|Restoration Ministries International
Sharing the Hebraic** Foundations of the Earliest Followers of Jesus
Preparing Today's Followers of Jesus to Fulfill Their Part in His Kingdom
Followers of Jesus as their Lord having the same trust-based obedient love as the first Hebrew, Abraham.
May 20, 2013
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Will You Stand Up For Jesus?
"Your Kingdom come,
Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven"
The Kingdom of God has nothing in common with today's westernized Christianity which relies on religious organization (over 38,000 competing denominations and sects). This is why Lord Jesus commands that His followers not only to seek new wine, but to also become new wineskins (Mark 2:22).
The Kingdom our Lord is establishing calls His own to set aside all dependence on religious organization and its intermediaries. Why? Because the Kingdom is within each of His followers as our Lord Jesus takes up His reign in our hearts through His indwelling Spirit (Luke 17:21).
The God of the Bible keeps His promises! He returned Jerusalem to the Jewish people in 1967, fulfilling the promise of Jesus in Luke 21:24. Since that time, He has been restoring to Jews and Gentiles alike the Hebraic foundations of love-grounded, obedient trust — the essence of Kingdom living in union with Jesus. Why is this a Hebraic restoration? Because it's a way of life modeled on the obedient trust of Abraham, the first Hebrew, the father of all who trust (Romans 4:11,12; Galatians 3:7-9).
Through the indwelling Holy Spirit, the earliest followers of Jesus experienced spiritual power and relational intimacy with one another as they served our Father's purposes. And, this is what He is restoring as we join Him in advancing His Kingdom. Our Father calls these truths:
The Hebraic Restoration
The Kingdom of God is based upon relational priorities which flow from the center outward in the diagram.
The most important relationship is with our heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus. It is only by living in union with Lord Jesus through His Spirit that you can ever do His will in advancing the Kingdom.
The second priority is the relationships within your own home.
Your home is the primary place for spiritual development.
The third priority is fellowship in homes. Here people who love and serve Lord Jesus help each other remain repentant as brothers and sisters in Him, and love and serve one another as His body.
The fourth priority is the gathering of home fellowships as the Gospel of the Kingdom penetrates neighborhoods, and the fifth priority includes gatherings of faith communities throughout a city, a nation, and the worldwide Body of Christ.
Our ministry focuses primarily on the center three priorities, which we discuss below.
Priority #1 Our Father and Jesus
A Love-based Relationship Of Covenant Union
A biblically Hebraic understanding of your relationship with your heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus, is a pilgrimage to your salvation in union with the Holy Spirit. Your spiritual journey culminates when you stand before our Lord and your name is proclaimed to the hosts of heaven! That journey begins when you accept the stipulations that our Father offers in the New Covenant that's made possible through the shed blood of Jesus, our atoning Sacrifice.
Jesus makes clear how you can enter into this Covenant: “‘Whoever puts his trust in Me, as the Scripture says, rivers of living water will flow from his inmost being!” (Now He said this about the Spirit, whom those who trusted in Him were to receive later — the Spirit had not yet been given, because [Jesus] had not yet been glorified)” (John 7:38,39). The only Scripture in existence when Jesus revealed this truth was the Older Testament, the Hebrew Scriptures. The foundational truth for salvation is found in the Older Testament and clarified in the Newer Testament as a continuum that is made full in Lord Jesus. [For more on this, please see our Hebraic Article, The Gospel of the Covenant is the Pilgrimage to Salvation, as well as our video training series, Jesus In Your Home.]
Have you embraced the Covenant our Father offers in His Word? It's only through this Covenant of grace that you receive the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of Christ empowers you as living water from the Living God in a Kingdom life that pleases our Father. We strongly encourage you to thoughtfully read the recommended Hebraic Article above or watch the video series. Only the Covenant relationship which Jesus has made possible by His sacrifice and resurrection is the authentic Good News— and there are so many false, man-centered gospels being peddled that lead to eternal destruction. These counterfeits omit the Covenant stipulations of repentance, love, obedient trust, determination to press on, and forgiveness — God’s requirements for your salvation that are found in the Older Testament and reiterated in the Newer Testament.
PRIORITY #2 — YOUR HOME
The Marriage Covenant: The Physical Representation Of Your Covenant With The Father
The Home: The Basic Building Block For Spiritual Development
The earliest Hebraic followers of Jesus understood clearly that God ordained the home to be the basic building block for spiritual development. So much of Christendom today “outsources” wives and children for others to teach. In the earliest Church, however, the husband/father was the primary influence in the spiritual development of his family. All other relationships supported him in this role, and nothing competed with his responsibility to do this.
A. Marriage — Our Father designed the marriage covenant to be the physical representation of our spiritual covenant with Him. In this light, marriage is the second-most important covenant God established because it mirrors the intimacy and union He wants with His beloved. A Hebraic-Christian marriage of the early Church reflected a couple’s relationship with God and could be summarized like this: If you want to know the extent of my relationship with Jesus Christ, see it in the love He has given me for my spouse. A man is called to love God with all his heart, soul and mind (Matthew 22:37). No less is demanded of him in his union with his wife as he serves her through the indwelling Spirit: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25). A woman is also called to love God with all her heart, soul and mind. No less is demanded of her in her union with her husband as she serves him through the indwelling Spirit in loving respect as she would her Lord (Ephesians 5:22-24,32).
The relational intimacy shared by a married couple represents both their individual and collective relationship with their Lord. Marriage is so vital an illustration of intimacy that God refers to Himself as the husband of His wife, Israel, and Jesus is called the Bridegroom of His Bride, the Church. Marital love is an enduring commitment that’s meant to deepen and grow throughout the marriage. Similarly, your union with the Holy Spirit can increasingly draw you (whether single or married) into deeper loving trust in God. God has designed a husband to draw strength from his wife, his nurturing companion and suitable life partner given him by God. A husband is the provider, protector and life companion God has given a wife so that together they can fulfill His plans and purposes.
B. Family — Your home is the primary building block for Christian growth. All your other relationships should strengthen your home in this purpose, not displace it or compensate for your lack of responsibility. The Hebraic followers of the earliest Church recognized that their relationship with their Lord and the relationships in their homes were inseparably linked: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up” (Deuteronomy 6:5-7).
Children are a heritage and blessing from the Lord. Fathers in particular are commanded to “bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). A father is God’s primary influence in whether his children enjoy healthy marriages that glorify our Father, or end up promiscuous in heterosexual or homosexual relationships. A mother imparts nurture and motivation to her children in a way that no outside caregiver can (Proverbs 1:8; 31:26).
God’s life purpose for a child is best guided by parents who intimately know their children’s unique personalities and inclinations through purposeful time together and loving, consistent effort. Parents are uniquely suited to shepherd their children into the life decisions and vocation that are best suited for each child, especially if the family is blessed with input from wise grandparents or older extended spiritual family members. [See our Hebraic Article, Hebraic Home Fellowships Must Produce Godly Generations.]
PRIORITY #3 — FELLOWSHIP IN HOMES
An Alliance of the Repentant Who Are Prepared for Spiritual Warfare
God is reestablishing a key element of the early Church: fellowship in homes as extended spiritual family for spiritual growth, supportive relationships, and preparing followers of Jesus to extend His Kingdom. The Kingdom of God is at war against spiritual forces that will use any means to keep people from spending eternity with Him. The home fellowship family represents the front line of engaging in this battle by supporting each individual and family as they reach their neighbors and people in their workplaces and schools. Victories are achieved through prayer in the power of the Holy Spirit, and through the earnest willingness of those in the fellowship to be our Father's ambassadors as they reach out to disciple others.
The earliest followers of Jesus met in each others' homes with glad and sincere hearts to break bread and to “spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24). They shared a seven-day-a-week family-style commitment to one another. Before the coming of Jesus, the Hebraic followers of Jesus shared fellowship in homes to support and uphold communal righteousness. As spiritual extended families, their physical and spiritual lives were interconnected. They knew from the Older Testament (see Psalms 14:5, Psalms 32, Proverbs 15:29, Malachi 3:18, and affirmed in the Newer Testament, 1 Peter 3:12) that God refuses to hear the prayers of the unrepentant and unrighteous. But those who confess their sins and turn from them are restored in righteousness through God’s forgiveness (1 John 1:9). Then He readily answers their prayers (James 5:16-18)!
Early followers of Jesus also realized from examples such as David numbering his troops (1 Chronicles 21), Korah’s rebellion (Numbers 16), and Achan hiding the devoted items (Joshua 7), that God held His people communally responsible for each other. One person’s sin and unrepentance hindered all their prayers from being answered. While their Temple responsibilities were relatively impersonal, fellowship in homes as extended spiritual family provided relational intimacy. Lord Jesus has called for His Church — His collective Body — to live in a way that honors Him among the nations. The extended spiritual family within home fellowships encourages and spurs one another on in righteous living. It’s not sin per se, but the failure to repent that causes a person to be removed from fellowship, according to the pattern our Lord set forth in Matthew 18:15-20. Repentance renews the righteous responsiveness to God that brings about answered prayer. And answered prayer got the earliest “called-out ones” noticed!
The second purpose for fellowship in homes parallels the purpose of the clan in Hebrew society. An individual belonged to a family, a family to a clan, the clan to a tribe, and the twelve tribes made up the nation of Israel. Home fellowship families functioned like clans to provide personal care for the individual and family, and linked them to the larger and less personal relationships.
Fellowship in homes deepens supportive relationships to point one another toward greater dependency on God. As extended spiritual family they can fulfill the 54 one-anothering passages (love one another, serve one another) in the Newer Testament. Marriages and families that have been torn apart by death or divorce can be nurtured in the extended family of the home fellowship. Within this safe environment, mentoring and role modeling by those who have lived their lives for Christ can guide those younger in their walk with their Lord. God is restoring sacrificial, load-bearing love to the Body of Christ through these extended spiritual families.
Remember, ancient Israel set a pattern for relational progression. Following this pattern, the Church is built on the individual, family, home fellowship family, congregation, and congregations throughout a city or nation. This relational model can equip congregations of fellowship families to impact their society, business realm, government and ultimately, their nation and the world.
Restoration Ministries International equips those who love and follow Lord Jesus to live out the relational intimacy and spiritual power of the center three layers. From these three relational priorities flow the outworking that impacts greater spheres of influence in the world at large.