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]

September/October 2002  Topic: Life Outside the Steeple

Dear Friends,
Surprise! Sue and I are now living back in Colorado Springs. Our new address and phone number are on the last page. We’re in a 300-lot senior mobile home park. No, we haven’t retired! At ages 56 and 54, we’re “the kids” in a park in which the average age is 75.
Other than being told by our Lord to move here, we can’t tell you why we’re here except out of obedient trust. In our months on the prairie the Lord gave us not only a deeper understanding of the Hebraic foundations, but also a loving militancy to do whatever it takes to fulfill His command, “Share this message.” 
We can tell by the amount of e-mail (international included), phone calls, and letters we’ve received as a result of our August Mishpachah Yeshua that many of you know that it’s time to flee apostasy and religious Humanism. For too long we have been communally ignorant of how these two demonic entities have undermined the ability of so many Christian parents to pass along a vibrant faith to the next generation. I think we all realize that the 77% loss rate we cited of children who have turned from Christ is too much. Our hearts grieve with our Lord’s.
Many of you who receive this newsletter have been deeply saddened by the growing apostasy. It’s disheartening to be around so-called “Christians” who have no desire to know and apply God’s Word. As in Malachi’s day they ask, “What apostasy? How are we turning from God?”

“As for me and my household,
we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).
For the love of Jesus, we as His followers, need to make some hard choices if we’re ever going to increase the percentage of those who succeed us in the faith. Belonging to Jesus is evidenced by our life choices. The choice we make in each encounter and circumstance reflects the depth of the character of Jesus in us. Those daily opportunities to die to our own rationalizations and inclinations are mirrors of our heart’s willingness to live out His Word in trust-grounded obedience. Dying to human rationale and walking by obedient trust no matter what the cost unites your spirit with that of every other Spirit-filled follower of Jesus on earth. You’re family in Jesus!
For those of you who have the left the apostasy practiced under many steeples we want to encourage you. We hope that you have found that choosing to live in Covenant union with our Lord Jesus and our heavenly Father, and seeing this Covenant produce fruit in your marriage and family have been worth the painful scorn or slander you’ve received from many who don’t understand and are still living “under the steeple” as their source of spiritual connection.
Isolation from the busyness of scheduled religious activities seems to be our Lord’s “boot camp” so that we each can learn relational intimacy. The “desert experience” with our Lord is designed for your blessing: “Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her” (Hosea 2:14). The desert is a good thing if you’re willing to peacefully learn from Jesus the lessons of His sufficiency as He pares away anything that keeps you from total availability for His purposes.

Stop the Steeple-chasing!
Some of you still find yourselves wandering around desperately believing that the next steeple with its denominational allegiance, appealing youth group, or lively worship is what you or your family need. As our friend James Skeet said recently, “It’s time to stop steeple-chasing.” Our research has been substantiated by that of others: steeples, pews, podiums, and pulpits all go back to pagan Hellenism. They have nothing to do with the Church Jesus established.
The adaptation of the Christmas and Easter holidays from pagan solstice and goddess worship is residue from the Hellenist-influenced Holy Roman Empire and now embraced as “Christian.” Anti-semitic fervor ripped away the Hebraic roots of the feasts our Lord blessed the Israelites with. Our heritage as followers of Jesus is replete with Jesus as our Passover, Pentecost as our firstfruits of the Spirit, and Tabernacles, in which we thank Him gratefully for the rich harvest of souls He’s reaping and our anticipation of His glorious return. Sadly, many celebrate the world’s way instead (Santa, bunny and all), and believe God’s grace will excuse them. It makes our hearts sick to see paganism called “Christian.”
Are we too narrow-minded? Not at all! Studies of the church in the past few decades show that every unrighteous value of the world has infiltrated large segments of Christianity. Consider the difference of meaning in the word “Christian”: The earliest followers forfeited everything, including their lives, to hold onto the Lord Jesus and keep His commands. Today, for many, it’s a title for those who straddle a fence between religious practice and self-gratification. 
And grievously, those who ridicule the precious Name of Jesus Christ by living as the world does still claim to be His. The warning of James is painfully applicable today: “You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God” (4: 4).
We are also facing the same warnings Paul gave about the line of demarcation between good and evil:
“Therefore come out from them and be separate,’ says the Lord” (see 2 Cor. 6:14-17). Now is the time to flee apostasy.

When You See the Red Light, Stop!
Last year we wrote that the homicide bombings of the World Trade Center and Pentagon shouted a warning from God that trust in prosperity and military might must end. Few listened to us or to others who voiced the same word. Yet, the depravity of this nation and the condemning statistics of worldliness and immorality in the church all point to a God who will not sit idly by and let us keep indulging our iniquity. He has warned us!
Take a lesson from traffic lights. Our brother-in-law is a city planner. City planners recognize that people are creatures of habit. Years ago when certain cities installed traffic signals in new places, they reaped a rash of accidents because people zoomed right through the red lights “not seeing them.”
After realizing the power of habit, newly installed lights were set to blinking yellow for several weeks so that people could take notice and make the necessary mental changes. Our Father has been “blinking yellow” to this nation for a long time. Now the light is permanently red, and too many are driving through it to their own destruction.
The Hebraic foundations are our Father’s means to keep us from plowing through the red light. Yes, these do require a greater relational responsibility to our Lord Jesus and His Father—more than anything most of us have seen. Yes, He wants a relationship with you! He seeks the pattern laid out in the beginning of the Church—no go-betweens, no clergy, no creedal/denominational hoops to jump through—just unabashed loving trust in Him and His Word.

Communally Fulfilling
Our Father’s Goals and Purposes
You whose heart yearns to serve our Lord are needed. As Paul reiterates in his encouragement to the Romans, everyone has a responsibility in their faith community. The insert in this newsletter is a two-page discussion sheet that outlines the four biblical purposes of a home fellowship:
1. Uphold communal righteousness.
2. Provide load-bearing relationships.
3. Prepare succeeding generations to follow Jesus.
4. Multiply through actively sharing the Gospel.

Please make copies of these sheets. We encourage you to discuss and pray about these purposes with others. Shortly, on our website under Hebraic Articles, you can find the biblical/historical basis for these purposes, entitled Home Fellowships That Fulfill Our Father’s Goals and Purposes.
In a few months we’ll add the historical basis for why the government, rather than the home, has assumed such control over the minds of your children through public education.
All of us who follow Jesus have a part to play. Fulfilling the four purposes is our faith community responsibility. We have covered the first two purposes extensively in our book, Restoring the Early Church. Preparing succeeding generations as a faith community responsibility has eluded committed focus. This is partly due to the modern lack of tribal awareness that is embodied in biblical relational understanding. As we wrote in our August newsletter, this nation is now in the throes of the “Atomistic Family” structure. People are disconnected from generational family responsibility, and no nation has survived this final stage of self-destruction.
Those of us who desire to see restored the relational intimacy of our forefathers in the faith must regain an understanding and appreciation for the tribal foundations of Scripture. Consider the diagram that follows.
The clan was the primary support system for the individual and family. The clan provided the immediate means of support for those who abided under the eldership of the clan leaders. The clan equivalent, the home fellowship, carries on the same function as the clan. This much-needed relational tier was eliminated when the Hellenist philosophers entered the church and revived the pagan temple system. For 1,700 years little changed to restore spiritual clan relationships until our Lord in His loving-kindness began revealing the Hebraic foundations.
Tribal understanding is not a regression for us today. It is a tremendous advancement for those of us who want to truly be the family of Jesus. If we are to walk as “the body of Christ” we need to recapture the basis for the relational connectedness of the earliest followers of Jesus.
Anchor this in your heart: Preparing the next generation is what “glues together” both a clan and a home fellowship. Preparing the succeeding generation is what gives any generation hope no matter what their past or circumstances. This is what the Native American grandmothers imparted to us as we traveled through reservations two years ago.
No matter whether you yourself are a child of divorce, dysfunction, or whatever, you can find purpose in helping all your faith community’s children live more fully for Jesus. Don’t resent your past. Live for the future by what you can do in the present to help the children in your spiritual clan.
A thought to consider: Every person conceived receives a spirit that sets them apart from the rest of creation. All babies are created in the image of God and are worthy of your loving attention. Children with handicaps are born because our Lord willed it for His mysterious purposes. Don’t ever “judge God” by seeing these little ones as a tragic problem for the family who bore them. Don’t judge God about anyone who is born! He has a purpose for everyone! Maybe that handicapped person will help you learn how to love as Jesus does. And just maybe the family who is trying to teach their own children has been given to you as an opportunity to serve as extended family yourself.
The Gospel embraced by the earliest Church led people into home faith communities that helped them live out and support each other to fulfill the Father’s will. Unlike cell groups that gather to meet the needs of the participants, these fellowships sought to fulfill their Father’s purposes. How did they do this? Their love for Jesus caused them to die to their own desires and to serve Him by serving others.
We can’t afford to entertain the bitter and self-seeking in our faith communities. Over time this focus breeds selfishness and discord. In the NIV, Chapter 2 of Philippians is entitled “Imitating Christ’s Humility.” Consider your own desire for fellowship in light of Paul’s words: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but look also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus (2:3-5).
Paul goes on to write in terms of the collective “you”, “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose” (v. 12, 13). In the South we’d say, “Work out ya’all’s salvation...” Only in an extended spiritual family displaying the sacrificial love Jesus calls for can we ever hope to get through the narrow gate together.

“He [is turning] the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse”
(Malachi 4:6).
You home-schooling Dads and Moms are determinedly fulfilling the above passage, along with a host of others that apply to preparing successors in our faith. Many of you have acknowledged the tremendous need for a spiritual community to support you in your desire to fulfill your biblical responsibility.
Sue and I understand that certain sense of isolation because we home-educated our son Mike during his teen years. It was very difficult to walk through this without the supportive connection of other families but Mike did graduate. Over the years most of the families we encountered who found themselves ‘going-it-alone’ gave up.
Communal support has been sorely missing for many of you. Our Father has seen your perseverance. It’s going to take prayer and deliberate focus for you to raise up a spiritual community to help you in your biblical purpose.
I know this may seem far off in your mind, but there are home-schooling faith communities popping up around the country where people have relocated to help each other train up their children. Rather than move just for job promotion, some are prayerfully seeking out others committed to training their children in the supportive atmosphere of one another’s homes. We hope to write more about this in the future. Our friend Tom Woodruff is accompanying James and Joyce Skeet to visit one of these communities in Texas in the next few weeks.

What is our Father’s Goal for Home Schooling?
In order of importance for raising up the next generation, consider these biblical priorities:
1. To both role model and train up the next generation to live in loving trust in Jesus.
2. To role model and nurture Christlike character.
3. To train for a vocation that brings glory to our Father.
4. To expand their spiritual horizon beyond themselves to serve the goals and purposes of our Father and reach the lost.

The training of the next generation encompasses far more than just education. Academics alone can make them successful in the world, but not useful in the Father’s Kingdom. We’ll deal with these biblical priorities more in future writings. If you are home schooling we encourage you to evaluate your efforts in light of the above criteria. How might these alter your family’s training framework?
If you’d like to participate through sharing worthwhile insights you’ve gained, Christ-centered curriculum that’s blessed your family, or anything else that would contribute to meeting these priorities, please contact Sue.

Join Us Outside the Steeple
• If you are an older couple who loves Jesus,
• If you are single and love Jesus,
then find a home schooling family or two and begin to fulfill the four purposes the early Church embraced. Set aside your search for what you can get from others. It’s time to follow in Jesus’ steps and go do for someone else! Earnestly open your heart to the Holy Spirit to discern the particular ways He wants you to serve.
Sue and I are “spiritual grandparents” to two home schooling families. I prayerfully look forward to our time with the kids. I like to ask them questions that help them in Christlike character development. Two examples that might prompt ideas for you:
One time we were hiking through a forest with the Skeets. Malcolm (8) and Martin (6) were walking close to me while Sue, Joyce, and James were a minute or two behind. Malcolm wanted me to tell them a war story from my days in Vietnam. Rather than tell one, I created one with them as characters. The three of us were in the jungle together and we came upon a village where everyone had been killed except for a baby girl.
“Who will carry the baby?” I asked. “Oh, I will!” exclaimed Martin. “Then who will protect these two at the cost of his life?” “I want to do that!” Malcolm answered boldly. As we walked along that forest trail, the character of both boys became the central focus. Each contrived situation served to strengthen the sacrificial qualities in each boy.
Fortunately, James and Joyce do not treat the boys as “equals.” They use the biblical approach and demand more responsibility of the older, while training the younger to show proper respect for his older brother. This is a real key to family harmony and makes it easier for those outside the family to help.
Nicole Parlier (11), an only child, loves to have me ask her a variety of questions from math to geography. She has a keen mind for problem solving, and has great potential to be a woman of tremendous wisdom. Cooperating with her parents’ desires and aspirations for Nicole, I use our time to help her see knowledge as a gift that will serve others rather than satisfy a need for achievement and recognition. She is developing a beautiful, giving heart.
Since we have no grandchildren of our own, these spiritual grandchildren offer us a wonderful opportunity for inter-generational family. Our discussions with the parents also help them to gain perspective. Believe me, it’s not as if Sue and I did everything right with our own son, but we learned from our mistakes. What we learned from our research in Israel came after our son had left for the Air Force, so we find it a blessing to help others with truths we can only wish we had known earlier. You may find that same satisfaction when you let yourself serve.
As I write, I’m reminded of a letter Sue wrote her Mom several years ago for Mother’s Day. In it, Sue expressed her tremendous appreciation for the character qualities her mother had instilled in her as a young person. A few weeks later Sue received a letter back in which her Mom disavowed herself as a great mother. But she went on to highlight the things that she  had improved upon as she’d raised Sue and her sister, Billie—improving on her own difficult upbringing.
My mother-in-law’s letter left a deep impression on me. Each generation will be judged by how we improved on what the previous generation handed us. Sadly, instead of improving, too many have remained trapped in unresolved bitterness because they feel they were short-changed.

A warning to those who judge their parents:
If you are still chained in the prison of bitterness toward your parents, you’ll never survive in faith communities that desire to fulfill our Father’s purposes. You sit in judgment over the parents God gave you. The seat of judgment is reserved only for Him. And when we judge our parents, we are judging the God who gave us to them for His specific purposes.
If you truly want to be free without demanding a “pound of flesh” for your personal pain, then sink this truth deep in your heart: Every parent does the best he/she can based upon their own upbringing and the influence of strongholds from which they have never found freedom. Your bitterness only demonstrates that  demonic thoughts are agitating you, and you are entertaining them. You are worse off than your parents.
One of God’s marvelous ways to bring bitter children to repentance is to have them run out of choices. Over time bitter people find they have fewer and fewer choices. It’s as if God is cornering them in their own pit of bitterness until they’re willing to cast it off and come to Him for forgiveness. You can do it the easy way or the hard way: Sooner or later you must repent of your bitter judgment!

A Great Investment: Unparalleled Dividends!
Do you have the courage to stop putting God’s money into maintaining steeples? I encourage you to put your money where it will earn eternal dividends. James and Joyce Skeet are in the initial stages of helping Navajo families start home schooling their children. Up to this time these parents have had only the choice of government schools or a few legalistic “Christian” schools. Joyce is already preparing Christ-centered, Navajo-sensitive material. What they face is a culture that has a suicide rate six times higher than the Anglo communities surrounding the reservation.
The Skeets are on the front lines of caring for people who are far less fortunate than many of us can imagine. Would you prayerfully consider sacrificially sharing with them so that they can provide home schooling materials to parents who can’t afford them? Your abundance gives these parents a choice, and any amount will bless the Skeets that they’re not alone in this undertaking.
Also, the reservation is a big place, and James and Joyce drive an older car that was gifted to them. Please consider helping them with gas money, vehicle repair costs, or even toward a durable truck. Please make your check out to “Covenant Pathways” and mail it to:
 310 Bortot Dr., #22, Gallup, NM 87301
Tel: (505) 726-1387 email: pathways@cia-g.com
And in the future when a Navajo family praises God for the wonder of seeing their children follow Jesus rather than ending their lives, it will be recorded in heaven in your account! Please don’t let this opportunity to help pass you by.

Final Encouragement
As you can discern, Sue and I are determined and focused to see the restoration of extended spiritual families which fulfill our Father’s purposes. Armed with both our responsibility for the research the Lord gave us and insight into the current condition of Christianity, it would be grievous for us not to be militant about the truths we carry.
I’d like to share a word about the near future for you to prayerfully weigh: When the Homeland Security Bureau is fully in place, persecution of the followers of Jesus will soon follow. There is a wholesale selling of souls occurring to obtain “security” and personal peace/affluence. The Germans followed this pattern in the 1920’s, and Adolf Hitler rose to power.
This nation is no longer a republic with older, wiser men giving us Godly direction. It has become a democracy. Rather than being guided by Biblical principles, government authorities appeal to the masses. Soon many of us who hold to Jesus at all costs will be persecuted because we are not “politically correct.” It’s time to prepare our hearts and those of the next generation. They will bear the real brunt of what this generation has forfeited. We need to prepare them!

Below is a picture of our mobile home with a stained glass Restoration Ministries diagram in the front window. When we return from our trip east in a few weeks we will place a sign next to it, “This home prays to Jesus Christ. If you’d like us to pray for you, stop in or call 573-4911.”
Desiring to have all of you visit us in our home in heaven,
Mike & Sue