Joseph Herrin (12-26-08)
A number have written to say that they have been missing the Parables Blog during the past week. I have been waiting before the Lord to discern His mind on a number of matters, and have not been led to write anything during the last week. I have spent a lot of time answering correspondence which has picked up a great deal in recent months. At times I will spend 7-8 hours a day answering correspondence. I consider this a stewardship from the Father, and I seek to treat every e-mail as an opportunity the Father has set before me to speak forth whatever it is the Spirit of Christ desires to be shared.
Of course, answering this much correspondence does take away from the time available to write posts, and I know there must be seasons when I simply reserve time to write new teachings as the Lord leads. It has been upon my heart to begin a new series of writings on the unveiling of the mystery of Christ IN you.
As a young man growing up in the church I often heard Scriptures cited that spoke of the people of God being IN Christ, and Christ being IN them. Actually coming to an understanding of this eluded me for many years. I know that over the course of more than a decade I have asked the Father for understanding into this mystery.
It has become apparent to me as my walk with God has progressed over the years that a comprehension of this vital truth of our union with Christ is the very key to an overcoming, victorious life. It is also the key to attaining to the fulness of the stature that belongs to Christ and coming into a place of abiding intimacy and fellowship with God as our Father.
This is such a vital topic, but it is little understood by the church today. The light the apostles shone forth on this mystery has been dimmed by neglect and many false traditions. I hope to set aside a block of time in this season that God has characterized as ascending the mount in order that I might receive choice grain to fill the Lord’s storehouses which can be used to feed the people of God in coming days. I can think of no better truths than those surrounding this mystery of Christ in you. It is truly feeding the Bread which came down from heaven to the people of God.
I have received a number of correspondences concerning things which are in the news recently, and I desire to comment on them here. Two people wrote to me on the same day about an article I posted a couple months back on the financial meltdown in Iceland. It was unusual to receive two comments on such an old post at the same time, and it brought me to look further into what continues to transpire in Iceland. The original article can be found here:
The post speaks of the financial collapse in Iceland, a thoroughly Western nation which was even more prosperous than America and rated as one of the most affluent nations in the world. The Spirit has been testifying that what is occurring in Iceland is a precursor to that which will occur in America and elsewhere.
A sister in Christ wrote to share of a couple who went over to Iceland recently. They spent three months there, returning to America this past week. They were present to witness the financial collapse of the banks and the attendant fallout in society. Many have lost all of their savings, and the number of unemployed has been growing significantly.
As this couple boarded the plane to return to America the man shared that the Spirit of Christ spoke to him the following: “I brought you to Iceland at this time to show you what is coming to America.”
I did a search of conditions in Iceland during the past three months, and there is a sobering trend in the number of unemployed. At the beginning of 2008 Iceland had one of the lowest unemployment rates in the world. It stood at just 0.8%. When the financial crisis struck in October the number of unemployed jumped to 1.9%. This is an increase of 237.5%. From October to November it rose to 3.3%, a further increase of 173%. The latest December figures have the unemployment rate at 5.4%. This is a further month over month increase of 163%. It is also an annual increase of 675%.
Iceland has a requirement that all employers provide 3 months notice before laying anyone off. Analysts predict a spike in the number of unemployed after the first of the year due to this delay. The numbers being observed in these past months are actually those whose jobs were terminated before the financial meltdown occurred. This number is set to snowball (an appropriate metaphor for Iceland) in the early months of 2009.
The man who recently returned from Iceland spoke of seeing many businesses being boarded up, which is a trend not uncommon to behold even now in America. Here in Macon, Georgia there are a number of significant business failures. I have not seen a study, but I would estimate the business closings are far exceeding any new business coming into town.
One of the largest shopping malls in Georgia is located in Macon. News reports several months ago reported that the Macon Mall was facing bankruptcy as it was 175 million dollars in debt, and revenue was way off. Two of the largest anchor stores in the Mall closed recently, this being Parisian and Belk’s. Numerous other smaller stores are shuttered, and more are set to close soon.
A new outdoor mall opened in an affluent section of North Macon just a few months ago, and there is news that it is already in financial distress and may end up closing. Recently news stations in Macon have reported on the increase of people seeking assistance of all types. Whether it be the number of people seeking food assistance from the local food bank, people seeking help with presents for Christmas, or larger numbers attending free Christmas dinners offered around town, the increase has been significant. Many agencies and ministries are seeing a 20% increase over last year, and America has not even had a banking collapse of the extent seen in Iceland where banks were closed and accounts frozen.
Where is this heading?
To understand where things are heading one must keep in view those things prophesied in Scripture that relate to this hour at the end of the age. Satan is seeking to bring all men to a dependence upon him. Mankind will in this way be brought to serve, and worship, Satan as he usurps the role of God.
The Scriptures declare that Satan is “the god of this world.” He is the present ruler of this evil age. At the end of this age he is seeking to establish absolute control over mankind. He would bring mankind into a dependence where they look to him for all things, including employment, food, shelter, and all of the necessities of life.
How is this being accomplished?
Satan controls the government of this world. He spoke truth when he declared the following to the Son of God.
And he led Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, "I will give You all this domain and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore if You worship before me, it shall all be Yours."
The kingdoms of this world were handed over to Satan by Adam when he bowed in obedience to the serpent in the Garden of Eden. Dependence upon the government for all sustenance is by extension dependence upon Satan. This is an act of usurpation, for it is the will of God that all men look to Him for their sustenance and daily provision.
"For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Do not worry then, saying, "What will we eat?' or "What will we drink?' or "What will we wear for clothing?' For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you."
It is understandable that those who are estranged from the life of Christ should look to the world and its fallen systems to secure those things that are necessary for life. Yet the people of God are to look to the Father in heaven for that which they need. The words of Christ here are very plain. Our heavenly Father already knows we need all these things, and if He takes care of even the smallest birds, will He not also take care of His sons and daughters who look to Him in faith?
At this hour we have been observing two conflicting events occurring simultaneously. The Father has been leading a remnant of His people to look to Him in ever increasing dependence. In 1999 the Spirit of Christ directed me to quit my job as a computer professional and to begin ministering full-time in writing and through the Internet while looking to Him to supply all of the needs of my family.
This was a great trial in many ways, and I had many fears that had to be overcome. Yet as I looked to the Father for all of my needs during the next six years I found Him to never fail us. We never went without food, or shelter, or any of the necessities of life. We were constantly brought to trials where we would certainly suffer lack if He did not come through, but He always came through.
Over time the trials that once terrified me began to lose their power to torment as I learned the faithfulness of God. For the past four years I have been walking alone, while still dependent upon the Father for all things. At times He directed me to work, while at other times He told me to launch out into the deep and look to Him for all things. Since February of this year I have been back in this condition of looking to Him for all things.
I do not broadcast my needs when they arise. I merely share them with the Father, for it is He who has promised to care for me even as He cares for the sparrows. He has proven Himself exceedingly faithful. No, I don’t live as most other Americans. I have no home, no apartment, no place of my own to lay my head (other than the small camper van the Lord provided for me.) I go where the Father directs me to go, and stay where He leads me to stay.
Since February I have spent time in a second step house of a local rescue mission. I stayed for a few weeks with an older Christian gentleman who was led of the Lord to open his home to me. I spent a month camping on either side of the state of Georgia. I spent the summer living out of my van while parked on the property of a downtown rescue mission. I was led to get a membership at a downtown gym where I would shower daily and work out, while riding my bicycle around town to get from place to place. I continued the Internet ministry the Father directed me to by going to a medical library downtown that had free WI-FI, or by sitting in coffee houses and restaurants that had the same.
The Lord then directed me to Fort Wayne, Indiana to minister. A young brother in Christ and his wife graciously opened their home to me. They had a wonderful efficiency apartment in their basement with Internet access, and I was blessed to remain there for two and a half months. The Father then directed me back to Georgia where I spent a few more weeks camping in my van on Jekyll Island. I was then led back to Macon where I am again staying in the home of this older Christian brother who has graciously opened his home to me.
I have correspondence with a number of people who have for years now been led to an unusual dependence upon the Father for all of their needs. Just a couple days ago I heard from a sister in Christ who has walked a similar path all alone. What courage it takes for a single daughter of Christ to follow such a course, but what delight He has when He finds one who will cast all over into His hands! Will He not manifest a much greater grace for those who honor Him with such faith?
This sister spoke of moving around seven times in Florida recently before the Spirit of Christ directed her all the way across the country to Seattle. She travels with all of her possessions in a single large duffel bag, and looks to the Father to provide all she needs. She shared how when the opportunity arrived for her to stay with a friend in Seattle that she had no money. The Spirit directed one person to purchase a plane ticket for her, and another to give her money for travel expenses. How faithful God is to work all things out, and what graciousness is manifested toward His children who are willing to cast all over into His hands at His invitation!
Yet at the same time that Yahweh has been raising up a remnant to stand in faith as they look to Him for all things, Satan has been accomplishing a contrary work in the nations of this world. A tremendous trend is being observed where the people of the world are looking to government in an ever increasing capacity to fulfill every need and to stem every crisis. The word of the year could very well be “Bailout.”
This work has been sudden and persistent. In America the government has entered into areas of society in an unprecedented manner in the history of the nation. First there was the mortgage crisis, and the government has become the holder of the majority of mortgages in the nation as they bailed out Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and a host of major investment banks. Then there was the bailout of AIG, the nation's largest insurance company. Then there was the bank bailout which continues to this hour, with $700 billion pledged to uphold the banking system. The “surprise” turn of events was that the Fed and Treasury changed their declared plans to buy up troubled mortgage assets and instead began buying up bank stock. What a coup this was. In one fell swoop the government gains control of the financial industry and can therefore dictate policy.
Now there is the auto bailout, and one of the largest industries in America has fallen under the control of the government. Millions are additionally looking to the government for food stamps, retirement income, Medicaid and Medicare, and a dizzying array of other needs. America is becoming a society dependent upon the government for all things.
Barack Obama has announced a massive employment program to begin quickly after he takes office. He has pledged to create 3 million jobs. With every new government initiative Satan is drawing mankind to a further dependence upon the beast system of this fallen world. Tragically, multitudes of Christians are falling into this same dependence. Instead of looking to the Father for the supply of their needs, they are looking to the arm of flesh. They are leaning ever more upon government, of which Satan is the world ruler.
In days ahead all Christians will be brought to make a choice. God will call His people to come out of Babylon and flee into the wilderness. The woman of Revelation 12 is the church, and God has a place prepared for her. This experience is foreshadowed in Israel, the church in the wilderness, who looked to God day by day for forty years to supply every necessity of life. He gave them manna from heaven and water from the rock.
Many Christians in coming days will lack courage to depart from Egypt to enter into this wilderness of dependence upon the Father. Their fears will predispose them to lean upon the government of this world to supply their needs, and Satan is already raising up spokesmen from within the church who will tell Christians that this is the Father’s will for them. Men such as Rick Warren, who have mounted up on this beast system will encourage others to do so as well. Woe to those who do so.
And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name.
Then another angel, a third one, followed them, saying with a loud voice, "If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb."
People, what will occur in coming days will not be like that which is fictionalized in books like the Left Behind series. Christians by the millions will be seduced into a dependence upon the world beast system. They will be convinced that looking to government to be able to live, to buy and to sell, is the will of God. False ministers will speak forth convincing words of deception to entrap the masses. And having accomplished the will of Satan, bringing condemnation on themselves, the beast will then turn on these ministers and those who have followed them and devour their flesh. The wrath of God will be poured forth on all those who put their trust in the beast, rather than trusting Him. Only a remnant who have followed Him into a daily dependence for the very sustenance of their lives will be spared the wrath of God.
These things are in the news today. The stage is being set. Are you following a course to a greater dependence upon God, or a greater dependence upon the rulers of this fallen world system? Do not think that it matters not who you are looking to for your provision in this hour. By degrees the people of God are making their choices and sealing the course they will follow in coming days. Patterns of dependence are being established.
Will you entrust yourself to God? Do you see Him as present and faithful? Are you willing to follow wherever He would lead? Will you follow the example of Christ who spoke the following to the one who would be His disciple?
Yahshua said to him, "The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head."
Such a life of dependence upon the Father, and acceptance of whatever he chooses for His children, will be required of all who would follow Christ in coming days. He has been preparing wilderness leaders for years now. Many will be called to embark on the same journey, following carefully the leading of the Spirit even as the Israelites followed the pillar of fire and the cloud. God will lead His people to places that appear barren, devoid of sustenance, but He will cause His supply to fall from heaven and thereby sustain all who set their trust in Him.
May you be blessed with peace and understanding in these days.
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