Parables from the Seashore
Joseph Herrin (4-20-08)
For those new to this list I will share with you that I have been in an extended period of camping. The past week I have been camping with my friend and brother in Christ, Randy Simmons on Jekyll Island, Georgia. Jekyll is one of Georgia’s barrier islands, being ten miles long from north to south and averaging a mile in width. The entire island is a State Park and by law it must remain 60% undeveloped. This restriction has kept it from being transformed into a loud and gaudy commercial development. It remains largely unspoiled, and I have found it to be a very attractive place to come to observe periods of quiet and rest, as well as to hear from God.
A Personal History
I first experienced Jekyll Island when I was fifteen years old and my parents moved down from Portland, Oregon. My dad was born and raised in South Georgia, about an hour’s drive inland. He returned at the invitation of his older brother to captain a new shrimp boat that he was building. My father rented a house on the southern tip of Jekyll Island, and I had the wonderful experience that summer of working with my dad first on a crab boat, and then on a shrimp boat. It was an occupation I greatly enjoyed for the short season that it lasted.
We only lived on Jekyll Island about six months, but after moving off the island I took my first job working for someone else as I gained employment at the IGA grocery store on Jekyll. I had just turned sixteen, and my dad helped me to purchase my first car that I might drive to work. When I was seventeen we moved away from the coast to Middle Georgia, causing me to transfer schools halfway through my senior year of high school.
On the day I graduated from high school, I went immediately from the commencement ceremony, having my bags already packed, and I drive back to Jekyll Island where I found a job the same day working at the RV park on the north end of the island. I kept this job for three years, and though these were some lean years for me spiritually, I always held an attraction to the beauty and serenity of Jekyll Island. As a person who also suffered tremendously from hay fever and spring allergies, I also found the fresh salt air of the coast to be a wonderful remedy to this affliction.
I took my future bride to Jekyll Island when I was 23 and I was living back in Middle Georgia. We shared a wonderful day here the week we were engaged, and later came back and honeymooned on the island. Over the 18 years that we were together we often came to Jekyll Island for vacations, and our children were also able to enjoy its scenic beauty and relaxed atmosphere. One of the current highlights for me is the bike trail that completely circles the island, passing through oak woods and marsh lands, along beaches and through the historic millionaires’ village constructed when Jekyll was a private resort for the rich and powerful.
Jekyll Island’s History
There are some dark blots on Jekyll’s history, for in turns it has been both Jekyll and Hyde. The last ship to bring slaves to America (The Wanderer), some thirty years after the importation of slaves had been banned, landed on Jekyll Island to disembark its tragic cargo. Later, during its period as a home to America’s wealthy aristocrats, it was here that the Federal Reserve banking system was devised by those known by the title “the first name club,” due to their practice of keeping their full names unknown. Such anonymity was considered necessary as many at the time recognized their conspiratorial activity as treason. In 1908 “The Aldrich Plan” for creating a national monetary commission was set forth by these men meeting at Jekyll Island, and though it was rejected at that time by Congress, it resurfaced not long afterward and gave rise to the Federal Reserve, effectively giving control of America into the hands of a banking and financial elite.
If you are interested in reading more on the history of the Federal Reserve and its treasonous activity, I would recommend the following website: http://www.apfn.org/APFN/reserve2.htm.
The value I see in understanding the unseen hands that guide much of what transpires in government, political and financial realms is related to the admonition of Scripture:
Matthew 10:16-17 “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; therefore be shrewd as serpents, and innocent as doves. But beware of men...”
The vast majority of Christians walk around in a blind naivete, gathering behind political figures that they believe will bring about reformation, or even revival. Many Christians have backed candidates for the office of President as if they were God’s man to safeguard Christianity and the freedom of religion. They rarely discern the true nature of these men and women, that they are servants of a ruling world system fashioned upon the doctrines of Lucifer. Millions of Christians have voted for political candidates that are truly anti-christ, and in doing so they have shared responsibility for all of their diabolical actions. Such accord with evil is strictly condemned by the Scriptures, and ignorance of the facts does not remove responsibility.
I Timothy 5:22 Do not lay hands upon anyone too hastily and thus share responsibility for the sins of others; keep yourself free from sin.
To endorse, or to vote for a candidate, is to lay hands upon them. When a Christian does so they share in responsibility for all the actions of that candidate. Few Christians walk in wisdom regarding the form of this world. Few could be said to be “wise as serpents.” Although I do not advocate becoming obsessively focused upon the deceitful schemes of wickedness, I do believe the Christian should not walk naively through this world. When the power brokers of this world foment crises and incite the masses to stampede in a direction that will only result in their enslavement and exploitation, the Christian should not run headlong in the same direction. Christians will avoid the snare of the fowler as they perceive the trap laid before them, and walk after the leading of the Spirit of Christ.
The Conflict of Kingdoms
I have found it interesting that the Lord has led me during this month from F.D. Roosevelt State Park to Jekyll Island State Park. There is a history to these places that reveals the well laid, and patiently executed plans of those who wish to destroy the middle class and enslave the citizens of America as well as the world. Remember, the Scriptures declare that in the last days that a one world government will be established, and Satan will be the head of this government as the prince of this world. He has always found many willing participants to his schemes, men and women who are corrupted with the allure of wealth and power.
Notably, all of these men of wealth and power have come from New York, including the wealthy members of the Jekyll Island Club as well as Franklin Delano Roosevelt. This is the seat of political Babylon where the United Nations is found. It is noteworthy that just this week the Pope, who is the titular head of religious Babylon, has been in America meeting with the President of the United States, who stands as the political head of Babylon. In this late hour we see a merging of political and religious Babylon, for Satan will also have his kingdom of kings and priests to serve as a corrupt “anti” to that which Yahweh is bringing forth in His kingdom. Satan’s is a kingdom of the proud and wealthy who would make themselves lords to dominate a subjected mankind. Yahweh’s kingdom is one of humble servants who will lay down their lives for another.
The man who drafted the Federal Reserve Act while on Jekyll Island, Paul Warburg, stated the following, "Whoever controls the volume of money in any country is absolute master of all industry and commerce." Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the president most responsible for increasing the power of this group, and destroying the private banks through prolongation of the Great Depression. He also was President when the United Nations was founded and established in his home state of New York. In this hour we are seeing another President give increasing power to this group, as the Federal Reserve has just been put forth as the agents to regulate not only the banks, but all of Wall Street as well. Thus the consolidation of power is reaching its climax at this very hour, and with power comes control. Control of the world is Satan’s ultimate goal, and his servants are rapidly advancing their plans as both the Kingdom of God and the kingdoms of this world are headed to their ultimate conflict.
As I have been on Jekyll Island the Father has been revealing many things to me through the use of parables. These parables reveal the preparation of His kingdom for this late hour, even as Satan is seeking to prepare his kingdom for its great rush to ascendancy. What Yahweh has been revealing to me has nothing to do with political action, or even financial preparation (other than urging the saints to get out of debt - in effect exiting the world’s monetary systems). The Spirit’s leading has been heavily focused upon His work to bring God’s people to a conformity to the image of Christ.
In the past two writings sent out I have spoken of the great work Christ is coming to do which will remove the flesh from the Bride and make her ready for His return. This is the main work of Christ to ready His kingdom ministers that they might rule and reign with Him over this world. Christ’s ministers must be selfless, humble, and devoid of personal ambition. Only those who are thus conformed to the image of Christ, where they too can say, “I never do anything of my own initiative; I only do the will of the Father,” can be trusted with the power of the age to come. Thus we see the servants of Satan’s kingdom increasing in all personal attributes and pride, while the servants of Christ are being emptied at this time. We must decrease, but Christ must increase.
Ministers are already prepared and are being set in place, to be used of Christ to remove all flesh from His church. The Spirit continues to bring forth many insights into this work as I am camping, fasting, and seeking His face.
Flesh Hidden in the Sand
A few days ago I had gone out to the beach in the morning to sit with notepad in hand and receive that which the Lord would speak to me. I was drawn to observe people walking up and down the beach looking for sea shells and sand dollars. Such treasures are few and far between on the beach, and they are highly valued by those who can find them. Having lived on the island for a number of years, and visiting it often, I had often done the same as these people. I walked the beaches looking for that which was lying on the surface, visible to the eye to observe.
I knew that Jekyll was renowned for the number of conch shells (pronounced konk) that are to be found on her beaches, but I had only found a few in my years of association there. This particular day I arose from my chair and began to walk the beach and to see what I could see. All across the beach there are little holes that appear to have been left by some type of creature that has burrowed under the sand. They leave little circles around a central hole, and having dug down in the sand where these thousands of holes exist, I had never found anything beneath them. I watched others this day doing the same, with similar lack of success.
I began to think that surely there must be some other type of sign to indicate the presence of conchs and sea snails, whose shells are also very beautiful, so I walked along and closely observed all the markings on the beach. My eye was drawn to a simple little bulge in the sand. It was not a blowhole, like that which others found so deceptively promising, and not nearly existing in the same great numbers. I stuck my fingers down in the sand and began to dig, and just below the surface lay a sea snail with a beautiful shell. I proceeded a bit further and found another one, and then another. These shells were all along the beach, but were below the surface hidden from the eye.
After digging up a few sea snails I found myself pulling a conch from under the sand. I then found another conch, and I began to look for the signs that would differentiate the hidden sea snails from the conch. I found that the mound above a conch shell was always more elliptical, and pretty soon I was able to know precisely what lay under the surface of the sand before I even started digging.
In about an hour’s time I had gone along a stretch of beach covering a few hundred yards and I had dug up approximately fifty conch shells and about 30-40 sea snails. Some I would cast back into the ocean, and some I would leave lying atop the sand to see what tourists would do when they came upon them. The conch is a mollusk and is a staple in the diet of the Bahamas. It can be eaten raw, or scored with a knife and sprinkled with lime juice and spices and broiled. It can be added to stews, salads, chowders or even made into fritters. So those who know what to do with them will end up not only with a beautiful shell, but a tasty meal.
I observed people walking along the beach, some with bags in hand, and when they came to a conch or sea snail that I had dug up they would quickly grab them up as a man grasping a treasure. I began to think of how many of these people had virtually empty sacks when these conchs and snails were everywhere along the beach. Thousands have walked Jekyll’s sandy beaches not knowing what was just below the surface. One needed to know how to discern the signs. Once the signs were understood the presence of the conchs and sea snails was noted in abundance. A person could easily fill a bag in a very short space. A person would truly never starve if they knew how to identify and remove this sea flesh from the sands.
The ministers who will be used of the Lord to find the flesh buried in the life of the Christian in order to remove it, must also recognize the signs. Many do not know what to look for, and observe nothing, yet even as these mollusks create a bulge in the sand, there are always telltale clues that reveal that which lies hidden in the lives of the children of God. The skillful minister will see what is there every time, and they will be able to differentiate one type of flesh from another. They will understand how to reach in and skillfully pull out what is there, laying it out on the surface where even an untrained eye can recognize it.
Such things are learned as we sit patiently before the Lord and listen for His voice. The Spirit of Christ leads us into all truth, and the Spirit will place an anointing for this type of work upon those whom He has prepared.
The Injured Gull
Two days ago, Randy and I were riding bikes along the north beach on Jekyll when Randy spotted an injured sea gull. One wing was hanging down and dragging in the sand as it walked along. Randy got off of his bike and walked over to the bird, which began walking away from him. Randy chased it down and was able to grab it and pick it up, being careful to avoid the bird’s beak, as it was making animated attempts to peck at him. Randy held the bird for a few minutes as we discussed what to do with him, but as there are no veterinary services on the island, and no Department of Natural Resources employees to handle injured wildlife, we concluded that we could only let it go.
We rode a little further and then stopped at an area called Driftwood Beach and sat on some toppled trees by the seashore. I considered that everything that God has led me to encounter during these days of camping has held significance, and I knew that coming across this injured bird was no different. I quickly discerned the parable in this encounter, and I saw that it had bearing on that which had been transpiring between Randy and I, and would be the experience of many in coming days.
In the earlier writings I shared how Yahweh has been dealing with Randy concerning the crucifixion of the flesh, and his habit of using dip tobacco. If you are new to this list, please know that I am not sharing things out of hand to embarrass Randy, as he is my friend and brother. I have shared a great deal regarding my own failings in my writings, for I have found that the tendency of the church to remain silent about personal struggles has hindered the body greatly. Many are afraid to admit their own struggles, as talking about them has become a subject to be avoided. Yet we all are born in sin, and we all must submit to the fiery cleansing of Christ’s purifying work in our lives.
It does much good when Yahweh’s children allow their lives to be open to scrutiny, to serve as examples for others who must also deal with their flesh. If we consider the testimony of Scripture we will see that the Holy Spirit has always revealed the shortcomings and failures of men and women, as well as their triumphs and victories. Thus we read of David’s great faith and mercy, as well as his lust and deception. We read of Peter’s boldness and faith, as well as his cowardice and hypocrisy. In my writings you will read of the faith and obedience I have walked in, as well as my struggles with covetousness, sexual lust, fear, and unruly appetites.
All of those who come to Yahweh as sons must experience His discipline. We must all take up the cross and follow Yahshua. None are called in a condition of righteousness, for we all like sheep have gone astray, and our very best works are as filthy rags in Yahweh’s sight. Randy has struggled greatly with strongholds of the flesh, much as I did myself. As I have shared I am merely a few years further along the path of this fiery purging than he is, and now Yahshua is allowing me to serve as a minister in his moment of purging.
Randy has struggled greatly with unbelief, one of the greatest barriers to accepting the cross. He has felt that he is too weak and flawed to ever attain to the places that the Scriptures declare are the inheritance of the saints, not when they get to heaven, but while they are on earth. He has even felt that he is unable to overcome to the degree that he has observed in my own life. Randy shared with me some months back that he had a dream where he saw me flying above him in an airplane, and I was beckoning to him. He was telling others about their need to get in the plane, but he could not get there himself.
After seeing the injured gull I asked the Lord if He wanted me to share with Randy the understanding of this parable that He would have Randy ask me what I saw in it. As we sat on the beach Randy asked me. I told him that he as the gull. He was born to attain to the heights, to break free of the bonds of the flesh and sin, but that he was injured and unable to fly. I told him that even as he walked over to the gull with no other intention than to help the wounded bird, that Christ was seeking to do the same with him, and so was I. Yet Randy too would run away, being afraid, and when a hand was extended to help him he would try to ward it off as if it was an enemy.
The next day Randy asked me how he had been like the bird, for he did not understand how he had tried to peck at me when I was seeking to help him. I told him that he often did this by cutting off conversation when things got uncomfortable for him, and he also did this to the Lord as he had quit praying and reading his Bible, saying he was getting nothing from the effort. Later that day Randy opened a conversation, filled with self-pity over all of his trials and failures, and I knew that I could not encourage him in this mindset, for self-pity has been the downfall of many mighty men of God, including Moses and Elijah. (See the writing The Peril of Self Pity) When I told Randy that he didn’t want help at that time because he was enjoying his self pity too much, he once more shut down and did not want to talk.
Randy told me that I did not have anything to say that could possibly help him, for he had tried everything already. I assured him that I did have very particular things to share with him, but I was unable to do so until he was ready to receive it. This same message was seen in the earlier writings on Pioneers and Explorers, as it made reference to Joshua circumcising the males of Israel who had come out of the wilderness. No man can be forced to such a painful cutting away of the flesh. All must come willingly, surrendering themselves to the cleansing work of Yahshua (Joshua). As long as we are running away, or seeking to fend off the hand that only wants to help a brother ascend to holy heights, we cannot be helped.
Driven and Tossed
Yesterday I went once more to sit on the beach in the morning with pen and notepad to hear from God. It was cool and windy and the spume was blowing across the sand, having been whipped up by the wind and the churning waves. I had brought a particular notepad to use for this purpose, but had only found it recently, and this was the first day I carried it to the beach. When I opened it up I found the following verses which I had written in it several years earlier.
James 1:6-8 Ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
Everything the Father has been speaking to me while camping has had application to the coming ministry of being a cutter of grass (all flesh is as grass). He has very pointedly used Randy during this period of time to reveal to me many of the obstacles to be confronted and overcome in this ministry. I have a great confidence that Randy will overcome all of these obstacles, and having done so that he will be used mightily in days ahead as a minister to others who will take this same way of the cross.
Randy has struggled very much with doubt and unbelief, and I have been very vexed at times as he would allow his words to express the same. Our world is framed by the words we speak, and it is impossible to walk in faith if we are speaking words of unbelief. This is also James (his Hebrew name was Jacob) message in the verses cited. He states plainly that a man who doubts cannot expect to receive anything from the Lord. No matter how much we protest that we have prayed and read the word and made attempt after attempt to put the flesh to death with its passions and desires, it is all vain if we do not believe and are tossed about by doubt.
It is true that none of us can rule over the flesh by ourselves. The Law was given to prove that fact clearly to mankind. It is the second covenant, a covenant of faith that rests in Christ’s promise to do that which we cannot, that brings a man liberty to walk in righteousness. Christ said He came to set the captives free. He did not say He came to preach some new way for man to follow. He said He is the way! Our victory from start to finish is in Him. He has died for the remission of sin. By faith we believe and are cleansed. He walked in victory over every temptation of the flesh, and has sent His Spirit to indwell His children. By faith we receive this Spirit. This Spirit produces in us the desire and the power to do the will of the Father, and this too we enter into by faith.
If we fail to believe any of the promises of Scripture, we will surely not walk in them. The apostle Paul testified to the church in Corinth that God would never allow them to be tempted above their ability, but would always provide a way of egress, a path to victory. If we deny this, saying sin is too great for us, then we will turn back even as the first generation to depart Egypt turned back when they saw giants in the land they were to conquer. They said, “We appeared as grasshoppers next to the inhabitants of the land,” and judging by sight rather than faith, they were unable to enter. Consequently the entire generation died in the wilderness.
We must apply ourselves to the Scriptures and see all that Yahshua has promised to His disciples. We must then believe what He has testified, even when our own past experience is filled with failure and defeat. It is on the wings of faith that we rise and conquer.
As I read these verses from James, and sat contemplating the message of the wind whipped waves before me, I was led to write a poem. I had not understood until that morning how exactly the waves served as an illustration of a doubting man, but that morning I understood. Following is the poem I wrote.
Driven and Tossed
Blown spume scuds along the beach,
Froth whipped by a restless sea.
Divine symbol of a doubting man,
An image pondered by Jacob and me.
Great leagues of ocean everywhere tossed,
Without solid form, unable to stand.
Unsurpassed volume, as weak as it’s vast,
Unmercifully driven by invisible hand.
No impregnable mountain
This vast, churning sea.
Unable to rise,
No towers I see.
A flat, level plain
Devoid stature, without strength.
Never reaching to heaven
Though boundless in length.
A sea of great measure
Is doubting mankind.
Chained to sin’s pleasure,
Release he can’t find.
Vain are his wishes
To attain holy heights.
Unbelief tosses him,
Too discouraged to fight.
For faith is the substance,
Belief solid ground.
Unbelief is like water,
Let not that man think
He will receive his request
Who does not believe
God’s word stands the test.
Driven and tossed,
Forever to be.
Unable to rise
Over sin’s stormy sea.
For faith is the substance,
Belief solid ground.
To doubt is like water,
May you be blessed with peace and understanding in these days.