Joseph Herrin (12-10-2013)
Behold then the kindness and severity of God...
I have recently been sharing about a tragic experience that has occurred in the lives of some who are very close to my daughter Kristin. Marcus and MaryAnn Kauffman had returned home to North Carolina after visiting family and friends over the Thanksgiving holiday. They arrived home to find a strange vehicle in their front yard, with someone standing nearby. Marcus asked if the young men were having car trouble, or needed help. When they did not respond, and acted strangely, Marcus drove his wife (who is nearly 7 months pregnant) to a neighbor’s home. He then returned and observed the men carrying possessions out of his home, and putting them in their car.
Marcus dialed 911, and his conversation was recorded as he asked the young men why they were taking his possessions. Marcus then could be heard announcing to the 911 operator that shots were being fired. Marcus was still in his car and tried to flee. A total of six shots were fired, one of them striking Marcus in the back of the head.
It has been a week now, since this act of theft and violence was committed against one of God’s sons. My daughter has been with the family at the hospital all week. She returned home yesterday as she is employed and had job responsibilities to fulfill. I asked her for an update on Marcus this morning. Marcus remains unconscious and heavily sedated. A great concern has been pressure on his brain. Numerous surgical interventions have been performed to alleviate the pressure. He is on life support, a ventilator being used to maintain his breathing.
The doctors have given mixed forecasts of his outlook. In truth, they will not know for sure how he will fare when he resumes consciousness. He could have severe motor and mental disability, or suffer few effects from the bullet injury. As of this morning, the doctors are reporting no deterioration of his condition, perhaps a slight improvement. The family and friends continue to pray and wait, entreating Yahweh for mercy and healing.
Before hearing from my daughter this morning, I had looked for an update online. I found a news article in a local paper. Following are some excerpts:
Rowan County Sheriff Kevin Auten said it’s a “high possibility” Marcus Kauffman — who was shot in the head a week ago after intercepting a break-in at his home — was shot with his own handgun...
Kauffman was shot in the head while he was inside his car and subsequently crashed into a tree located at the end of a corn field near the couple’s home.
Kauffman owned a Glock .45-caliber handgun, and investigators recovered six spent .45-caliber shell casings.
“It would be speculative at this point, but it’s a high possibility that that could happen,” Auten said of Kauffman being shot with his own gun. “We don’t have those answers in a week, but it’s certainly a possibility.”
It troubled me when I first read that among the items stolen from the Kauffman home was a handgun. The Spirit of Christ has directed me this year to post several writings on the subject of Christians and handgun ownership.
Grab Your Gun Jesus
Gun Ownership and the Mind of Christ
Waco, Texas and the Weapons of Our Warfare
The topic of gun ownership has occupied much prime space in the media this past year. As the government of America is arming up various domestic police agencies, it is simultaneously acting to remove weapons from the citizens of the nation. Many are alarmed, rightly fearing that an unarmed people will be defenseless before a tyrannical government that no longer serves the people, but is the agent of global corporate and money powers. There is no lack of Christian ministers who are proclaiming that Christians should defend themselves with guns and bullets, pursuing a course of violence against the government if it should prove necessary.
Such ministers are blind leaders of the blind. They will serve only to lead forth many of God’s people to the slaughter that awaits them. Christ said, “He who lives by the sword will die by the sword.” I will not rehearse again all that was set forth in the three articles linked above. If you have questions about the will of God as it relates to the topic of gun ownership, I urge you to read these articles, inviting the Holy Spirit to reveal to you the mind of Christ.
People of God, let me tell you plainly what I am discerning at this time. My heart has been heavy with this message. It will become increasingly costly in the coming days to make any decisions in life, without first consulting God to insure that you are acting in accordance with His will. Decisions relating to provision, employment, health, security, church attendance, and a myriad of other issues will prove very costly if you form them independent of God. Purchasing a gun, and keeping it in one’s house, with the intent of using it for protection against evil men, is not a decision to make lightly. That which you place your trust in for the coming days will be tested. Those who have placed their confidence in the arm of the flesh will be put to the test.
I have had this message heavy on my heart for several days now. My burden has been all the more troublesome because I recognize that many Christians will reject, condemn, and criticize a messenger who would suggest that there is a painful message to be heard from the Father in the midst of suffering and tragedy, and lessons to be learned. At such moments, emotions often overrule the spirit of the believer, causing them to close their minds and stop their ears to the messenger of God who would tell them to consider their ways.
In a recent post I shared the following Scripture.
I Corinthians 11:29-32
For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself, if he does not judge the body rightly. For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep. But if we judged ourselves rightly, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord in order that we may not be condemned along with the world.
I have considered this passage from Paul’s epistle many times over the past decades. Envision a Christian people living carelessly. They are not carefully weighing all their actions, considering whether they are pleasing to the Father. There were some in the church of Corinth who were acting as gluttons during their communal meals. Others were getting drunk. There were many other things these people were doing that were displeasing to the Father. They were quarreling over money and possessions. They were taking one another to court. They were defrauding their brethren. Some were having sex with temple prostitutes.
Due to the carelessness of their lives, and the lack of attention given to discerning what was pleasing to Yahweh, many of them had fallen sick and some had died. Yahweh was judging His people. Today, the church does not want to hear about a God who judges His people. They have ears that will only hear about a God of mercy, love, kindness, patience, and forgiveness. The fear of God has been removed from the hearts of God’s people. Consequently, decisions of much gravity are made without the carefulness that should attend them. Rather than wrestling in prayer to ascertain the Lord’s will, Christians do whatever seems right in their eyes. They consult their soul, but neglect to take consultation with God.
I am quite certain that the Christians in Corinth made no connection between the sin and the sickness in their lives. Even when believers were at death’s door, and after they had perished, there was an absence of understanding. I suspect that Paul’s words connecting these things struck many with surprise, and offended more than a few. How insensitive it must have seemed to some who had just lost a beloved wife, husband, brother, child, or friend, to hear Paul say that God was judging them because they were living carelessly.
The message of Yahweh’s chastisement offends. A people who are at ease do not appreciate being told that God will judge them for a lack of spiritual discernment. Paul had his detractors, and so have I. All who speak forth the sober counsel of God in this hour will have to harden their foreheads as flint. Fulfilling the ministerial mandate to “reprove, refute, and correct” in this hour of casual Christianity will result in many churlish responses. In the letter Paul wrote as a follow-up to the one above, he spoke of the scorn and mockery he received.
II Corinthians 10:10
For they say, "His letters are weighty and strong, but his personal presence is unimpressive, and his speech contemptible."
I can imagine some whose toes Paul had stepped on uttering words of reproach about the apostle. Spurning his sober words of warning, they continued in their careless ways and reaped the consequences.
I have prayed recently asking the Father to show me whether I have erred in my words to others. I often feel like a grave man, speaking words that others do not wish to hear. The reproaches from Christians of late have been frequent and unkind. Like Joseph who was sold into slavery by his brothers, I have frequently experienced being forsaken by my brethren. I confessed to the Father that I had a heavy heart, but I chose not to let it manifest as criticism or murmuring against the Father. Although the ministry entrusted to me is at times difficult, I consider myself blessed to be called of Christ to serve Him. He is faithful to supply all my need. His mercies are new every morning.
I asked the Father to confirm His word to me, for reproaches are difficult to bear when we harbor doubts in our mind. When Yahweh affirms that we are on the right path, the burdens are lighter, for we draw comfort in the knowledge that we are walking with God.
Yesterday evening Yahweh sent Joe Boes to visit with me. He was in the area for a second time in a month due to responsibilities with his job. We got in his car to drive to town and as I looked at the time on the large dashboard display, it read 5:55. I knew that was a sign of Yahweh’s grace. Without Joe knowing the prayers I had uttered, or the burden on my heart, the conversation turned to this young man who had been shot. The news has reported that he was active in his church, and frequently participated in mission work. These reports are true. Why did he purchase a gun and bring it into his home? Why did he return after dropping off his wife, to confront these young men robbing his home?
Joe got very serious and told me with great soberness that the Spirit of Christ had been impressing upon him strongly that as Christians we dare not go anywhere without the Father directing us to do so. He repeated this several times, and I could sense his extraordinary earnestness and the conviction of the Spirit from which it flowed. He stated again, “We must make sure that we do not go anywhere unless God has sent us.”
Joe’s words were affirmation from the Father regarding the sober message the Lord has had me convey to others. It was Yahweh’s grace to have Joe speak these words with evident anointing. The related thought that the Father has been impressing upon me is that we must not make any decisions, or take any actions, apart from the clear direction of the Holy Spirit. We are entering dark days, severe days, when the adversary will seek to devour the people of God. Our safety is found in abiding in Christ. We must seek His counsel, His mind, His will, in all things.
In this hour Yahweh must perform a quick and fiery work of purifying a people for the return of His Son. The consequences of all actions will take on a greater weight. What you spend your money on, what shows you watch on television or at the movies, who you look to for your health or insurance, what you rely upon for protection and security, all these things and more will be tested.
Christians must shake themselves out of the mindset that they can be careless about anything, even seemingly small things. We cannot assume that because we are children of God who offer praise and service to Him, that He will give us a pass when it comes to the life decisions we make. This is the lesson of Uzzah’s death.
II Samuel 6:1-9
Now David again gathered all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand. And David arose and went with all the people who were with him to Baale-judah, to bring up from there the ark of God which is called by the Name, the very name of Yahweh of hosts who is enthroned above the cherubim. And they placed the ark of God on a new cart that they might bring it from the house of Abinadab which was on the hill; and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, were leading the new cart. So they brought it with the ark of God from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill; and Ahio was walking ahead of the ark. Meanwhile, David and all the house of Israel were celebrating before Yahweh with all kinds of instruments made of fir wood, and with lyres, harps, tambourines, castanets and cymbals. But when they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah reached out toward the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen nearly upset it. And the anger of Yahweh burned against Uzzah, and God struck him down there for his irreverence; and he died there by the ark of God. And David became angry because of Yahweh's outburst against Uzzah, and that place is called Perez-uzzah to this day. So David was afraid of Yahweh that day...
People of God, you may be a true worshiper of Yahweh. You may praise Him, and serve Him regularly. You may delight to be among His people, sharing in praise to God. Yet you dare not treat Him with irreverence. You may protest, “I would never act irreverently toward Yahweh.” Perhaps you are not properly defining reverence toward God. If you revere Yahweh you will not act presumptuously!
David had a brand new cart built to carry the ark of God. He hooked the cart to oxen to pull it. Surely, the people thought this must be acceptable unto Yahweh, but He had commanded through Moses that the ark was to be carried on poles resting upon the shoulders of the Levites. The people had not inquired to see how Yahweh wanted the ark of His presence to be returned to Jerusalem.
The message here, applied to this present hour, offends. Christians are unable to conceive of God striking one who is His child and who loves Him. They cannot accept that discipline could come to one who merely neglected to seek God’s counsel about a matter before acting. You may say, “That happened in the Old Testament under the Law. We are under grace!” Read the account of the judgment that befell Ananias and Sapphira in the book of Acts, chapter 5, and you will learn that there is no less reason to revere God and treat Him as holy today.
Are you placing your trust in guns to safeguard your family and possessions in days to come? Do you consider it folly to entrust your safety and provision to Yahweh’s care? When the test comes, I know which one that I want to be found leaning upon! You may argue based upon reason that it is a prudent thing to meet force with force, violence with violence. Yet it is faith that is pleasing to the Father.
Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.
Recently I received a correspondence from Eliana, the young English woman who visited with my daughter and I on her way to serve Yahshua in Mexico. She has walked with no other human companion during this journey. She has been through gang ruled territory where women are preyed upon. She has recently completed building a small home in a remote area of Southern Mexico. There are many threats and dangers all about. She has no mission organization backing her, no one local to call upon in a time of need. She was sent out solely by the direction of the Spirit of Christ.
Eliana with Local Indian Women
She related to me that she has no running water or electricity at her home. This means she also has no security lights, and her home and land lies in darkness at night. Following are some of the details she shared with me.
I have Oso (her dog) back. It is a long story, but the short version is that after my mum left, I only found out about a week later, that my immediate neighbour was getting up between 12 and 3 in the morning with his flashlight, because his dogs were barking intensely at times, and also on various occasions pick up trucks were passing by in the early hours and stopping right outside my gate. When I am inside my house, I guess because it is concrete, I don’t hear anything of what is going on outside, and so I was oblivious to all of this.
I later found out also that in that week there were 2 robberies in other nearby ranches, and one attempted robbery, where the thieves left because the dogs were barking. That time the owner was inside his house and he saw that it was a pick up truck with 5 men.
One night after my mum left I did see about 4 or 5 flashlights about 11 at night, just before I went to bed, in the land next to mine on the right, where the owner only works during the day working his land. I was looking out of my window and happened to see them, and I stayed a while looking out, and one of the men actually entered my neighbour’s land and I saw his shadow creeping towards the back of my house. That night I waited an hour looking outside my window and was praying to God for protection, because I don’t have mobile phone signal there all the time, and plus that night my mobile was totally out of battery, and I cannot recharge it there as there is no electricity. I also did not know if the neighbour to my left was there, as he does not always stay the night, and I felt too scared to open my window and shout out to him. I eventually went to bed thinking I could not stay up all night looking out my window.
It was only when I mentioned what happened to the neighbour on my left the next day, that he then told me the details I related above about the recent robberies. He said that the previous week he had heard disturbances during the night and had gone out with his torch. One time when he went out, the truck outside my gate zoomed off, so it was pretty obvious they were looking to break and enter. I believe it was those same people who I saw, and the one who walked to the back of my house was looking to see where the doors are, or how they could break in...
This weekend just gone, those same neighbours in front who I gave Oso to, were also robbed, their gate was broken into with machetes, and several animals were stolen.
Oso (Little Bear)
It is surely a trying experience for a single young woman to travel to a foreign land and dwell among evil men and numerous threats. Yet, I have comfort for Eliana, knowing that it was the Holy Spirit that directed her to this location and work among the Indians. I have continued to entreat her to put her hope and trust in God. The One who has called her will surely provide and protect her.
It would be tragic for any Christian to put their trust and confidence in anything other than their heavenly Father. In this hour when Yahweh will do a quick and fiery work among His people, we must be careful to consider all of our ways. We must not go somewhere unless He sends us, and when He sends we must go. We must not act of our own initiative, yet at His command we must obey.
Brothers and sisters, consider carefully your ways! What are you placing your hope and confidence in? Will it stand the test when it comes? Be sober. Yahweh must perform a great work among His people in this hour. Walk in the fear of God. Do not be careless in forming decisions. Every action bears a consequence.
P.S. A number of people have sent me letters asking me to pass along messages, or instructions to MaryAnn relating to Marcus and his healing. Understand that I am not held in esteem among these people, though I care for them, and pray for them often. Some years ago I attended the church for a brief time that MaryAnn’s family attends. Her father is a minister there. My daughter continues to attend this church with my blessing. Nevertheless, my own teaching and presence is not welcome among this body. Back in 2004 the ministers of this congregation became acquainted with my teaching found in the book God’s Plan of the Ages. They judged this teaching to be heresy. Consequently they forbid me from teaching among the body of believers, or to partake of the Lord’s Supper with them.
Due to the judgment and actions of the ministers of this body, I have no entry to share truth with this congregation. I trust that this will not alter the opinion of any reader of this blog toward these people, for it is my continued hope and prayer that Yahweh will raise up from among them a people who will be to the praise of His glory. They are a precious people, with a sincere love for the Lord. Like all believers, they have areas in which they need correction and growth. Yet, even as we desire Yahweh to be patient and merciful with us, we should be patient and merciful to others, always seeking other men’s welfare and God’s glory.
Eliana's Blog: http://the-gate-and-the-way.blogspot.com/
Heart4God Website: http://www.heart4god.ws
Parables Blog: www.parablesblog.blogspot.com
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063