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]

May 2002  Topic: Does the Lord See You Determined for Him?

Dear Friends,
We trust that you had little trouble reading through our last 20-page newsletter, The Gospel of The Covenant Is The Gospel of Salvation. In a sense, this month’s newsletter is dependent on your agreement with our Father’s five stipulations that enable you to live in Covenant union with Him. To live in union with our Father requires your determination, especially as it pertains to His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Determination fills those who see that their earthly pilgrimage leads to salvation, while determination is noticeably absent in those who have no concept of the Covenant backdrop of the Gospel.

Spying Out the Land
It feels like years since Sue and I left on our trip back east on March 15. As we spent time with different people over our 7-week journey, it was as if the Lord was guiding us to “spy out the land.” We’ve met far too many “Christians” who have been duped into believing they are already “saved” and are free, therefore, to live according to the idolatry of the world and their own fleshly desires. We’ve also  met others with whom it was a privilege to encourage their devotion to our Lord.
Sue and I spent some time staying on a beach in North Carolina where I had wonderful walks with our Lord. His repeated command was: “Live determined for Jesus Christ alone. Find other determined people and contend for Jesus.” Sue and I returned to Arizona with a militancy instilled by the Holy Spirit to fulfill our call. We feel the determination the apostles must have had when Jesus sent them out and commanded, “Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road” (Luke 10:4). In other words, serve His purposes alone and don’t get sidetracked!
During our stay at the beach the Lord added a new command to the two He had given us in the beginning of our ministry that pertain to the Hebraic Restoration:
1. “Share this message.” 
2. “Free the captives.”
3. "Begin to lead. Your future ministry is to lead others. James [James Skeet] understands your ministry better than you do." There was a pause, and then the words, "If you are called to lead, then do it diligently."

A Lesson from the Pelicans
I’ve been reluctant to do more than fulfill the first two commands, although James has been speaking to me for over a year about leading. For several days I asked our Lord for more clarity about “leadership.”
A few days after His revelation to my spirit, I took a walk out to the beach at dawn. Standing on a dune looking down on the ocean I experienced a wonderful time of prayer and thanksgiving, and insight into leadership came from the Lord:
I looked east toward the rising sun and saw a group of 3 pelicans flying toward me. They were about 2 or 3 minutes away. The wind was out of the southwest, and the lead pelican led the flight over rooftop-to-rooftop using the updraft from the buildings to make their flight down the beach easier. Shortly after they passed, another flight of 3 came down the beach following the same track from building-to-building as the first. A rhema came to me: The leader of the first flight had taught the second leader how to make it easier for everyone.
As I walked back to the condo a much larger flight (25+) flew over following the same path as the two smaller flights. It was then that the Lord enabled me to grasp the nature of leadership that He wanted. The personal relationships Sue and I have made were like the small flights of pelicans. In this generation there are many small “flights of faith communities” being formed throughout North America. By the third generation these small “flights” will become large flocks—gatherings of home fellowships. At this time men are being prepared in their homes and small faith communities to lead by personal example.
The leadership the Lord is raising up is a far cry from the “management style” of men who facilitate home groups today. Managers keep a system running, and aren’t seeking a personal relationship with those they manage. The Hebrew word for disciple is talmid, a person filled with great passion and desire to be like his teacher. The discipleship programs in most churches appeal more to managers than to leaders. To put it bluntly, management is an effeminate style of teaching that does nothing to train men. Most discipleship material uses a prescribed curriculum that is studied and discussed. The Hebraic understanding of discipleship entails leading the disciple: showing him how you do it, watching him do it, then sending him out to show others.

If you’ve read our book Pastoring by Elders, you know our Lord wants to raise up determined leaders — servant leaders — men who can handle authority as the Bible requires. As you married men have discovered, this leadership and authority begins in your own homes. The extreme significance of the Holy Spirit in leadership cannot be overstated. We need to be men of the Spirit.
I’m not talking about charismania, but a quiet reliance on Him for the power and guidance needed to fulfill what our Father purposed for us and our families to complete in His Kingdom. This walk with the Spirit, along with the Hebraic truths our forefathers embraced, is what the “wise pelicans” need to pass along so that the flights of faith communities who follow us can become even greater in numbers. We are still the small flights, but congregations of home fellowships will some day be achieved.
 
It’s far more beneficial for each man to learn to be in God’s Word on his own. I have found that men who have problems being in the Bible either have a “pet sin” they don’t want to be convicted about, or lack the indwelling Holy Spirit. • Do you understand what God is restoring well enough to share it with another man? • Can you clearly articulate the Gospel that the earliest church embraced?

Personality, Skill, and Character
Each of us is born with particular personality traits. A myriad of tests can help you find out “who you are.” Skill in a variety of areas is something we all develop as we mature. Tests can help us match our personality motivations with our skills so that we can be “happy” on the job. There’s nothing wrong with a happy employee.
However, personality tests that purport to help you know your spiritual gifts as “motivational gifts” are nothing more than spiritualized personality tests. No true gift of the Holy Spirit has anything to do with human motivations. That’s what makes spiritual gifts so powerful! They are from the Spirit so that through you He can be a blessing to others. Humbling, isn’t it?
Someone once said, “Character is who you are when no one is watching.” The moral and ethical qualities of our character, especially when biblically-based, take control of personality motivations and guide our skill. The character of Jesus becomes ours. It is the Jesus-character in us that our talmidim (disciples) need to grow into as we lead.

“Elijah comes and will restore all things”
(Matt. 17:11).
On Easter Sunday in Boone, NC, where we had just been sharing for a week, the Lord impressed on me a prophetic sequence from a song we were singing. The song is entitled Days of Elijah, written by Robin Mark of Ireland. Permit me to share the lyrics:
These are the days of Elijah 
Declaring the Word of the Lord
And these are the days of Your servant Moses
Righteousness being restored.
And though these are days of great trials
Of famine and darkness and sword,
Still we are the voice in the desert crying,
Prepare ye the way of the Lord.  

(Chorus): Behold He comes riding on the clouds
Shining like the sun at the trumpet call!
Lift your voice, it’s the Year of Jubilee
Out of Zion’s hill salvation comes.

These are the days of Ezekiel
The dry bones becoming as flesh
And these are the days of Your servant David
Rebuilding a temple of praise.
And these are the days of the harvest
The fields are as white in Your world
And we are the laborers in Your vineyard
Declaring the Word of the Lord.

Out of Zion’s hill is where the Lord sent Sue and me to share this message. Because of this privilege, the revelation He gave me concerning this song was powerful. He showed me that the foundational importance of the first three priorities, declaring the Word, restoring righteousness, and bones becoming flesh, has been disregarded, while the temple of praise has been overemphasized out of context from the other three vital elements. The prophetic priority sequence is crucial for those of us seeking restoration of the Church that was embraced by our Hebraic forefathers.

Priority 1. Declaring the Word of the Lord
Elijah castigated the wicked who had no regard for God’s Word. Elijah was no different than many of us except for his determination to uphold God’s Word: “Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops” (James 5:17,18).
Righteous Daniel grasped the importance of God’s commands. In exile in Babylon, he saw first hand what disobedience to the Word of God cost the Israelites. His confession is a good reminder for all who think they can go on disregarding God’s Word:
“O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with all who love him and obey his commands, we have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws. We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our [leaders], and to all the people of the land” (Dan. 9:4-6).
So many prophets of God have been warning us. Even upon our arrival back home our Father impressed on me that the “days of darkness” are coming sooner because of the hardness of so many. I encourage you men to become the Elijahs of your home and begin to live out the Word of God. Don’t be Humpty Dumpty: “A man who remains stiff-necked after many rebukes will suddenly be destroyed—without remedy” (Prov. 29:1).

Priority 2. Righteousness Being Restored
James commands, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective” (Jas. 5:16). We’ve mentioned on many occasions that God doesn’t accept either the prayers or the worship of unrighteous people. Yet, wherever we travel we see services carried on without regard for what pleases our Father. Tragically, the true prophets leave and the false ones make everyone feel things are fine. For righteousness’ sake we need to return to the Word to find out and put into practice what pleases our Father.
When I surveyed groups of men years ago at our retreat ministry I found that on average men had about 4 hours of walking righteously, that is, clean before our Father, each week. A week is 168 hours long, and 164 hours were spent holding on to unconfessed sin. If you owned a business and someone was productive only 4 out of 40 hours, would you keep him? Brothers and sisters, ask our Father to give you a repentant spirit. Don’t be Humpty Dumpty!

Priority 3. Dry Bones Becoming as Flesh
The Spirit prompted me that “flesh” meant living out the “bones” of God’s Word. Leaders with meaningful access to others can role model a way of living out the Word of God — seven-days-a-week of walking in obedient trust.
When we returned to Parks I was impressed to write how we older men can help younger men out of the effeminization this culture has produced in them. In 1986, while at the retreat center, several church leaders in our area asked me to get involved with the restoration of men. Over half of our retreats over the next six years were men’s retreats. It was also in 1986 that the National Education Association deemed the public school system in this nation "a totally effeminate institution." 
Think of the decades of boys who have been derailed from manhood in "a totally effeminate institution." Michael Gurion, author and family therapist, recently said, “Every time you raise a loving, wise and responsible man, you create a better world for women. Women today are having to bond to half-men, with boys who are not fully raised to manhood, who don’t know how to bond, and don’t have a strong sense of service.”
For many years, beginning at the retreat center, we met wives who knew more about “mothering” their husbands than in being their wives. In the absence of true manhood, a woman will choose motherhood rather than “wifehood.” Must this pattern continue? Where we encounter this situation we need biblical tools to counter it with truth. Please pray for me as I write.
Priority 4. Rebuilding a Temple of Praise
“User-friendly churches” and most of the large, impersonal churches emphasize the “temple of praise” aspect but negate or ignore the preeminently important foundations of the previous three priorities.
An article that appeared in our local Christian newspaper highlights the problem by asking the question, Have we begun to worship worship rather than God? The author supports with a personal experience her assertion that “worship of worship” is exactly what has happened: “They were being totally manipulated, body, mind and soul, into conjuring up a false state of worship. At that instant, the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit pointed out to me how very easy it is to control individuals with music. It is also very obvious that this is not the direction God is pleased with.”
For the past 15 years I have gone into so many “lively” churches only to have the Holy Spirit speak to me as the “worship leader” [really a misnomer] was beginning his thing: “The Father will not be conjured up like the priests of Baal tried to conjure up their god!” People, Sue and I love to worship! But I have a prophetic gift, and like so many of you with similar gifting, I get spiritually nauseous from the odor of unrepentance around me. As with many of you, I would rather go worship alone and please our Father than stand in an assembly that’s reveling in a soulish high.

The Issue is To Live Determined
God’s commands are not impossible to keep for those  who are indwelled by His Holy Spirit. If you have such a determined heart, hang in there: “Don’t become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Gal. 6:9). Our Father knows your heaviness of heart as you see evil encircling while so few even seem concerned. Your strength is found in the Lord, and not by focusing on the evil. These are the days the Lord showed to the prophet Daniel: “Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will understand” (Dan. 12:10).
When you encounter spiritual lethargy, confront it for the sake of the Name of Jesus. It is time to put off the stupor that hangs like fog over the Christians in this nation. The idolatrous friendship with religious patterns that have no biblical foundation, the disregard that righteousness is of supreme value in your relationship with your Father, the separation of your Christianity into a small religious box rather than being the aroma of Jesus to all who meet you: All of these are indeed denying the Son. Worship with unclean hearts simply stinks. “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon” (Isaiah 55:6,7).

Please keep us in your prayers.
Our love and joy in His faithfulness,
Mike & Sue