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 2001  Topic: The Queen of Heaven, god of the biblically ignorant

Dear Men,
Sue and I just returned from our two-week trip to New Mexico, Colorado, and Nebraska. After two intense months of working on our “fixer upper” home, our bodies delighted in the time to recover. This was our second opportunity to stay at a cabin owned by a friend of James and Joyce Skeet in the mountains of New Mexico. I got in some terrific trout fishing while Sue found time to catch up on her reading.

Going Back For My Future
A few miles from the cabin is the site of the first Vietnam War memorial. It was built by Dr. Victor Westphall, whose son was killed in an ambush in 1968. I had an aversion to visiting the memorial during our first stay at the cabin but Sue was very insistent that we visit it this time. As soon as we entered I knew that our Lord wanted me there to teach me a lesson that pertained not only to writing this letter but to the future direction of our ministry.
I grew up with Vietnam. I first began to hear of our involvement when I entered high school. Several of my high school classmates lost their lives there. Following college I had three deployments to Vietnam flying helicopters for the Navy. I was 27 years old when we were defeated in that conflict, and as a nation we lost much more than a military objective. From a personal perspective I went to Vietnam so that my Dad would never be called “the father of a coward” when he went to the Polish-American Club with his friends.
My purpose seems simplistic as I reflect on it today, but deference to my father was a far more important reason to me than believing the fiction the government was telling us. To me, Ho Chi Minh could articulate his motives far more clearly than the corrupt officials our government was backing in South Vietnam. And sadly, few soldiers could clearly express the American purpose for their presence in Southeast Asia.
At the memorial a video was shown which reviewed each year of American involvement. At the end of each year’s segment the number of dead and wounded for that year was listed. As the count rose I felt sick, and my tears flowed. Do you remember the “body count” the news reported each week? The war was measured in dead bodies, not in victories. Men died while politicians lied.
As the video rolled on, I began to see military leadership not as men of valor giving their all to win a war, but as puppets of a government that was carrying out deception for the TV audience back home. The most painful moment for me was being reminded of the times when President Johnson informed the North Vietnamese on TV where our pilots were going to bomb the next day. His attempts to placate the enemy for diplomacy sake caused many good men to fly to their death or to captivity in obedience to their “commander-in-chief.”
Sue and I drove away from the memorial filled with sorrow. To make things worse, a mile from the memorial a bird flew into our windshield and was killed. For several days afterward I asked our Father about Vietnam. I needed His wisdom (Eph. 1:17) to deal with all those years of my life. He revealed, “The war was inevitable because of the sin of your nation.” With that answer I knew there was nothing more to ask on the matter.

“Merely hearing God’s law is a waste of your time if you don’t do what He commands. Doing, not hearing, is what makes the difference with God.” 
(Rom. 2:13, The Message).
Men Die and Souls are Lost When Lies Go Unchallenged
The major world governments know that there are several “jugulars” around the world. Whoever controls these passageways controls world commerce. Two key passageways stand out: 1) The Malaccan Straits near Singapore. The British lost 15,000 troops in the 1950’s while battling 3,000 communists to keep the straits free. This is also the “real reason” why the US got involved in Southeast Asia. 2) The Straits of Hormuz near Kuwait. The USSR in the 1980’s attempted through subjugation of Afghanistan to gain control of the straits. This, too, is the “real reason” we fought the “Gulf War.”
But our government, due to the isolationist tendencies of this nation, can’t seem to rally the people by telling them the truth. So it incites them through lies. I’ve become convinced that when men don’t know or uphold the truth, they and their families are opened to hype. Hype, not truth, rules both advertisement and opinion in this country so that people buy what they don’t need and believe media reports without questioning.
Many years ago, as a new follower of Jesus, one of the brothers on our ship shared a tape of a noted TV evangelist known for his entertaining style. I was standing watch when they listened to it and they were really excited over what they’d heard. I was given the tape and listened to it privately—stopping it so I could read each verse the speaker cited. It didn’t take long for me to realize that he was using Scripture way out of context to support his unbiblical conclusions.
The next day I took the brothers through the tape, stopping where I had so they could read the Scriptures for themselves. They were appalled by how duped they’d been. We all gained wisdom and a responsibility to test for truth through God’s Word for ourselves.

The Queen Reigns among the Biblically Ignorant
With the knowledge of truth comes responsibility. You would think that Christians would live the most responsibly. But the fact is, they don’t. There are many ways the demonic Queen of Heaven spirit has seduced the church in the US into believing falsehood and acting irresponsibly regarding the Word of God. This principality has watered down the Word so that preaching that leads to conviction is seldom heard today.
Following World War II lawyers saw an opportunity to make money from churches. They traveled throughout the country convincing clergy that they were vulnerable to being sued. By using fear they were able to persuade the vast majority of clergy that if they would incorporate their churches, they wouldn’t be personally responsible for malpractice or debt.
What clergy didn’t foresee is that corporations are instruments of the state, so states started to tax churches. They were no longer protected under the Constitution. In 1955 the Tax Exemption Act was passed to give the incorporated churches tax-exemption status.
But the real crime is that the lack of personal responsibility has brought many men into the pulpit who could not make it anywhere else in life. Rather than defining their faith practices by God’s Word and role modeling how to live out that Word, many clergy run to technique-oriented conferences and are influenced by the same hype their compatriots are listening to. Up until the 1950’s a small segment of the churches in the US were incorporated or were burdened by a mortgage. Now it is rare to find one that doesn’t have both. No individual in this environment can serve the interests of God. He will water down God’s Word and use any devices necessary to attract and retain the crowds who pay the bills. As a puppet of the Queen of Heaven, his messages are more entertaining than convicting, and unbiblical worship has become the method of attracting and holding onto people.

Who Do You Worship: The Father or the Queen?
Our recent trip took us to Nebraska to see our friends Dr. Dillard Griffith, a member of our Board, and his wife Reva. The name of their farm is “Avodah Ranch.”Avodah is a Hebrew word which can mean both work and worship. Through a series of events that happened both just before and while we were with them, the four of us began to discuss “unabashed affection.” As that phrase was brought up, Sue exclaimed “Isn’t that the real meaning of avodah?”
A rhema light bulb went on in my brain. Yes, I had always considered worship as “exuberant expression”, but it was more than that. It is the display of my unabashed affection to my Father. Little children and puppies show unabashed affection. As children of our Father, how can we ever see His Kingdom unless we really become as unabashed in our affections toward Him as little children do? Worship of our Father is an expression of our love for Him. It has nothing to do with a method or style of worship. Worship reflects a relationship. It’s not a mood to be conjured by worship leaders.
Ten years ago Sue and another staff member at our retreat center went to seminar put on by one of the movers-and-shakers of the lively form of worship that’s used to attract many people into mortgaged church buildings. They brought back his workbook on worship. Not one place in the whole book did he cite a biblical basis for the methods he was espousing! He only emphasized the importance that people obtain a satisfying or pleasurable experience. Thus, worship music was to be used to conjure a mood, a sense of being in God’s presence. (Isn’t the wonderful presence of His Spirit within enough to delight and sustain, convict and comfort??)
So many others who facilitate worship today have copied this man without question. Whether a person is in a righteous state before God, not hiding unconfessed sins, doesn’t matter. Yet, both in receiving answered prayer and in having worship acceptable to our Father, righteousness truly is the critical factor. But if you are a clergy person or worship leader in a congregation that needs to clutch people to pay the bills, are you going to stress repentance? It’s far less threatening to use “mood conjuring” rather than biblical conviction.

Ministry in Israel—The Queen’s Domain?
Chapter 13 of our book, Restoring the Early Church, is entitled “Fulfilling Biblical Prophecy—Israel and the Jewish People Today.” In it we briefly cover Scriptures that pertain to God fulfilling His promises to the Israelites to return them to the Land again. We believe that at this time our Father is accomplishing that. Israelite tribes have been recently located in China, Afghanistan, and India—dispersed by the Babylonians over 2,500 years ago.
Our Father is bringing the Israelites back from the four corners of the world as He promised. He, in His foreknowledge, is returning them to a land that is also occupied by Arabs—both Christian and Muslim Arabs. He is thrusting them into an ancient hostility that He prophesied in His Word. The biological descendants of Abraham are still fighting each other. But what does this mean to us spiritual descendants of Abraham? Are we to take sides? No! I believe we are the key to reconciliation.
Sue subscribes to several Israel-based ministry newsletters. Most incite the reader to take an anti-Arab stance. When I saw Sue get agitated toward Palestinian violence, I shared biblically with her that her agitation was wrong. God opened her eyes. I can’t find any biblical basis for the anger-inciting writing that many Israel-based ministries are using to solicit financial support. Anti-Arab, anti-Arafat hype rather than the Spirit’s prompting is used to solicit money from supporters, the great majority of whom are women. (One key ministry leader in Israel admitted this to me. Others use the same ploy. Please seek our Father’s discernment for your particular participation in the return and settling of Israelites to Israel according to His promise.) Islam indeed has made desperate prisoners of its adherents, but these people are to be prayed for, not railed against.
Why do so many Christian ministries in Israel use anti-Arab hype to gain your financial support? Because so few men of justice are seeking God for guidance. As Sue and I have traveled we’ve encountered many prayer groups who intercede for Israel. To our sadness we find them pro-Israeli and anti-Arab. We spiritual descendants of Abraham, and more importantly, we followers of Jesus, are forbidden to position our attitude against any human made in God’s image. Prayers offered in anger go unheard by our Father. The people in Israel need  answered prayers if there is ever to be peace! If your wife prays for Israel, please check her attitude so that the shalom of the Spirit abides in your home!.

Men Who Do God’s Will Can Dispel the Queen
It is time for men of justice to arise to join our Father in His plan to bring the Israelites back. Nowhere in the Scriptures does our Father tell us to become anti-Arab. The Hebrew Bible is still binding: “When an alien lives with you in your land, do not mistreat him. The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself, [the foundation to all justice] for you were aliens in Egypt. I am the Lord your God” (Lev. 19: 33,34). While in Israel my Jewish friend Bert Schlossberg shared that Ezekiel 47:22 is still applicable today: “You are to allot [the land] as an inheritance for yourselves and for the aliens who have settled among you and who have children. You are to consider them as native-born Israelites; along with you they are to be allotted an inheritance among the tribes of Israel.”
When we arrived back in the US my older Jewish mentor, Henry Abuza, shared with me letters he had written to the Israeli government and other prominent Jewish officials. The objective of his letters was to reiterate the above passages. His emphasis was, “When the Jew returning to Israel builds for the Arab in the land the same quality home he builds for himself, God will bless the return. Kindness is stronger than weapons.”
If anything, what the situation in Israel really needs is both answered prayer and men of justice who follow Jesus to involve themselves in fulfilling our Father’s promise. Just men would never consider writing against another human to gain support for their position. Just men would look to our Father for the wisdom needed. Will these men bring peace? Hopefully. But even if peace is elusive, men of justice must respond out of their own character.
The hardest part will not be Israel-Arab tension but undoing the stranglehold the Queen of Heaven has on the Christians already involved—an independent spirit that focuses on agitation rather than confident trust in our Lord and His promises. Reread Zechariah and take hope that what He has promised will indeed come to pass!
Men, get into the Word for yourselves and ask our Father to give you wisdom in how to live it out. Only the Word of God is truth. It should be for you the litmus by which all other things taught should be evaluated. Please don’t let the Queen rely on your ignorance to use you or your family for her purposes.
Your brother, Mike
Rev. 22:18,19; Deut. 4:1-40

Dear Sisters in Jesus,
I know that some of you are old enough to have experienced the fears, loneliness and struggles of being a wife and/or mother during wartime. Mike and I had been married for only a few months when the wives of all the eager young Navy helicopter pilots were called together by the Commanding Officer at the base where Mike was completing his flight training. I can still recall with a shiver his pointed words: “Ladies, half of the men on this base going over to Vietnam will not return.” Each of us young women shuddered.
The Vietnam conflict, unlike the previous wars this century of Americans has experienced, was not a unifying factor. Rather than being hailed as heroes, the vets were often held in disdain, many ashamed to admit they had participated. Previous wars had knit families together. In our case, Mike was the only one of his family who had fought in SE Asia. He was dependent on emotional support from me since so few others in our family really understood the anxieties of this particular combat situation.
Now transcend the physical reality of guns and bombs and shift into the just-as-real spiritual war going on against all who trust Jesus. The casualties are just as severe, spelling victory or defeat for all assailed by our common enemy. If you are married, your emotional support is just as vital for your warrior husband, all the more so because you, too, are suffering the slings and arrows of painful attack! You can choose to be an encouraging uplifter who intertwines your life with your husband to ensure peace and refuge in your home, OR you can grumble in your spirit or with others about your dissatisfaction and thus release agitation into your home. Your power of influence as a woman, whether single or married, is significant!
On the way back to the cabin from the Vietnam memorial, I too wondered about the death of the bird against our windshield. Not until we arrived back in Parks, however, did I sense our Father’s response: “Not even a tiny sparrow created by My hand falls to the ground unnoticed. Yet men and women are created in My image and vastly more precious to Me. If I grieve over the death of a sparrow, how vast is My grief over the loss of countless people in war!” I understood then that each person who had died in that conflict had been fashioned uniquely by Him. Being one of 58,000+ Americans or who knows how many thousands of Asians who perished tore at His heart.
Are You More Comfortable with the Culture than with Our Father’s Righteous Standards?
Mike and I have so often found that just when the Spirit gives us an idea about which to write in the newsletter, He then pops up with a real-life illustration to clarify it! An example in point: We’ve mentioned family halakhahs before—establishing for yourself and your home your personal application of God’s standards and teaching (His Torah). One of our family halakhahs is that we won’t watch anything from the media that takes the Name of our Lord in vain. His Name is too precious to us to be used as profanity!
While visiting dear friends, the husband mentioned that he’d recently seen the movie Pearl Harbor. As a veteran, he’d been impressed by the pyrotechnics and reality of the war scenes and thought that Mike would enjoy it. When Mike asked if the Lord’s Name had been used as cursing, he answered that it had. Mike then told him that no matter what other redeeming features the film might offer, as for us and our household, we wouldn’t watch it. As Peterson puts it in The Message, we didn’t want to become so well-adjusted to our culture that we fit into it without even thinking! We thought that was that.
The next morning our friend and his wife confessed that our conversation had been used by the Spirit to convict them that they’d gotten lukewarm in what they let into their home on TV. They purposed that the movie package they’d added on had to go. We rejoiced with them in our Lord’s faithfulness to take a halakhah with which He’d guided us (Exo. 20:7) to impress on our dear ones’ hearts another standard: to not allow anything evil to come before their eyes! (See Ps. 101:2,3.)
If His Spirit is now poking at your heart to reconsider what you’ve let into your life or home, please pay attention to Him and follow through. If you’re married, share with your husband what He might be telling you and discuss this so that His peaceful blessing might fill your home. This might also be a wonderful learning-to-obey-God time for your children to see real-life application of His Word as you please your Father in obedient love through His Spirit’s prompting and power!

The Creative Provision of our Lord
Fear of losing your job and not being able to provide for yourself or your family can overwhelm you if you aren’t absolutely confident in our Father’s loving care to be with you in every trial and to creatively provide for your needs.
Let me offer a current life drama we’ve encountered to illustrate. One very dear couple recognized in their hearts that our Father was calling them to work as a team—as a two-spouted wedding vase intertwined at the top by His Spirit holding the handle! Their ministry brings dignity and economic provision to Native peoples by establishing faith communities that are self-sustaining through the sale of hand-crafted rugs. Nervous that the funds wouldn’t be there, the wife worked outside the home for a year, struggling after hours to mother her kids as well as help her husband with the administrative details of their ministry. Two months ago, they needed to decide if she would continue teaching or if our Father had other plans to provide for their needs.
Since we are in a loadbearing relationship with them, we prayed with them that He’d make His will very clear. Very soon, He revealed that she was to educate their two children at home and come alongside her husband in their work with Native peoples. He then allowed them to go through a costly economic trial with their vehicle to strengthen their trust! As they emailed a note offering the opportunity for their friends to pray about their need, the funds arrived to cover this need!
Then they received an invitation to come up to Montana for a week-long camp—the whole family!—all expenses paid, to share Hebraic truths with the campers! The words “creative provision” kept ringing in my ears regarding our Lord’s wondrous Hand. How necessary that we not put His answers in a box but invite Him to fulfill His promises in ways that we might never even imagine! And to top it off, they were offered a lovely reliable vehicle for free from others in the family of Jesus who were prompted by His Spirit to give it to them. So on the way back from Montana they’re picking up a car!

Fear Produces Compromise
As Mike was penning his grief about clergy who cave in to fear of economic loss if they speak the admonitions of God with holy boldness, the phone rang. It was a brother in Jesus from Texas who was serving as an elder in his congregation. He was at a loss of what to do because a man in the congregation was openly sinning and the pastor did not want the man confronted. The man had probably contributed to the offering over the years and might respond to biblical confrontation by walking out, taking his wallet with him! This situation was tearing at our friend’s heart, as he had been trying to apply Hebraic justice to his own life as well as to his family’s.
As Mike shared with him principles of justice, especially “doing unto others what you’d want done for you,” he also mentioned to our friend that there would likely be consequences to actions the Spirit was revealing for him to follow through on. Wanting to be unified with his wife, he told Mike that they would seriously bring before the Lord as couple their determination to follow Him no matter what the cost. (Interestingly, about 10 minutes later he called back. The Spirit had convicted him of an action at his workplace that involved falsehood, and he was even now with humility asking forgiveness of his staff and making the situation right! Praise to Jesus! He is so faithful to make sure that vessels He’s going to use for His glory are clean inside and out!)

Beware of the Sin of Presumption!
While praying on the phone with James and Joyce Skeet awhile back, James shared some insights he felt the Spirit was giving him. Two concerned mutual acquaintances, but the third puzzled me: “Beware of the sins of presumption and assumption!” I thanked him and then puzzled over the nature of the warning.
Checking out the dictionary, I found two meanings of assumption that stood out: to take for granted, and to take upon oneself, as with power. Presumption revealed two interesting definitions among others: assuming something is true, and to undertake an action with unwarranted boldness. Mike hadn’t mentioned to me anything about these characteristics in myself, and I didn’t sense anything from the Spirit when I asked Him to reveal anything in those areas, so I “stored these things up in my heart” and waited for His revelation of what to do with them.
As I was writing regarding keeping our eyes from evil, I spied “haughty eyes” mentioned repeatedly in the concordance. Curious, and responding to a Spirit prod, I grabbed my Hebrew dictionary and found the word for “haughty”, ruwm, which means “to lift yourself up or exalt yourself.” Now it was beginning to make sense. We’ve encountered so many, particularly among those eager to be part of what is going on in Native American circles, who are “wannabes”—dissatisfied with the life our Father has offered them, they want-to-be part of the awakening of Native peoples to their unique identity.
Sadly, many of these people who are hoping against hope that their 1/32 Native bloodline qualifies them to be “somebody” in Native circles are women who are out from God’s plan for women’s protection and provision. Droves of married women are out following in presumption the Queen of Heaven without their husbands, or excusing themselves that they are following God while remaining aloof from their “spiritually-immature” mates. They are clearly operating in disobedience to His Word. How much more effective for Kingdom purposes would be a firm and confident reliance on our Father to quicken these husbands into conviction for acting like weak-kneed, submissive Ahabs so that they could be raised up to join in bringing His power and Life to Native Americans!
This admonition far exceeds the independent spirit so agitating women involved with Native ministry. It’s a word for each of us who may be tempted to think we can rise above God’s order for authority and His timing in order to push onward with what we feel is right. Even “holy” motivations are sin if we presume to be doing His work but aren’t dependent on Him for His way and His timing to bring Him the glory! Please stop and ask Him to reveal to you if you are operating in any dimension of your life under a sin of presumption. He is gracious to receive your humble turning-from-sin and cleanse your forgiven heart to follow His plan in His way as He has promised in 1John 1:9.

Self-Gratification or Self-Denial?
A number of “Christian” books on the best-selling list have taken fragments of Scripture to convince vulnerable minds that the intent of the biblical author was universal–in other words, that a promise by God to a certain individual was meant to be universal in application to all followers of Jesus.
But sound principles of interpreting Scripture for our lives follow the stream of the Spirit in understanding the context of the writing. Just because Joshua and the Israelites marched around Jericho seven times to destroy the walls doesn’t mean that we’re supposed to do the same thing unless His Spirit makes it very clear with confirmation!
As pleasant as it might be to assume that our Father wants us to be prosperous, healthy and carefree, we’d miss out on identifying with the sufferings of Christ if that were the case. Our “trust muscles” would grow flabby, and our testimony of His faithfulness to sustain us in the midst of trials would be lacking. And what would we then be able to offer as comfort to our suffering family in Sudan, China, Indonesia?
There’s a lot to be said for the wisdom of the old hymn Embrace the Cross. In the perseverance that produces hope that never fails, you’ll find an identity with Him to keep you focused on His purposes and not your own!!
Joyfully in His tender care, Sue