—
he denies the Father and the Son” (1 John 2:22).
The spirit of anti-Christ has replaced the THE CHRIST in much of Christiandom because he has kept people biblically ignorant. Not knowing the Word, they live in almost total denial of the victorious accomplishment of Jesus. Church teachers may reference the atonement, but few explore the depth of impact that Jesus as the Christ should have on our daily walk and decisions.
Are you aware that the devices of anti-Christ have become the focus of faith enactment in many congregations? Because of the biblical ignorance of the people and leaders who fear men who fully know the Jesus of the Bible, anti-Christ goes unchallenged. In Restoring the Early Church we quote a conversation we had with one leader after he had read the RTEC manuscript: “We can’t have our people trusting Jesus. That would cause mayhem! We need to control and direct the spiritual activities of the people in our congregation.” Interpretation: Serve anti-Christ by occupying churched people with activities and busyness. The fruit of activity that is devoid of Jesus’ power are many:
• prayer movements that rely on worldly, anti-Christ methods with no accountability for personal holiness;
• worship that keys in on the mood-conjuring that anti-Christ craves but ignores the necessity of “clean hands and pure heart” for worship to penetrate the ceiling;
• user-friendly evangelism to encourage nonbelievers that they’re OK with God (That one really tickles the fancy of anti-Christ.);
• endless religious discussions that fail to bring life changes through biblical application. (All talk, no action.)

For several years my heart has grown heavy as I’ve observed how quickly “Christians” embrace the varieties  of religious sorcery that are so widely touted in Christiandom. Sorrow engulfed me when I received a suggested prayer for the National Day of Prayer. It was written by one of the most noted evangelists of our time. But what struck me is he left out Jesus. I have seen so much of this that I’m about to burst. Doesn’t anybody trust Jesus anymore? Can anyone answer, “What is His role right now in the life of His Church?” Can anyone articulate for me the power we have when we call upon the authority of Jesus’s Name—the Name above all names?

Through My Trust in Jesus
I am a Genuine Child of My Father
My relationship with the Father is that of being His child. This is the same message proclaimed repeatedly by Paul, and here personalized so that you can come to grips with its impact: “[I] received the Spirit of sonship. And by him [I] cry, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit himself testifies with [my] spirit that [I am] God's child. Now if [I am] a child, then [I am] an heir—heir of God and co-heir with Christ, if indeed [I] share in his sufferings in order that [I] may also share in his glory” (Rom. 15-17; see also Heb. 2:10; 2Tim. 1:8; 2: 3,9; 4:5).
Don’t take this truth lightly. Sitting here on Good Friday, I’m conscious that it cost my Jesus His life to enable me to cry out “Abba.” Much of my life in Jesus as His child has been a yo-yo ride. I am embarrassed that I can choose to sin and yet love Him so much. But through the yo-yo rides I have come to realize that the focus isn’t on me, but on His wonderful love. I deserve nothing good from Him and there is nothing I can do to deserve anything. Only  from my Father, through my trust in Jesus, does all grace come. As unworthy as I am, my Father has chosen to answer my prayers in amazing ways. His answers are my means to give Him praise through my testimony. And I love to do that!
At age 55 I can understand why men of the earliest church did not shepherd His people until they were older and grey-bearded. You need to have tasted His mercy if you are going to represent our Father as a shepherd-elder. After years of experience you can articulate your relationship through His heart of love. You can even recognize that His chastisements and corrections are His means to bring us back to intimacy, not to reject us. The beauty is that all this is made possible through obedient trust in Jesus.

A Church Identity Crisis—The Epidemic of Manifestation-Seekers and Wannabes
Without a child relationship with our Father through trust in Jesus, too many Christians are running around seeking other identities. Such a sad and vain pursuit! Void of intimacy with Jesus, these people are extremely vulnerable to anti-Christ. He entices them to join any of the false religious expressions and experiences he has contrived to temporarily satisfy their emotional needs. He even has the power to make them feel good in their participation. The only thing that gets in his way is when people search the scriptures to verify the biblical foundations for their practices or experiences.
Let me cite some examples of anti-Christ entrapments that we have encountered:
Fasting. If the Holy Spirit prompts you to fast, then do so and keep it to yourself. In recent years many have gotten on the bandwagon of the “40-day fast”. But Sue and I have met many who prided themselves in their fast by telling everyone what they were doing. Several devoted great time and energy to preparing liquid vegetable concoctions so that the fast wouldn’t be so challenging to their well-being. Tragically, I don’t think the Father even knew they fasted...
Deliverance. Only the name of Jesus has authority over demons. We wrote Demolishing Strongholds to reveal symptoms of demonic influence and to emphasize the only DELIVERER: “And these signs will accompany those who trust: In my name they will drive out demons” (Mark 16:17).
Some books propose a series of techniques that require up to three months before deliverance occurs. Anti-Christ loves these. He actually backs off a while to make the oppressed believe the techniques worked. Then he comes back with a vengeance! It would seem that neither the people who write deliverance techniques nor the deceived who read them dwell with Jesus.
Manifestation Conferences. Going to some physical location or visiting a shrine to acquire a greater blessing from God or to have your prayers more readily answered is the enticement of anti-Christ. Equally deceptive is reliance on formula-based prayers that guarantee God will answer. God looks at our hearts and responds, “This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word” (Isa 66:2). But people are running off to any place where anti-Christ is advertising counterfeit manifestations, which he is well able to perform (see Matt. 7:22,23; 24:24).
Anti-Christ entices people to seek manifestations rather than a genuine relationship with our Father. The warning of Jesus applies today: “Men will tell you, 'There he is!' or 'Here he is!' Do not go running off after them” (Luke 17:23). When proponents of these “experiential gimmicks” are challenged, they can’t cite a biblical basis for the practice or method. They keep focusing on their wonderful experience. Remember, Satan can counterfeit everything except to produce life.
Manifestation seekers disregard the wonderful guidance our Father gives in His Word. Distrusting a child identity in their Father, they desperately yearn for some other distinctiveness. Belonging to others deceived by anti-Christ’s lies becomes more fulfilling than believing God’s Word and discerning the Truth. Aren’t the closing words of the Bible sufficient to cause us to want to stay within the boundaries of our loving Father? “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book” (Rev. 22:18:19).
Following the deceptive yearnings of your heart can bring a quagmire of sorrow. That’s why Paul warned against straying from the pure truth of the Word: “Do not go beyond what is written” (1 Cor. 4:6).

The Plight of the Wannabe
We are seeing a hoard of people seeking an identity. Labeled “wannabes”, they “want to be” identified with someone or something. Cults thrive on these people. So does anti-Christ.
Are you a “Jewish wannabe?” Since we arrived back from Israel 7 years ago we have been contacted by people conjecturing that they might be Jewish. People have even told us, “I’m sure you are of the tribe of Ephraim.” Judaizers have reached the Native people with an insidious teaching convincing them that they are a lost tribe of Israel. Anti-Christ smiles.
Grievously, many Jewish wannabes become disoriented in their focus, as do many “ecumenically minded” Christians: They leave out the Name of Jesus to be polite when praying with Jewish people. Friends, Jews may pray to the same God I do, but the means of the Father’s answer is through Jesus. Anti-Christ would love to have you omit that truth!
Anti-Christ, no matter what his ploy, relies on conjecture—making statements that cannot be biblically proven. Paul foresaw the pit of the Jewish wannabes when he wrote, “As I urged... so that you may command certain men not to teach false doctrines any longer nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. These promote controversies rather than God's work—which is by trust. The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Some have wandered away from these and turned to meaningless talk (1 Tim. 1:3-6).
Out here we meet many “Native wannabes”. People whose foundational identity isn’t in our Father through Jesus will expend a lot of effort to establish a Native identity. I’ve met too many 1/16 Native men who over-dramatize the ‘1’. They are the type of men to whom you just want to say, “Get a life!” Better yet, seek the Father and get an identity in Jesus so we can be brothers and co-heirs!

The Last Days Will be the Darkest of All
We men who follow Jesus are facing so many counterfeit, so-called “Christian” experiences and practices that are enslaving our wives and families. I recently heard of a book put out by a very influential ministry in Colorado Springs that is teaching wives that they don’t have to submit to their husband’s authority. Out of that same organization have come teachings that women can divorce their husbands to more fully serve God. Husbands and fathers, be vigilant. Those tapes, Christian TV programs, and conferences your wife goes off to without you can be spiritually cancerous. They first entice her to be independent of your rhema, and ultimately rob you of the spiritual intimacy the Father desires for the both of you. “The Christian Feminist Movement” abounds with women dissatisfied with men and pathetic eunuchs— women-pleasing momma’s boys. They are more comfortable with women than with men, and their wives do all the talking. These men have no salt.

God Warned Us of These Times
Men, we cannot sit back and let anti-Christ take our wives and children. They are hungering for spiritual leadership and the unity of Jesus in their home. God commands us to teach our wives and families His Word. If you want to keep them, teach them! For example, simply read and discuss for application a chapter of Scripture with them each day. Watch what the Holy Spirit does to make clear His Word.
We men who follow Christ have been privileged to stand for Jesus during one of the most trying eras of evil the earth has seen. If it came at us in a straight forward manner we could probably deal with it more easily. But because anti-Christ hides behind deception and is so readily embraced by so many men and by Christian women independent of biblical verification by their husbands, we may find ourselves caught off guard.
Ask the Jesus of the Bible to empower you to know Him better. Bless your families by enabling them to see your identification with our Father through your ongoing trust in Jesus. Don’t study the counterfeits—keep your focus on the REALITY.

May our Father keep us all in the palm of His hand.
Your brother on the pilgrimage,
Mike   Psalm 112

May Elijah come to prepare the way of our Lord!!!

Dear Sisters in Jesus,
Easter brings to my mind thoughts of newness: new life in Jesus (even after all these years!), new mercies from His hand and heart each new day, new opportunities to encounter people who will be blessed in Him if I speak a word of encouragement or smile or hug them, and, most recently, new location (we’ve moved 16 times in 31 years so the trauma of change has lessened a bit!).
Most comforting is the absolute truth that my Lord never changes. The price my Savior paid for my sinful nature—attitudes as well as actions—is complete, and I stand reconciled with my Father because of this once and for all victory! This is no mere concept of religious understanding to me. I fully recognize what sins I have been capable of, and perhaps might still be under the wrong circumstances. But my Jesus’ holding power is complete. His love for me has encompassed me with assurance that His Spirit is alive and very real in my life.
Have I ever doubted His love for me? No. But that’s not my doing. He has chosen to gift me with a trust that knows beyond question that His reality and love are Truth. But have I ever cried out in fear that I was too weak for the test He was prompting me to undergo? That I would fail to achieve His purpose and grieve Him? That I was an unworthy and inadequate handmaiden like Much-Afraid of Hind’s Feet in High Places fame? I’m embarrassed to tell you how many times along the pilgrimage my tears have rolled down as I’ve stumbled and believed the spirit of rejection that whispered lies. That spirit was sent by anti-Christ, who denies the authority and power of a child of our Father to stand in the love of Jesus.

The Absolute Truth of God’s Word
If I could share just one thing with you today (and with 4 pages to go, there’ll probably be more!), it would be the rich satisfaction of living water and manna from heaven He so faithfully provides as I dig into His Word. My son has a very special friend who is just starting to taste and see how good the Lord is. She confessed to me that the Word was so hard for her to understand. She even admitted that Demolishing Strongholds was easier to grasp than the Bible! (Now that was a first!!) I want so much for her to breathe in the love of our Father and the day-to-day guidance and counsel He gives in the Scriptures. So I recommended that she cry out to our Father each morning as she opens His (SISTERS) Word and ask for wisdom and understanding to apply what she reads to her life. He is faithful to grace our hearts with the rhema of application when we ask, and I pray daily that she and our son would crave Him more and more as He reveals Himself through His Word.
Does this sound foreign to you, or is it an experience from which you, too, derive strength and courage? I am so blessed to have married a man who also delights in the wisdom the Spirit quickens from His Word. Even before we encountered Jesus in a way in which He intimately relates to us, we made it a point each morning to pray together before heading for work. Those few minutes focused us on His reality and prepared us to begin our pilgrimage of trusting Him together when we finally encountered Jesus in a life-changing way. As our son can attest, there was hardly a morning when he wasn’t surrounded by prayer before heading off to school (or off to his desk when we home-schooled).

Contentment or Contention?
I know that if you’re married and walking in union with Jesus, your heart’s desire is for your husband to exercise that responsibility and privilege our Lord has given him in His Word for the spiritual nourishment of his family. You can be a big help in this endeavor by being the kind of supportive and loving wife our Father can equip you to be if you’re willing.
You can also bring glory to your Father by mentioning ONCE to your husband that you yearn for him to participate with you in this. (Any more than this, unless he asks for a reminder, is contentious nagging, and you can bet that our Father won’t be honored by it. You’re shooting yourself in the foot by nagging, as your kids will learn that manipulation and control are acceptable behaviors to emulate.) Get on your knees away from his notice and intercede for our Lord to bring peace to your heart and a stirring of your husband’s spirit. Our Father is well able to orchestrate encounters and circumstances that will awaken in your husband a need to call out to Him!
Do you know how potentially powerful your influence is as a woman? As an ezer, a Godly helper, a wife can bring to completeness the areas of her husband’s life that are incomplete. (If he hadn’t been incomplete, he wouldn’t have needed you so much!) However, if your love and trust in the Sovereign One has diminished to the point that your husband (or mother or father or child) is a mountain that even God can’t seem to move, stop and reevaluate Who He is to you. The Jesus Who created all that there is has not forgotten you. Nor is He incapable of bringing about life situations that will repeatedly remind your husband or the one for whom you’re praying of how great their need is for Him.

Your Identity in Jesus Our Healer
Seven years ago Mike and I were at the end of our relational rope. We’d expended all we had emotionally and physically on those we’d loved and served at the retreat center. We had nothing left for each other. (And a very bad situation it is to ever let anything become more important than your marriage covenant!) But our healing time came (SISTERS) during the 3 months we lived in Israel. The very dear and wise couple with whom we lived told us outright that they had no intention (or ability, for that matter) of healing our marriage. Instead, Mike and I individually needed to come before our Jesus and find that spark of hope and life that would kindle forgiveness and humility and joy in Him. As we focused our efforts and prayers on that goal, a wonderful thing happened. Our healing began to be reflected in the new way we perceived each other. Whereas the anti-Christ spirit would have convinced us that our relationship was a corpse, unrevivable, the Living God increased our trust in Him to set aside the past and perceive what He was doing NOW in each other. Each of us was healed as we purposed to trust Him, forgive from the heart, and join hands and hearts on the new path He was opening for us.
A verse that became especially dear to me during that period was Romans 15:13: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” So if you present me with what you consider a hopeless relationship, a bruised heart that you feel can never be healed, I will encourage you to call out to your Father in trust for the power and love to forgive so that your healing from His hand can begin. You are NOT a victim, nor are you dysfunctional. You are a daughter of the Most High, dearly loved even and especially in the midst of your trials. That is your identity. 
If you are married, He has given you a life partner with whom He wants you to mirror the unity and love of the Bridegroom Jesus and the Church, His Bride. He will give you access to spiritual loadbearers whom He will reveal if you are willing to humble yourself to receive whatever path He has chosen for you and your husband together. (Does that mean you put your life at risk in a battering situation? Of course not. But chances are that if you are reading this particular letter, your life is not at risk.) You may be agitated, discontented, downright miserable. But how you deal with the oppression of your mind, will and emotions (whether brought on by your fleshly disobedience or from demonic strongholds) will greatly impact the establishment of Jesus and His peace in your home.

Beware the Snares of Anti-Christ
A perusal of the insights our Lord has given Mike for the men will reveal how immense is the attack on Godly Jesus-followers, marriages and families. Keep in mind that Jesus and our grasp of Who He is—the authority He has given us and His intense desire that we apply His Word to our faith practices—help us to keep our families from succumbing to the overwhelming experiential deception with which anti-Christ has ensnared western Christiandom. Isn’t the Holy Spirit still speaking? Or, has the clamor of the world’s deceptive shouts deafened our hearts to Him?
“Don’t be naive. There are difficult times ahead. As the end approaches, people are going to be •self-absorbed •money-hungry •self-promoting •stuck-up •profane •contemptuous of parents •crude •coarse •dog-eat-dog •unbending •slanderers •impulsively wild •savage •cynical •treacherous •ruthless •bloated windbags •addicted to lust •and allergic to God. (SISTERS) They’ll make a show of religion, but behind the scenes they’re animals. Stay clear of these people” (2 Timothy 3:1-5, The Message).
Who are those with whom we should have nothing to do? The people serving anti-Christ and his powerless forms of religion. Yet, these are the very ones who are going after the wives of husbands who neglect their spiritual responsibilities. Anti-Christ manipulators entice women into believing that deeper knowledge and mystical spiritual experiences are the secret to true happiness. I’m sure you’ve encountered “spiritual” women who have encouraged you that you don’t have to wait for your husband to catch up to your higher spirituality. (I hope your spirit is resonating with His Spirit in perceiving the danger of this lie!) Whatever our Father wants to do in your life to gain glory will employ a joyful connection with your husband in one way or another.
The demonic trap succeeds this way: “These are the kind of people who smooth-talk themselves into the homes of unstable and needy women and take advantage of them, women who, depressed by their sinfulness, take up with every new religious fad that calls itself ‘truth.’ They get exploited every time and never really learn” (2 Tim. 3: 6,7, The Message). The spiritually corrupt don’t have to physically enter our homes. They have many avenues, including women’s Bible studies and so-called prayer meetings in which discontent and slander are shared. The deception succeeds when our identity is not with the Father through Jesus. As Paul tells us in verse 8, “They are people with corrupted minds, whose trust cannot pass the test.”
Let me share a painful life episode that will reveal the corrupt and sneaky wiles of the anti-Christ when we don’t nip sin in the bud. I had become overwhelmed with self-pity while we were living in Colorado Springs, and a woman who was a mover and shaker in dealing with demonic principalities was an acquaintance. She came to our office and recommended that she lay hands on me and pray for my deliverance. Not long afterward, the strain in my relationship with Mike became unbearably tense. I felt isolated and discouraged, unable to share my grief with my husband. We had been scheduled to do a seminar in Charlotte, NC, so we pulled our weary selves together and flew there.
We stayed with a lovely couple in their home, but I yearned for time alone with my Father to cry and rest. I secluded myself in a little prayer closet in the attic that my hostess had shown me. Mike, however, had no idea where I was. As he frantically searched the neighborhood, the anti-Christ spirit convinced him that I’d gone off to kill myself! With great relief, he finally discovered me back at the house. At that point we headed off together to pray and discern just what was going on!
It turned out that a woman very dear to us had also been prayed for by the same woman who’d prayed for me. The woman had convinced our friend that she should leave her husband so that she could find true fulfillment in serving Jesus! Thankfully, our Lord revealed the demonic lie of this advice and the couple was able to find encouragement and reconciliation through some loadbearers. (SISTERS) We then discovered that this “prayer warrior” had left her own husband years earlier to marry a “more spiritual” man. No wonder that such an oppressive, divisive spirit had passed from her hands to us!

Praise and Gratefulness: Against These
the Anti-Christ Cannot Stand!
The happiest women I know have discovered the satisfaction of their Lord’s purpose and meaning for their lives. And the most fulfilled wives have earnestly sought their Lord for ways that will glorify Him as they and their husbands serve as a single wedding vase. Each spout of the two-spouted vase, if you remember, represents a wife and a husband with their very unique gifts and personalities.
One couple I’d love to introduce you to because they have so encouraged Mike and me is Griff and Reva. We grew to love each other in our home fellowship in Colorado, and we rejoiced in the pioneer spirit of this retired couple as they moved to Nebraska to undertake a daunting task of obedience to our Father: to renovate an ancient farmhouse and resurrect it into a sanctuary of hospitality and refuge.
For almost two years they nestled in two rooms as the rest of the structure was torn down and reconstructed board by board. (Picture yourself with the tiny bathroom sink as your only source of water for dishes or drinking. Now picture yourself in that situation for almost 2 years!!) But what joy as our Father knit their hearts even tighter in this common goal despite the tears by the stream and the pain of creaky joints! Their testimony has strengthened us as we’ve insulated under the 12” crawl space, pounded wall frames into place, and screwed subflooring into over 1000’ in the bitter cold! For His purpose and glory!!
I’ve also learned so much about patient endurance as our friends James and Joyce have invested their hearts and lives together with the very needy Navajo rug-weavers, discipling them into fellow load-bearers whose roots extend ever-deeper into His fertile trustworthiness, and training them to trust wholly in Him as their Provider.
In this era of self-gratification and fear of missing out on something fulfilling or exciting, we are blessed to be in a position to encourage followers of Jesus to discover His purpose for their lives that matters to His heart and Kingdom. If you are married, do not succumb to the anti-Christ spirit that is wooing you to head out on your own for spiritual endeavors that feel good but are not reflecting His desire that you and your husband TOGETHER bring His truths to others. If you don’t believe He can do this, then you don’t belong “out there” ministering to others about a Lord Who is inadequate for your situation.
I realize that many women are mature and eager to help others but their husbands at  present have little or no trust in Jesus. BUT, what an anointed testimony your lives together will bring as He works in EACH of you and BOTH of you to bring the hope of Jesus to those susceptible to the Deceiver’s lies! Your CHANGED LIVES will be the living sacrifice that will glorify Him and encourage others.
With joyous hope in the One Who is all Hope,
Sue   Hebrews 10:35-39