The Christian Patriarch, who exercises headship over his wives and children, stands as a type of Yahweh-Elohim, the Lord God of Israel, in his home. As such, he is a Law-maker with the responsibility of ensuring that the rules he creates in his home are righteous, true, and internally-consistent. He must not only enforce the rules which he creates but also obey them himself. If he does not, he will lose the confidence and respect of his family and demonstrate that he is manifestly unfit for headship.
The rules I speak of are not, of course, his own substitutes for Yahweh's Law or Torah. A human head is first and foremost submitted to Yahweh and His Christ and the Laws which they have established. This means that he cannot, for example, change the Sabbath day to any day he chooses or suddenly permit himself or his wives to be adulterous. The Law of Yahweh is immutable and once a Patriarch starts tampering with that he becomes a fallen patriarch. And when you are fallen you lose your authority and permit a destroying spirit (demon) to enter your family.
Before a man even contemplates marriage he must labour hard to become an allegorical wife to Christ, yielding his will to Yahweh's Torah in all things. He must learn to walk consistently in Yahweh's ways so that he may become an example to his future wives and children. Failure to do this will spell serious trouble for him in the future.
As a domestic Law-maker, the Christian/Messianic Patriarch must have some clearly defined goals in mind that are reflective of the mind and heart of his Maker. All righteous laws are instituted for the benefit of those they have been created for - to bless and edify them. They are never to exist for their own sake nor must they assume a stature that is larger than the human lives they are intended to sanctify. A wise patriarch will create as few rules as he possibly can, adding new ones only to assure the cohesion and integrity of family life if at any time it threatens to be disrupted by extraordinary forces. All laws or rules should, in any case, exist as guardrails for those struggling to make them a natural part of their daily habits until they become part of the unconscious family behaviour pattern. Good rules will naturally blend into those which Yahweh has Himself ordained, effortlessly combining with them as wholesome extensions. Those which are not good will constantly irritate and perhaps even wound - these the patriarch must constantly be on the lookout for, modifying and even diaband them if necessary to assure that Yahweh's harmony prevails.
There are some men who believe that an absence of rules creates independence and encourages a superior mental attitude. In my experience, this situation creates the very opposite. Its result leads invariably to indifference and carelessness, and sometimes to complete anarchy. And a family in a situation facing such forces is usually a stressful and inefficient one - a bad steward of its resources and time.
Becoming a rule-maker is not as simple as it sounds particularly, as is most likely the case, the patriarch has been raised in a home which does not reflect the Christian/Messianic ideal. With no wholesome patterning to follow, it is not uncommon for the 21st century patriarch to do a lot of stumbling. And because - and more so in the coming years - believers will invariably have been raised in pagan homes with pagan values, it becomes a very, very urgent and serious task for the 21st Century Church (Messianic Community) to teach men to become true, Torah-abiding patriarchs. Even this will not be easy because the local church (assembly), as it becomes increasingly isolated and hounded, will find far more resting on its shoulders than it did, say, in the early or mid part of the previous century before the spiral of moral decay accellerated out of control.
If the 21st century Church (Messianic Community) does not become a communitarian one - families gathered and living together in little villages - it will not only fail to effectively teach the necessary rôle models to men and women that they need, but its own existence will be threatened. In the past one could take the inheritance of wholesome community values for graned, but in our neo-pagan world we can absolutely no longer do this, at least not for those who were converted out of the world. Those raised in godly homes must realise that their position is not only blessed but a luxury and that it behoves them to step out and place themselves in a position to nurture converts from the neo-pagan society in the ways of Christian/Messianic family living.
The need -- and it is present rather than future -- is for Patriarchal Christian/Messianic communities. I would even go so far as to say that this is not so much an option but a sacred mandate. Christian 'patriarchs' are springing up who have been trained in worldly thinking and habits and are creating their own worldly-influenced models of family life which are disasterous. You simply cannot expect a young man, converted from the world, to suddenly assume the mantle of a responsible position of authority over several wives and children and to be successful. The casualty rate is going to be high, and the casualties are always going to be people. And whatever models he has learned from the secular society aren't going to be any use.
It is not, moreoever, just a matter of creating domestic rules. A Patriarch must not only have a consistent and righteous pattern of rule but he must be taught in the ways of MERCY and godly FORGIVENESS. Learning these is not easy either - in isolation, yes (for anyone can forgive), but not coupled with Law and Justice. The number of petty tyrants (on the one hand) and weaklings (on the other) that I have seen amongst polygamist men is appalling - they either reflect the emasculated male spirit of the feminist-dominated world or they swing to the opposite extreme and become monstrous demi-gods exercising unrighteous dominion over their wives. A family, to be managed in a godly way, requires a combination of iron-fist and velvet-glove (strictness in love) but not exclusively one or the other. And the only way to learn how to manage this horrendous balancing act (and it is horrendous for the man if he fears Yahweh and His righteousness) is by being nurtured in an environment where this sacred balance is already in place. In short, he needs to be in a patriarchal community where there is at least one mature and experienced patriarchal family which has a leadership rôle which he can be subject to as a spiritual son until he too has 'come of age'. If he doesn't, he will have to learn through the 'hard knocks' way of life which, though it undoubtedly works (much of the time), is costly in terms of maintaining the unity of family life. And remember, whilst you (the nascent patriarch) are 'getting your act together' and making huge blunders along the way, your children will be raised in this horrendous environment and will become its victims. Indeed, you shouldn't even be attempting to raise a godly offspring until you have this matter sorted out.
Part of the ministry our parent body, the Chavurat Bekorot, is to raise such patriarchal communities. Now it has to be said that establishing communities per se is not a magical solution to the problems I have highlighted. We have all seen, and are wary of, communities which have developed into cults. Communities present different types of temptation for those in leadership -- the temptations to control, manipulate and exploit those under their leadership. Aware only too accutely as we are of this phenomenon, the Chavurat Bekorot has spent many years developing a model for Patriarchal Community. To be successful it has imitated the apostolic model of the New Testament, so that each community is built upon the authority of a Triumvirate of Apostle-Patriarchs (John-James-Peter) which form a part of an Apostolic Council of Twelve. This council consists of the maturer patriarchs who serve, as in the original and God-planned Israelite Condeferacy (before the Monarchy) as the Torah-submitted Judges of the community.
A word of warning. There are polygamy ministries who are trying to build community based on the Kingdom model. Monarchic models invariably lead to cultism because inherent in them is the totalitarian temptation. The Mormons (their false doctrines notwithstanding) were beguiled by this temptation, their founder (Joseph Smith) had himself secretly crowned 'king', and his successor (Brigham Young) did the same, running an autocratic kingdom called 'Deseret' in the Rocky Mountains in Utah. The abuses of his power are well documented. Another example of the Kingdom mentality is the Jehovah's Witnesses, another autocratic organisation run by a shadowy council of dictators in Brooklyn, NY. We need to remember that kings and kingdoms were never a part of Yahweh's plan, His ideal - in the absence of the physical presence of the Messiah - has always been the Tribal Confederacy. The first king, Saul, was a despot and in spite of the occasional righteous king of Israel after him, there were more problems than benefits. Men who try to create 'Messianic kingdoms' normally have themselves as 'kings' in the back of their minds - the only Messianic Kingdom is the one ruled by Christ personally when he returns.
Yahweh's system, in the absence of the physically present Messiah Yah'shua (Jesus), is a system of judges. In the Chavurat Bekorot (see my FAQ) there are to be 12 end-time communities, each governed by a Presiding Patriarch or Judge who is one of the 12 Apostles. He has two patriarch counsellors, drawn from the local community, and (when fully organised) a further 9 patriarchs to form a patriarchal council.
To ensure justice and balance, each community therefore has its own presiding head (in the Johannine tradition), each of which serves as a member of an apostolic-patriarchal council for the whole 'Confederacy'. Each community thus becomes a kind of miniature 'tribe' linked together in a single 'nation', each tribe consisting of clans and families. This is the way the Millennial Culture will evolve when Christ returns.
In addition, there is a parallel Council of Matriarchs consisting of wives who have parallel functions under the authority of the Patriarchal Council which reflects the elevated rôle of women in the New Covenant of Yah'shua (Jesus).
And finally, there is a Patri-Matriarchal Council under the headship of the patriarchs to ensure that everyone has voice.
Creating the blueprint of this Christian/Messianic Theocratic Order has been the mission of our own Order for the past 30 years, begun in 1986. The restoration of polygamy, vitally important though it is, has not been its main task, but a facet of its calling. You cannot have a successful patriarchal movement without first having a proper patriarchal community which can be perpetuated from generation to generation. Without that stable generational continuity, the movement will eventually collapse.
No doubt various 'variations on this theme' will appear in the patriarchal movement and different patriarchs will be attracted to different 'themes' that reflect their denominational biases and personal dispositions. I notice that one of the largest polygamy ministries in the United States has already succumbed (as I predicted it would) to the totalitarian temptation of building a 'kingdom'. In spite of the fact that I believe there is only one ultimate model which must, of course, be based on the United Body of Christ free of denominationalism, I accept that in the interim different systems are inevitable. But better to gather than not at all (unless the system is cultic, of course, in which case better to remain alone!).
It would be naïve to expect that the first generation of communities will be error-free. However, it is also true to say, I believe, that with inspired and experienced leadership, such errors can be kept to a miniumum. The important thing is to start and for good-willed and God-fearing patriarchs and their families to work together. The longer we delay, the greater the cost will be to people.
In 2001 we laid the foundation for our first community in the United States  to follow on the heels of the European one which has been operative since 1997. The Chavurat Bekorot vision is of an international community of patriarchal communities networked together. In what Yahweh has told our Order, there will be 12 chief or "mother" communities, each of which will have oversight over younger developing ones. Our goal will be to provide a vessel of order, discipline, and justice in which love and goodness can thrive. The goal is lofty and not without a considerable number of obstacles. It is not, however, just some vague utopian idea but a biblical model that will come into permanent global existence when Yah'shua (Jesus) returns. We are talking about the establishment of the millennial society which must be in place before Yah'shua (Jesus) returns, for it is only in this society that the Body will pass through the Great Tribulation to come. Outside of it believers will be dinner for the lions.
If you are inspired by this hope and this vision, please get in contact with us. And I include not only patriarchs and aspirant patriarchs, but also the good ladies, single and married, who are every bit to be pillars of this great scheme. This is not a 'man-only' project - b no means!
 The American experiment did not fully get under way and was subsequently disbanded