Friday, October 30, 2009

Sinister Deeds

Joseph Herrin (10-30-09)


Threatening or portending evil, harm, or trouble; ominous.

Sinister is originally a Latin term for left or to the left (and by extension, left-handedness)... It is often used to mean evil.

Left-Handed President

One of the first e-mails I received this morning was a forward of an Internet webpage reporting on a recommendation by the GAO (Government Account Office) that access to the Internet be restricted to the public in the event of a pandemic. The post was given the following headline:
US government report recommends blocking popular websites during pandemic flu outbreak

The actual document published by the GAO can be read at the following link (it is 77 pages in length):

Following is an excerpt from the report:

Concerns exist that a more severe pandemic outbreak than 2009’s could cause large numbers of people staying home to increase their Internet use and overwhelm Internet providers’ network capacities. Such network congestion could prevent staff from broker-dealers and other securities market participants from teleworking during a pandemic. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is responsible for ensuring that critical telecommunications infrastructure is protected.

GAO was asked to examine a pandemic’s impact on Internet congestion and what actions can be and are being taken to address it...

GAO recommends DHS begin planning to address Internet congestion... DHS agreed to address potential congestion for national security and emergency communications...

[End Excerpt]
You Will Know Them By Their Deeds

When dealing with those who are deceivers, it is best to ignore what they say, and watch carefully what they do. Many actions have in recent years and months been initiated which are all described in the most benevolent manner. Each plan put in place is “for the public good.” Yet when the actions are examined apart from the deceitful explanations cited, a very sinister pattern is observed.
A man always has two reasons for what he does -- a good one, and the real one.
JP Morgan

Consider the following government actions, and the repercussions for the citizens of America in coming days.

Just after the events of 911 (September 11, 2001), the Patriot Act was rushed through Congress. This dramatically eroded the protections of citizens from being spied upon by the U.S. government. In each case, these acts have been rushed through speedily, often without the members of Congress even having taken time to read them. The justification given each time has been that these powers are needed in order for the President to protect American citizens from terrorists. This constant fearmongering has been the ruse utilized to change the laws of the nation in preparation for actions against America’s own citizens in days very near at hand.

The Military Commissions Act of 2006 was a step toward establishing draconian rule over the citizens of America. This act, which President George W. Bush assured Americans would never be used against citizens, strips away all constitutional protections from those who are declared to be enemies of the government, or those who aid and abet these enemies in any way.

The Military Commissions Act of 2006 was passed for the following stated purpose. “To authorize trial by military commission for violations of the law of war, and for other purposes.” The Act uses the phrase 'unlawful enemy combatant' which it defines as “a person who has engaged in hostilities or who has purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States...” Although the President assured Americans it would never be used against citizens, Congress has since ruled that the measures apply to all who are defined as ‘unlawful enemy combatants,’ and this includes citizens as well as aliens.

The Military Commissions Act denies the right of habeas corpus to all who are thus designated. This means that a person can be held indefinitely without charges, and without trial. This is currently being done in American military prisons such as the one at Guantanamo. Of all those held, some for as long as six years, only a few have received trials. Jose Padilla was an American citizen who was held in this fashion for three years before he was brought to trial. Padilla contends that during this time he was subjected to sensory deprivation, sleep deprivation and stress positions, all of which would never be permitted to occur to an American citizen under imprisonment carried forth with constitutional protections.

In 2007 the John Warner National Defense Authorization Act included a section titled “Use of Armed Forces in Major Public Emergencies.” This act provides for the use of United States Armed Forces to be used on American soil against American citizens. According to Wikipedia, this act declares the following:

The President may employ the armed forces to restore public order in any State of the United States the President determines hinders the execution of laws or deprives people of a right, privilege, immunity, or protection named in the Constitution and secured by law or opposes or obstructs the execution of the laws of the United States or impedes the course of justice under those laws.

This recent act lays aside the Posse Comitatus Act which forbid the use of the military in actions against U.S. citizens. Posse Comitatus had been the Law in the United States since 1878. Prior to this law change it required an act of Congress in order for such military use, but now this power has been granted to the President.

For the first time in the nation’s history, the Federal Government has positioned American troops on U.S. soil to be used against Americans, training them to handle civil unrest. The President and the Department of Homeland Security will have their own military force in place in readiness for what is soon to occur. I will quote from the publication Army Times.

Brigade homeland tours start Oct. 1
By Gina Cavallaro - Staff writer
Posted : Monday Sep 8, 2008 6:15:06 EDT

The 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team has spent 35 of the last 60 months in Iraq patrolling in full battle rattle, helping restore essential services and escorting supply convoys.

Now they’re training for the same mission — with a twist — at home.

Beginning Oct. 1 for 12 months, the 1st BCT will be under the day-to-day control of U.S. Army North, the Army service component of Northern Command, as an on-call federal response force for natural or manmade emergencies and disasters, including terrorist attacks...

This new mission marks the first time an active unit has been given a dedicated assignment to NorthCom, a joint command established in 2002 to provide command and control for federal homeland defense efforts and coordinate defense support of civil authorities.

After 1st BCT finishes its dwell-time mission, expectations are that another, as yet unnamed, active-duty brigade will take over and that the mission will be a permanent one...

They may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control or to deal with potentially horrific scenarios such as massive poisoning and chaos in response to a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive, or CBRNE, attack.

Training for homeland scenarios has already begun at Fort Stewart...

The 1st BCT’s soldiers also will learn how to use “the first ever nonlethal package that the Army has fielded,” 1st BCT commander Col. Roger Cloutier said, referring to crowd and traffic control equipment and nonlethal weapons designed to subdue unruly or dangerous individuals without killing them...

The package includes equipment to stand up a hasty road block; spike strips for slowing, stopping or controlling traffic; shields and batons; and, beanbag bullets...

“I can’t think of a more noble mission than this,” said Cloutier, who took command in July. “We’ve been all over the world during this time of conflict, but now our mission is to take care of citizens at home ... and depending on where an event occurred, you’re going home to take care of your home town, your loved ones...”

“I don’t know what America’s overall plan is — I just know that 24 hours a day, seven days a week, there are soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines that are standing by to come and help if they’re called,” Cloutier said. “It makes me feel good as an American to know that my country has dedicated a force to come in and help the people at home.”


Note: Army Times has removed the article due to the public alarm it caused.

Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown and Root has been awarded contracts totaling hundreds of millions of dollars to build detention and processing facilities across the United States. KBR also provides police and military services to the Department of Homeland Security. This information was reported in the New York Times. The explanations given for these actions all sound innocuous. It is only when one begins to see a trend developing that things seem other than as they are reported.

One of the first acts of the current 111th Congress (the one currently in session) was to pass legislation to authorize and fund regional detention facilities across the nation. The legislation can be read at the government’s website.

Demise of the Dollar

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On September 7, 2009 the UK newspaper The Telegraph reported that a radical report had come out of the United Nations advocating that the dollar be replaced as the world’s reserve currency.

On October 6th, 2009, various OPEC nations announced that they were going to ditch the U.S. dollar.

On October 12th, 2009, Bloomberg News Service published a story stating that the U.S. dollar had reached a breaking point because central banks were snubbing the dollar and replacing it with euros and yen. Following is an excerpt:

Nations reporting currency breakdowns put 63 percent of the new cash into euros and yen in April, May and June, the latest Barclays Capital data show. That’s the highest percentage in any quarter with more than an $80 billion increase.

World leaders are acting on threats to dump the dollar while the Obama administration shows a willingness to tolerate a weaker currency in an effort to boost exports and the economy as long as it doesn’t drive away the nation’s creditors. The diversification signals that the currency won’t rebound anytime soon after losing 10.3 percent on a trade-weighted basis the past six months, the biggest drop since 1991.

“Global central banks are getting more serious about diversification, whereas in the past they used to just talk about it,” said Steven Englander, a former Federal Reserve researcher who is now the chief U.S. currency strategist at Barclays in New York. “It looks like they are really backing away from the dollar.”

Sliding Share

The dollar’s 37 percent share of new reserves fell from about a 63 percent average since 1999...

America’s currency has been under siege as the Treasury sells a record amount of debt to finance a budget deficit that totaled $1.4 trillion in fiscal 2009 ended Sept. 30...

“The diversification out of the dollar will accelerate,” said Fabrizio Fiorini, a money manager who helps oversee $12 billion at Aletti Gestielle SGR SpA in Milan. “People are buying the euro not because they want that currency, but because they want to get rid of the dollar.


People of God, do you understand what is happening when the Federal government goes into debt $1.4 trillion dollars in one year? This figure offered by the government is actually a deception. The amount of annual debt increase is far greater. Following is an excerpt from the Peter G. Peterson Foundation website.

(Click on image for larger view)

Right now, you are carrying a burden of about $184,000. That is each and every American's share of the US government's approximated $56.4 trillion in current obligations. And every year in which no down payments or reforms are made to these obligations, the total grows by $2 trillion to $3 trillion – or $6,600 to $10,000 per person – on autopilot...

These 2008 figures reveal that every household in America is on the hook for $483,000 dollars that the government has spent beyond its ability to pay. This is why the nations of the world are dumping the dollar. They realize that America’s situation has become untenable. There is no way for her to avoid a massive collapse.

USA Today cites figures that are even higher. In an article from May 29th of this year it reveals that the average personal debt for a household in America, including mortgages, car loans, credit cards and other debt combined is $121,953. The government has quadrupled this amount by saddling every household with an additional $546,668. In just one year, 2008, the government increased the obligation of every taxpayer household by more than $55,000. This exceeds the average household income in America which in 2007 was estimated at $50,000. The federal government is piling on debt faster that Americans are earning money. The entire system is overloaded and must collapse soon.

"We have a huge implicit mortgage on every household in America — except, unlike a real mortgage, it's not backed up by a house," says David Walker, former U.S. comptroller general, the government's top auditor.

USA TODAY used federal data to compute all government liabilities, from Treasury bonds to Medicare to military pensions.

Bottom line: The government took on $6.8 trillion in new obligations in 2008, pushing the total owed to a record $63.8 trillion.


This spending has accelerated in 2009 as trillions of dollars have been funneled into the pockets of an international banking cabal, literally looting the last remaining wealth of America. One day very soon the charade will be over. America’s bankrupt condition will be fully exposed, and the dollar will be rendered absolutely worthless.

Suppose you borrowed $55,000 dollars last year. This was added to the total amount of your wages earned to continue an affluent manner of living. Would the banks loan you an even greater amount the next year, when you are yearly borrowing more than your total earnings? Only a great fool would loan money in such circumstances, and this is why the nations are waking up to the folly of continued investment in American dollars. The dollar must collapse soon.

An internet article ties these actions of creating regional FEMA camps, financial collapse, and the stationing of military troops on American soil together.

Yes, U.S. Officials Are Quietly Preparing for BIG Trouble Ahead

A new report by the Army War College's Strategic Studies Institute states flatly the U.S. military must prepare for "a violent, strategic dislocation inside the United States" that could be provoked by "unforeseen economic collapse" or "loss of functioning political and legal order."

Late last year, The Washington Post noted the incoming Obama Administration is going to "earmark" at least 20,000 troops returning from Iraq to deal with "domestic emergencies." Since then, the Army Times has broken the story that the domestic emergency army unit has been increased to 80,000 troops, who are being trained right now in Georgia.


The imminent collapse of America’s economy is described by the Army War College's Strategic Studies Institute as “unforeseen.” This is an obvious deceit. The pending economic collapse is in full view of the government, the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve, and an international cabal of bankers. The collapse is not only foreseen, it is planned. That civil unrest will result is a foregone conclusion, and therefore great effort is being made by the government to prepare for that which is coming.

Massive Storm Coming

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This brings me back to the story that this article opened with. Why is the government at this time making plans to limit the access that the general population of America has to the Internet? If we will look at the actions of the government, and ignore their words, we will see a clear pattern developing.

The country has intentionally been brought to the point of financial collapse. The average citizen is no longer investing in the Stock Market. It is JP Morgan Chase, Citibank, and the Federal Reserve who are channeling massive amounts of liquidity into the market to give an appearance of a rally. That a “plunge protection team” has been acting covertly to manipulate the markets for years is a matter well publicized.

At the right moment when all is ready, the international bankers will pull the plug on America’s financial system. It will enter into free fall as certainly as the twin towers fell from a great height to be shattered on the ground. The dollar will be devoid of value overnight. Civil unrest will ensue. Martial law will be declared. The troops already stationed and trained will be deployed. Roadblocks will be set-up and travel restricted. The regional FEMA camps established as one of the first acts of the 111th Congress will be fully utilized. Under the guise of a pandemic, the citizens will be restricted from public gatherings. Many will be quarantined to their homes. And to keep any large scale grassroots uprising from occurring, the access Americans will have to the Internet will be carefully controlled.

What should Christians do in anticipation of these things? First, understand the reason that these things are occurring. We do not wrestle against flesh and blood. The kingdom of God will not be established with guns and bullets. America has been given into the hands of evil men because her immense cup of iniquity has become full and demands judgment.

Ezekiel 21:31-32
“And I shall pour out My indignation on you; I shall blow on you with the fire of My wrath, and I shall give you into the hand of brutal men, skilled in destruction. You will be fuel for the fire; your blood will be in the midst of the land.”

America has been given into the hands of wicked men, sinister men. Her wealth is gone. Her riches are moth-eaten.

James 5:1-6
Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries which are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments have become moth-eaten. Your gold and your silver have rusted; and their rust will be a witness against you and will consume your flesh like fire. It is in the last days that you have stored up your treasure! Behold, the pay of the laborers who mowed your fields, and which has been withheld by you, cries out against you; and the outcry of those who did the harvesting has reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. You have lived luxuriously on the earth and led a life of wanton pleasure; you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. You have condemned and put to death the righteous man; he does not resist you.

Neither gold nor guns will save men in the days ahead. I recently shared an event that occurred here while camping with my friend and brother in Christ, Randy Simmons on Jekyll Island. This is the very island on which wealthy men met back in 1910 to lay the plans for the Federal Reserve, the instrument of America’s undoing. Randy went down to the fishing pier and looked across the water toward the mainland. He saw a great storm approaching. God had told informed him through two witnesses to get his house in order. He rushed back and we worked to divert the flood waters that would result from the storm that was approaching. The efforts were effectual, and his tent did not flood.

God has allowed His people to see the signs of the approaching storm. There are very few, however, who are watchful and looking. Far too many are involved in their daily activities, in a pursuit of pleasure, in constant activities, and they go on without noticing the approaching storm.

It is an hour for all men and women to get their spiritual house in order. The only safe place in the coming storm will be “IN CHRIST.” He is a refuge and strength in a time of trouble. He will lead His people as a shepherd through the shadow of the valley of death.

If your hope is in anything else, you will be sorely disappointed. You will find that your house has been built upon the sands, and the results of such folly were clearly revealed last year when Hurricane Ike struck with great fury upon Galveston Island.

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There is a great storm approaching. If you have sin in your life, depart from it quickly. If you have been following the counsel of your own soul, rather than surrendering fully to be led of the Spirit of Christ, repent while there is time. The hour is now very late.

May you be blessed with peace and understanding in these days.

Heart4God Website:
Parables Blog:

Mailing Address:
Joseph Herrin
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Help Lord, I Need Wisdom!

Joseph Herrin (10-28-09)

Every step of the way as I have been writing this series The Marriage Covenant, I have been confessing to the Lord my inadequacy. I did not know where to begin. I still do not know how to end it. There are a myriad of questions that are unresolved in my mind.

I have been asked a number of specific questions concerning what the Father would have His sons and daughters do. Many have transgressed. Some have divorced and remarried before coming to Christ, others after having come to Christ. A number are convicted of their transgression. In the fear of God they want to know what they must do to be found acceptable in His sight.

I suspect most of those who have read this series have not contemplated all of the different questions surrounding these topics. It is usually the naive, or the exceptionally proud, who declare that they know all the answers, contending that they are all clearly given in Scriptures. I must sincerely disagree. Not everything is covered in Scriptures. Even that which is spoken of must be studied and prayed over to assure that one is “rightly dividing the word of God.”

Consider the counsel that Paul gave to the Corinthian church regarding those Christians who were married to unbelievers.

I Corinthians 7:12
But to the rest I say, not the Lord, that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, let him not send her away.

Paul again ventures to give his opinion regarding whether it is preferable to remain single, or to marry.

I Corinthians 7:25-27
Now concerning virgins I have no command of the Lord, but I give an opinion as one who by the mercy of the Lord is trustworthy. I think then that this is good in view of the present distress, that it is good for a man to remain as he is. Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be released. Are you released from a wife? Do not seek a wife.

Paul was raised in the strictest sect of his people. He was a pharisee among pharisees. Paul was trained in the school of Gamaliel, a revered leader among the Jews. Paul knew the Scriptures.

Yet there were topics in which the Scriptures were silent, and in which Paul had received no command from the Lord either by the Spirit, through a vision, or by other means of revelation. If there were some sure statement from the Lord, or a clear answer provided in the Bible, surely Paul would have been familiar with it.

I have found that there are many questions that are not addressed with clarity in the word of God. As I ponder these things I am continually brought to confess to the Father, “I am not adequate for these things.” I fear to give an opinion lest I should counsel people in a manner contrary to the will and desire of God. Daily I find myself declaring to the Father my dependence upon Him to guide and direct me. I am reminded of the words of the apostle Paul.

II Corinthians 3:5-6
Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

I could study the letter and derive some conclusion based upon imperfect revelation that would lead away from truth and life. Only in perceiving the mind of God through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us are we assured that those things we declare will result in life. Many times I have reminded the Father of His promise in the book of James.

James 1:5
But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

There are many doctrines and teachings in which I have not yet apprehended the mind of the Father. There are many subjects of which I will not venture to give an opinion. When I was younger I was quicker to speak, but age and experience have taught me to practice restraint.

Yesterday I completed laying the foundation of this teaching on the marriage covenant. When I began writing I had no idea the direction I would head in. Many of the revelations shared were not known to me before the Father had me write on this topic. Each day I did not know what would come forth. I had no idea in my mind that there would be ten chapters (Introduction included) and seven foundation stones laid thus far. Yet, ten is the number of ordinal perfection, and seven is the number of divine perfection. Discussing the topic of our glorious union with Christ strikes me as a wonderful way to complete the foundation.

But where to go from here? What has been shared thus far is revelation. It has contained an unveiling of the parables contained in the blood covenant; in the design of the physical body; in the life being in the blood; in the rites of betrothal; and in the sexual union. What has been presented reveals the holy design of marriage, the great value of a woman’s virginity, and the spiritual mysteries foreshadowed in the physical relationship between a man and his wife. Transgression has been shown to be exceedingly wicked in the eyes of a holy God.

It is my hope that the marriage union, and the act of sexual intercourse, will be esteemed as holy by those who have understood these things. From the e-mail responses I have received I have observed that a number of saints have come to abhor their own lack of sexual purity. Some men have been delivered of a spirit of lust as they have observed the holiness of that which God has designed. Fear to trespass against such holy things has gripped some. These responses are exceedingly good, yet there remain many questions to be answered.

I confess to you my inadequacy in answering all questions regarding divorce and remarriage. There are some things that are exceedingly plain.

God hates divorce!

Malachi 2:16
"For I hate divorce," says Yahweh, the God of Israel...

Adulterers and fornicators will not enter the kingdom of heaven!

I Corinthians 6:9-10
Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

If a man divorces his wife for any reason other than sexual impurity he causes her to commit adultery, and the one who marries her commits adultery.

Matthew 5:32
I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for the cause of sexual impurity, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

If a Christian woman leaves her Christian husband, she must remain single, or be restored to her husband. A Christian man must not put away his Christian wife.

I Corinthians 7:10-11
But to the married I give instructions, not I, but the Lord, that the wife should not leave her husband (but if she does leave, let her remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband), and that the husband should not send his wife away.

These things are evident, and the Spirit bears witness. Yet there are some things I am not so sure about.

People of God, I am encouraged to note that the fear of God is coming upon a remnant of His people. The hour is late and Christ is soon to return. Some are in agony concerning whether they might be rejected at His appearing due to their rebellion, selfish ways and uncleanness. Yet there are some questions I cannot yet answer with authority.

We do not need to apprehend the Scriptures with our natural mind. We need the wisdom of God that comes by His Spirit. “The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” It is the Spirit who was given to lead us into all truth.

John 16:13
However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak...

At times the revelation of God tarries. Daniel was given a vision, and he was exceedingly anxious to understand it. He gave himself to fasting and prayer, though he was an old man. Twenty-one days he fasted until the angelic messenger arrived to declare the interpretation to him.

Do I desire to know the mind and counsel of God as badly ad Daniel? Do you? The angel declared that Daniel was “highly esteemed” in the eyes of God. Daniel loved truth, and he longed to know the mind of God. Perhaps it will require much fasting and prayer on my part before I am able to receive the answers to the many questions upon my heart.

If you find that there are things you need to know clearly; if you have transgressed in the area of divorce and remarriage, I urge you to press in to know the truth. There is an eternal weight of glory on the line. Do not accept the word of some minister, or some Bible teaching you have come across on the Internet. Press in to know the mind and will of God for yourself. You are the one who will have to answer to Yahweh for the life you lived.

It is because the saints of God have not feared God, nor have they loved righteousness, but have lived carelessly, that the church is so filled with fornication, adultery, divorce and remarriage in this hour. It will only be a return to the fear of God that will restore His people to the paths of righteousness.

II Corinthians 7:1
Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

I have asked the Christian brother who is managing the Heart4God website for me to post the chapters written thus far in The Marriage Covenant. I am waiting on the Father to know the conclusion of this matter. I very much desire your prayers that wisdom, revelation and understanding might be granted to me. As the Father makes clear His mind to me, I will strive to faithfully set forth that which I receive.

May you be blessed with peace and understanding in these days.

Heart4God Website:
Parables Blog:

Mailing Address:
Joseph Herrin
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Foundation Stone Seven - Glorious Union

Joseph Herrin (10-27-09)

Note: This post continues the series on The Marriage Covenant. It is recommended to read these posts together and in order. They can all be located at the following links:

Foundation Stone Seven - Glorious Union

What if it were the Father’s plan to so fill mankind with His own holy, omnipotent and omniscient presence that it became impossible to tell where He ended and where we began? Suppose that in a moment of time we became so infused with the divine life that it was like a high voltage electric current filled us with the same power that fuels a trillion stars. Try to envision for a moment that the vitality you now experience as the life of God glows within you was suddenly fanned into the brilliance of a million suns shining in their strength. Imagine suddenly, in an instant, having your mental capacity expanded to understand all mysteries and to contain all knowledge in such a way that even Solomon’s experience would be eclipsed as but the smallest foreshadowing of things to come.

Such an experience is not hyperbole, nor vain imagination. In truth, these words do not come near describing that which the Father has planned for His sons and daughters. Consider the following testimony of Scriptures.

I John 3:2
Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that, when [Christ] appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is.

Romans 8:29
For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren...

I Corinthians 15:49
And just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.

Philippians 3:20-21
For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Yahshua Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory...

From the very beginning of creation Yahweh set a plan in motion to create beings after His image, and in His likeness. It was four thousand years before the first man appeared who would fulfill this prophetic declaration of the Father. The first Adam could not say, “He who has seen me has seen the Father.” It was not until Christ walked this earth that a man appeared who could make this statement.

Yet the glory of Christ while He was on this earth was veiled. There were moments when it was glimpsed, as was revealed on the mount of transfiguration.

Matthew 17:1-2
And six days later Yahshua took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and brought them up to a high mountain by themselves. And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light.

Christ walked in the power of God, but it too was hidden under the appearance of earthly flesh, waiting to break out to the astonishment of those around.

Luke 7:12-16
Now as He approached the gate of the city, behold, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow; and a sizeable crowd from the city was with her. And when the Lord saw her, He felt compassion for her, and said to her, "Do not weep." And He came up and touched the coffin; and the bearers came to a halt. And He said, "Young man, I say to you, arise!" And the dead man sat up, and began to speak. And Yahshua gave him back to his mother. And fear gripped them all, and they began glorifying God, saying, "A great prophet has arisen among us!" and, "God has visited His people!"

What astonishment must have gripped this people. The Scriptures describe their reaction as fear. How could such a thing be comprehended? One who appears as an ordinary, impotent man, suddenly manifests the power of resurrection life. How can a man speak a word and the dead be raised? The people said truly, “God has visited His people.”

Even though the power Christ manifested caused great fear among the people, it was merely a token of the power at His command. There was a far greater glory and power that belonged to Him. For a season He laid it aside, but when He departed this world at His ascension to the heavens He took it up again.

Philippians 2:5-11
Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Yahshua, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Yahshua every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Yahshua Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

The apostle John walked with the Son of God when Yahshua bore the image of man. John loved Christ, being the most intimate with him, yet He never imagined the greatness of the glory that once belonged to his beloved Master, and which would be His again.

While exiled on the isle of Patmos John had a revelation of the resurrected Christ. He describes Him as follows:

Revelation 1:12-17
And I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands; and in the middle of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His breast with a golden girdle. And His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire; and His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been caused to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters. And in His right hand He held seven stars; and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength. And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as a dead man.

The revelation of the glorified Christ was so great that all strength left John’s body. He was overcome by the magnificence of Christ’s appearing. John fell down as if dead, his sinful flesh being unable to arise in the presence of such holiness, power, and glory.

Yet, the awesome truth, incredible in its comprehension, is that this same glorious appearance is to be shared with the victorious saints of God. This is what John wrote in his first epistle. “We shall be like Him!” This is what Paul testifies in the following words:

Romans 8:18-19
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed in us. For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God.

Paul writes also of the power we are to experience in the coming ages. Paul walked in moments of great power, where astounding works were performed by his hands, as testified in the book of Acts.

Acts 19:11-12
And God was performing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that handkerchiefs or aprons were even carried from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out.

The apostle knew that, as awesome as such experiences were, they were only a foretaste of the powers to be experienced by the saints in the coming ages.

Hebrews 6:4-5
For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come...

Peter also wrote of that glory which is to come.

I Peter 4:13
To the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing; so that also at the revelation of His glory, you may rejoice with exultation.

And Paul again writes of this glory of Christ that the saints are to share.

II Corinthians 4:17
For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison...

Colossians 3:4
When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.

People of God, being revealed with Christ “in glory” is not a location, it is an experience. It is the fulfillment of that which Christ prayed in His high priestly prayer recorded by John.

John 17:22
"And the glory which You have given Me I have given to them...”

In a single moment of time mankind will be transformed, but each in his own order. The first to experience this glorious conformity to Christ will be the overcomers. Isaiah prophesies of the glory of God arising upon His people.

Isaiah 60:1-3
"Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of Yahweh has risen upon you. For behold, darkness will cover the earth, and deep darkness the peoples; but Yahweh will rise upon you, and His glory will appear upon you. And nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.”

Who can comprehend what this experience will be like? Yet a greater marvel is revealed in how it will come about.

Some have imagined that they will simply receive an enduement of power, that their old body will be replaced with a new incorruptible body, an immortal tabernacle not made with hands. These things are true, but there is something far greater to occur. The transformation will come about through the process of entering into a fullness of union with Christ.

John 17:20-22
"I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one...

Right now we have been given a measure of the Spirit of Christ, but we are to receive the Spirit beyond measure.

Ephesians 1:13-14
You were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God's own possession, to the praise of His glory.

When a man gives a woman an engagement ring, he is setting his seal upon her. He is giving her a token of some value as a pledge of greater things to come. Though they are engaged, the hour is to arrive when the man will give himself fully to the woman. The two will become one flesh. The members of his body will become her members, and vice versa. Everything he possesses will belong to the woman.

(This reveals the corruption of those men and women who enter into pre-nuptial agreements. They are refusing to give themselves fully and without any reservations to the one to whom they are entering into a marriage covenant.)

Christ has given His betrothed a pledge in the form of the indwelling Holy Spirit. This present limited experience of the Spirit, as precious as it is, will one day give way to the glorious fullness of union with Christ. The Spirit will be given without measure.

If we would understand the holiness of sexual intercourse, we must perceive how God has designed the physical union of the man and the woman to serve as a parable of the spiritual union between Christ and His people. Repeatedly, the Scriptures reveal that these two forms of union are given as types and shadows of one another.

I Corinthians 6:16-17
Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a harlot is one body with her? For He says, "The two will become one flesh." But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him.

Ephesians 5:31-32
For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.

Every detail of the physical union of the man and woman is given as a parable of the spiritual union that is to be experienced by the Bride of Christ. God designed the physical union so that it is accompanied by tremendous physical sensations of pleasure and joy. This is a foreshadowing of that glorious spiritual union to be experienced in Christ.

Psalms 16:11
In Your presence is fulness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

In the act of sexual union the man and woman are brought face to face. The King James Bible often speaks of sexual union as “the man KNEW his wife.” We see the same language employed when describing the fullness of spiritual union that is yet to appear between Christ and His church.

I Corinthians 13:12-13
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I shall know fully just as I also have been fully known.

In the act of physical intercourse the man enters the woman. This is with purpose and design, for Christ is to enter His people and fill them. The result will be a rapturous bliss of which the physical union provides only a small foretaste. Paul never writes with such rapture and prophetic joy as he does when he describes the glorious union of Christ and His church.

Ephesians 3:14-19
For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man; so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fulness of God.

Undoubtedly, some will take offense at comparing the physical union of the man and woman to the spiritual union of Christ and His people. Yet, Yahweh clearly intended one to stand as a symbol and revelation of the other. Our problem is that we live in a perverse society that has transformed that which was designed to be holy into a promiscuous, adulterous, fornicating, cesspool of indecency.

I would raise the vision of the people of God to see the holiness with which Yahweh has adorned the physical union of a man and his wife. Can anything be more righteous than the spiritual union of Christ and His people? Should we not then guard with jealousy that physical union that is given as a type and shadow of that which is most holy?

The apostle Paul declares that the man and woman become “one flesh,” but the one joined to Christ becomes “one spirit with Him.” I urge you to reflect upon this for a moment.

Consider that the day will come when Christ will approach His bride. He will say, “The time has come for us to become fully one in spirit. Before I have given you a pledge of this union. Now I will give Myself fully to you. All you must do is receive.” In doing so, everything that pertains to Christ will enter into His people. His omnipotent power; His omniscient mind; His fathomless glory; His indestructible life; all that He possesses will in a moment be infused into His people. The experience will be indescribable joy.

The apostle Paul declares, “We shall know fully, even as we have been fully known.” There will be no more veil. Is this not the message of the virgin’s veil. She has seen things as through a veil, but the veil will be removed. The veil is symbolically removed by the Bridegroom during the wedding ceremony. It is removed in substance when the hymen is torn and the man enters into his virgin bride. We too will have the veil that has covered our eyes removed when we experience a complete spiritual union with Christ. We will see as He sees. We will know as He knows. We will be one.

Can you not sense the deficiency of your current union with Christ? We struggle to know His thoughts. We see through a veil darkly. We wrestle with perplexity and confusion. We desire to have power to open blind eyes and unstop deaf ears. We yearn to raise those who are spiritually dead. We experience that which Paul described in the following words:

Romans 8:22-23
For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.

We presently have “the firstfruits of the Spirit.” We do not have the fulness of the harvest. We have the pledge of that which is to come, but we have yet to enter into its abundance.

This precious pledge we have received is further constrained by this sinful flesh. Oh, to be delivered from this body of death. We are like a chick struggling to emerge from the shell. We are like the newly formed butterfly seeking to break free of the cocoon. We can taste the things to come, and we yearn to enter into the fulness, but the struggle continues. We are not yet free.

An hour is coming when Christ will complete the work He has begun. At His next appearing He will finish the salvation He started. He will deliver His overcomers from all that is hindering them and holding them back.

Hebrews 9:28
Even so it is that Christ, having been offered to take upon Himself and bear as a burden the sins of many once and once for all, will appear a second time, not to carry any burden of sin nor to deal with sin, but to bring to full salvation those who are [eagerly, constantly, and patiently] waiting for and expecting Him.
[Amplified Bible]

This will be the moment of our ecstatic and glorious union. It is no wonder that those who stand with Christ on Mount Zion will sing a new song (Revelation 14:3). The praise will not be able to be contained. The glories of the Son of God, revealed IN HIS PEOPLE must be given voice.

Let us now make this very practical. This teaching series is presented to promote understanding of God’s mind as it pertains to sexual purity, the marital union, divorce and remarriage.

Seeing that we have been betrothed to Christ, and have received His pledge, should we not be looking forward with great anticipation to that full spiritual union that lies ahead? We should be like a virgin betrothed, waiting expectantly for the appearing of her bridegroom.

Will the one who has been sealed with the Holy Spirit and who is promised to freely receive everything that belongs to Christ, then pursue other lovers while they await the return of the Bridegroom? Can we not all put aside the pursuit of all that competes for our affection for this brief season of our lives? Can we not hold in our hearts a passion and desire for Christ, during this season in which He has gone away to prepare a habitation for us in which we might dwell together as one? It is this fervent love and longing for Christ that Yahshua speaks of to the church of Ephesus.

Revelation 2:4
“But I have this against you, that you have left your first love.”

Will not Christ reject all those who have been betrothed to Him as a pure virgin, when He discovers their lack of chastity? The wait for His appearing may be long; the days may seem wearisome, and the trials unending; yet, should not the delay make the anticipation of His appearing all the more precious in our sight?

We must guard against weariness. Let us stir ourselves up by reminding ourselves of that glorious union that has been promised to all who look with longing to His appearing.

People of God, if we are espoused to Christ, we must live in expectancy of His return for His Bride. What would a man think of his virgin to whom he has given his pledge, if in his departure she began acting promiscuously, giving herself to many other lovers, unwilling to wait for the moment of pleasure when her Bridegroom should appear? Would not that man be righteously indignant? Would he not give to her a writing of divorce and declare to her, “Depart from Me, I never knew you.” Truly, she will not be known to Him, nor He to her, for she played the harlot.

Many in the church today are living in an unchaste manner. They say they belong to Christ. They may even make a spectacle of showing off the evidence of their betrothal by flashing around the gifts of the Holy Spirit, but their hearts are lusting after many other things. They love the world and the things in it. Such ones may expect that Christ will sweep them off their feet and carry them away to heaven, but they are deceived. Their portion will be weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. They will be assigned a portion with the unbelievers. The door will be shut before them, and they will be unable to enter into the marriage feast. They will not know the full and glorious union of the Son of God that could have been their portion.

This spiritual adultery is paralleled in the physical lives of God’s people. The church today is rife with fornication, with adultery, with divorce and remarriage. Multitudes are acting out physically the condition of the church spiritually. They are unchaste.

God intended the marriage union to symbolize the union of Christ and His Bride. How many have turned that symbol of holiness into something unholy?

If you have sinned in this matter, do not hesitate to repent before God. Seek Him with the deepest fear and humility lest you discover at His appearing that He has not come for you.

There is a promised holy and glorious union that will be consummated at the next appearance of Christ. Let the Bride make herself ready. Do not delay, Soon a voice will be heard from the heavenly realms.

Revelation 21:3-4
And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He shall dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be among them, and He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.

A glorious union is set before those who have made themselves ready. John sums up the matter well:

I John 3:3
And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

Heart4God Website:
Parables Blog:

Mailing Address:
Joseph Herrin
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Island Experience

Joseph Herrin (10-23-09)

Occasionally someone will write to me expressing concern that I do not have a home, but spend my days camping. I suppose that to many people, living in a tent, a van, or a small camper appears as a hardship, but I have found a great contentment and peace in following the leading of the Spirit down these paths.

In 1999 the Spirit indicated that I was to leave my job as a computer professional and follow Him. He led me to begin a ministry of writing, and I found that my former manner of living had to be laid aside in order to follow Christ.

While working as a computer professional I earned a good salary. I had a home, furnishings, and many material goods. I considered these things to be the blessings of God, though many of them were actually obtained by pursuing the desires of my soul, rather than at the direction of the Spirit of Christ.

Christ spoke much on the topic of our relationship to the goods of this world. He stated the following to His disciples.

Matthew 6:19-21
"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

Christ knows that we have certain needs while we live on this earth. We need our daily bread to survive. We also need some cover from the elements, for mankind is not a particularly hardy creature. Man was not born with a fur coat, or a shell on his back. We do have some basic needs.

God wants us to be satisfied to have these basic needs met. He wants us to be content with the necessities, while pursuing the true riches that are in Christ. This was also the testimony of the apostles.

I Timothy 6:6-8
Godliness actually is a means of great gain, when accompanied by contentment. For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. And if we have food and covering, with these we shall be content.

I am not only content with the food and covering the Father has provided for me, I consider myself greatly blessed.

(Click on image for larger picture)

I was blessed to have my friend and brother in Christ, Randy Simmons join me for a few weeks here on Jekyll Island. He returned to Macon a few days ago, so I moved to the site pictured above. My daughter also visited for four days, which was a wonderful experience. We took bike rides together, and played putt-putt golf. We also had many good talks, and enjoyed the beauty of Yahweh’s creation.

Kristin at Driftwood Beach
(Click on image for larger picture)

Here is another shot of my daughter at this beautiful location.

(Click on image for larger picture)

The material things we possess in this world are not our true riches. I find that when I have less of the goods of this world, I appreciate more the things that are truly important. Time spent with a loved one, a conversation with a friend, and especially fellowship with God who created all things. I do desire that I would grow more and more in a loving dependence upon, and joyful relationship to, the One who created me and then purchased me back from the dominion of sin and Satan at the cost of the precious blood of His Son.

Having much of this world’s goods can impede the development of relationship to God. We find ourselves devoting much time to work to pay for all our possessions. We become enslaved to safeguarding what we have, maintaining all we possess lest it deteriorate, and spending much time focused upon things of the earth. If we had fewer possessions, we would have much greater freedom.

Luke 12:15
And He said to them, "Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions."

True life is not found in the accumulation of things. Indeed, this accumulation can keep us from discovering the riches of the one true source of life. Christ declared that He was the life, and in Him was the life of men. I once thought that Christ was asking much of the young man who had great possessions when He spoke to him the following words:

Luke 18:22
"One thing you still lack; sell all that you possess, and distribute it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me."

It seemed to me for many years that Christ was asking this man to sacrifice much. Lately, I have considered that Christ was actually seeking to lead this young man to the discovery of something much greater; treasures in heaven that his earthly possessions were hindering him from attaining. Yahweh is our great treasure. King David understood this. He wrote:

Psalms 16:5-6
Yahweh is the portion of my inheritance and my cup;
Thou dost support my lot.
The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;
Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me.

David compares his inheritance in God to the earthly inheritance of Israel when they cast lots to see which tribe would receive the various portions of the land. David is declaring that when his lot was cast, he received the chief portion, for Yahweh was his inheritance. David’s inheritance is altogether pleasant. Indeed, it is beautiful to him.

I once owned a house on an acre of land in town. I had some measure of fellowship with God, but not to the degree that I experience today. As I have released the things of this world, I have found that my attention is drawn more and more to the presence of God. I have fewer things to distract my devotion.

Day by day, I thank God for His blessing. I am free to awake in the morning and spend time with the One who created the heavens and the earth. I have much liberty to attend to that ministry He has appointed to me. As I travel about the island on my bicycle I find myself expressing praise to God for the beauty He has revealed in His creation. I am grateful for simple pleasures, such as a bike ride along a shady path.

Portion of Jekyll Island Bike Trail
(Click on image for larger picture)

When we spend less time hidden inside of our possessions, we are able to observe more of that which is around us.

The Hidden Pathway
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I observed the hidden path pictured above as I rode my bike down a deserted stretch of beach. I was drawn in, and walked down to the gate, turned around, and took the following photo.

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We serve an awesome God. I do not always get to spend time in such idyllic surroundings. I recently spent three years at an inner city rescue mission. An entire year of this time was spent living in a dorm with more than 30 men who were in an alcohol and drug recovery program. Yet, there is peace and contentment to be found even in such a place as that. The joy is knowing that we are where our Father desires us to be, and we are doing what He has called us to do. The channels of fellowship are open, for we are surrendered vessels before Him, looking to Yahweh to fill us up with His presence.

I have to show you one little guy I encountered on a bike ride on a rainy day. He came out to rest himself on the cool, wet pavement.

(Click on image for larger picture)

This alligator was about two feet long. He did not seem bothered by my presence, and I was not bothered by his. We met, and then parted.

Some may wonder at the cost of living as I do, staying in campgrounds. It is the off-season here on the island, and the cost of a month’s stay is $450. This includes electricity, water, sewer, cable, and free Wi-Fi. I don’t have a television, so I don’t use the cable, and I have my own Wi-Fi account with my phone provider, so these features are not used. When I am in Middle Georgia I am able to camp with the same accommodations for $325 a month.

There was a scribe who came to Yahshua one day saying that he wanted to be His disciple. Yahshua responded as follows:

Matthew 8:20
"The foxes have holes , and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head."

When Christ called me to a ministry of writing, He too led me away from the security and comfort of having my own home. There have been some truly difficult places that I have had to pass through. There has been a cross to bear, and much loss to be borne, but my heart is at peace. I am a blessed man. I know where my treasure is, and neither thief nor moth nor rust can touch it.

Just Me

May you be blessed with peace and understanding in these days.

Heart4God Website:
Parables Blog:

Mailing Address:
Joseph Herrin
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Understanding Faith and Healing

Joseph Herrin (Updated 10-22-2009)

A teaching on this topic was first posted in 2000 after I had observed a brother in Christ go through a horrendous experience that caused him to question his faith in Christ. This man had a sister whose husband was diagnosed with cancer and was not expected to live much longer. This brother in Christ persuaded his sister, her husband, and their children, that they needed to begin claiming the promises of Scripture that are often cited as universal promises of healing. In particular, the following verse is often taken in this way and repeated often by those who desire to be healed.

Isaiah 53:5
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

I do believe in divine healing. I have been the recipient of it, as have members of my family. Our experiences were unusual and profound, and it was very evident that Yahweh had intervened in our lives. However, some saints have erred, often to their extreme hurt, by assuming that certain Scriptures can be understood as promising healing in every situation as long as certain criteria are met. These criteria are often listed as having faith to believe certain Biblical promises, and confessing sin which may have led to the sickness.

The brother that I mentioned, who was interpreting these Scriptures in this manner, was devastated when his brother-in-law died of cancer. As a consequence of this there was a great rift between himself and his sister’s family. In addition, this brother was greatly cast down in his spirit, and began to doubt the testimony of Scriptures and his own faith in God.

Since that time I have observed others who have experienced even deeper heartache, including parents watching their precious 11 year old daughter die as they were looking to God for healing for a condition that was easily treatable. The fear that must have assailed these parent’s hearts as they watched their child’s health decline, the profound confusion and perplexity when she was not healed, and the agony of the following widespread condemnation coupled with their own doubts and thoughts of guilt and loss, have driven me to pray for them on a number of occasions. These experiences also have driven me to set forth this teaching on faith and healing, that others might be spared unnecessary sorrow and suffering.

I updated this teaching 16 months ago, including some accounts from the news that revealed examples of “faith healing” gone awry. I am updating this teaching once more, as one of the parties involved found the presence of his name being mentioned as a teacher of an erroneous faith doctrine to be offensive. I am satisfied that he has read this teaching, but saddened that its message was rejected. I present it here for those who want to know what the Bible declares concerning the matter of divine healing. I invite all who read these words to test them. Examine the carefully, and look to the Word of God to prove this matter while inviting the Spirit of Christ to guide you into all truth.

Guided by What?

Much of the error in understanding faith today comes from the church having departed from a Spirit-led life. Today the church knows very little of being led of the Spirit in all things. The church is predominantly led by their own souls, though they will at times search the Scriptures to find verses to guide their decisions.

Please hear me very clearly in this: Christians are not to be Scripture led, they are to be Spirit led.

In making this statement, I am in no way denigrating the value of the Scriptures. All of my teachings are founded upon the authority of Scriptures, and this teaching here will include a great many passages from the Bible. The Scriptures are an excellent source of discerning doctrine, and for discovering the general principles of the Kingdom of God.

II Timothy 3:16-17
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

The Scriptures are profitable for equipping the man of God. Let me give an analogy to illustrate the role of the Scriptures.

A man is hired to perform a very technical job in a field that he has no experience in. The business owner has deemed the man to be a good candidate for the job, as he has an excellent spirit about him. The owner is therefore willing to invest in his training. The owner provides the man with a training manual that reveals to him the entire process of manufacturing the product that they sell. The manual covers everything, from the very beginning, through all the stages of production, to the finished product.

The man is encouraged to study the manual carefully, seeking to comprehend the methods of his employer. The man is also told that once he begins his job, he can keep the manual to pull it out to be used as a reference when he needs to understand something.

The day comes when the business owner assigns the man his first task. Although the man has studied the manual, he still needs to receive instruction in his duties, for every employee in the operation has a specific function to fulfill. These functions must be coordinated by management, to insure that everything is working harmoniously, and that nothing is being neglected. At times the employees will also be given changes of assignment, and will be called upon to produce specialty items. The details of these things are not spoken of in the manual. They must be conveyed through management.

Production is also effected by market conditions, and at times there will even be times when production is halted, and other times when production is increased. The owner ultimately controls all of these matters, and the employees must stay in constant contact with him through his managers to discern his will.

In this illustration the manual is a symbol of the Bible, the business owner is God, and the management is the Holy Spirit. In our lives, we have been given the Scriptures to instruct and equip us, but we must daily be guided by the Holy Spirit in that which we do. The Holy Spirit is able to interrupt our normal routine and reveal that He has something different for us to do today. He must also often give us precise instructions to know how to carry out some work of the Father.

There are seasons when God will increase the manifestation of His divine power, and other times when He will diminish it. These things are determined by His own counsel, and we must always remain in communication with Him.

As an example of this last point, let me cite two Scriptures:

Jeremiah 5:24
"Let us now fear Yahweh our God, who gives rain in its season, both the autumn rain and the spring rain, who keeps for us the appointed weeks of the harvest."

There are seasons in God’s work with mankind. In the early days of the church they experienced the early rains, and manifestations of divine power were common. Following this came a long period of relative dryness, where occasional showers of the power of God were manifested to revive the church and keep the crop alive. In the last days there will be poured out the latter rains to prepare the people of God for harvest (resurrection).

We must understand that it is Yahweh who chooses the times and seasons, and He has also determined the manifestation of His Spirit among His people. Even Christ had to remain submitted to the decision of the Father to know when He was to manifest healing among the people.

Luke 5:17
And it came about one day that He was teaching; and there were some Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting there, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem; and the power of the Lord was present for Him to perform healing.

This statement “and the power of the Lord was present for [Yahshua] to perform healing” reveals that the power to do so was not a constant thing. Even the Son of God had to submit to the Father’s counsel and will in healing others. So too must we. We must ever be sensitive to what God is doing, and not assume that the Scriptures provide us with carte blanche control over this matter. We are not to live independently of Yahweh. We are ever to be abiding in Christ as we walk by the Spirit. We will see that the apostles themselves found that there were seasons when the power of God was present to heal all who came to them, while there were other times when they could not heal even their closest associates.

We can understand many things generally through the Scriptures, but we must be led by the Spirit in all things.

Romans 8:14
For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

Galatians 5:16
But I say, walk by the Spirit...

Some Christians want to be led by Law, rather than by the Spirit. They seek to condense every conceivable occurrence and life decision into a systematic theology of principles and precepts that will tell them what to do in every situation. The Bible was not given for such a purpose. Before the Spirit was given to indwell man, God did shepherd His people with the Law for a period of time. The Law acted as their schoolmaster, but it was not given until man had been on the earth 2,500 years. The Law performed its role of revealing the righteousness of God for 1,500 years, having its role diminished when the promised Messiah came and sent His Spirit to indwell mankind.

Galatians 3:24-25
Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.

This temporal tutor told the people of God what they could do, and what they could not do. When the Spirit of Christ was given, God no longer desired for His people to remain under the schoolmaster’s dominion. This dominion was transferred to the Holy Spirit.

Galatians 5:18
But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.

The Law was imperfect in a number of ways. Primarily, it was not able to impart to man the divine life needed to attain to the righteousness of God.

Galatians 3:21
For if a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law.

However, one great limitation of the Law is that it is general, rather than specific. The Law may tell a man what type of woman he may marry (not an unbeliever), but it cannot tell the man which woman God would have him to marry, or even if it is Yahweh’s will for him to marry. Thousands of such examples could be given, and we can see the truth of this matter as we observe that the Law was spoken of as a shadow, but life in Christ by the Spirit is declared to be the substance.

Colossians 2:16-17
Therefore let no one act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day - things which are a shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ.

In the Spirit we have something that is much fuller, much more substantial, much more able to reveal the mind of God in every way, than the shadow of the Law was able to do. When Christ appeared, He fully revealed God. To see Christ was to see the Father. The Law only revealed the shadow of God’s nature.

Christ told His disciples that it was better that He go away that He might send His Spirit to indwell them. This was even a greater manifestation of God’s presence, mind, and power to man. God need not be understood through the physical senses as the disciples understood Christ and through Him discerned the Father. They could receive His Spirit inside them, and find that Christ’s mind was now their mind, and the very thoughts of God were revealed to their newborn spirit with a precision and specificity that the Law could never accomplish.

I Corinthians 2:11-16
For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man, which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words... he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no man. For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he should instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.

Revealing the very specific will of the Father is a role the Spirit is well able to accomplish. The Spirit could tell the apostle Paul not only that he was appointed as a witness of Christ, but the Spirit could direct Paul’s steps to those precise people Yahweh desired for Paul to testify to. Doors were shut, others were opened. Visions were given, Prophecies were spoken. The mind of Christ was comprehended. Paul, being filled with the Spirit was able to declare in truth, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.”

This very substantial union of God and man has ever been the Father’s desire. He does not want man to be independent of Him, operating from a book that speaks of His ways. He has desired from man’s creation to indwell man. Man was created to be a temple, but man had to await the time for the Spirit to be given.

Even in the Old Testament, before the Law was given, we find that Yahweh would guide men very precisely by His Spirit. Abraham is called “the father of faith,” and as our topic is understanding faith, let us look at the example of his life.

What is Faith?

We can discern something very important about the character of faith from an examination of Abraham’s life. Faith always consists of two parts: a word from God, and a response of trusting obedience. Because many Christians have adopted a pattern of being Scripture led, rather than Spirit led, they do not wait to receive a word from God. Consequently, they have no foundation out of which faith might arise.

Genesis 12:1-4
Now Yahweh said to Abram, "Go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father's house, to the land which I will show you; and I will make you a great nation... So Abram went forth as Yahweh had spoken to him.

Abraham heard a word from God, and he responded with trusting obedience. God credited the faith of Abraham to him as righteousness. Faith comes out of hearing. Yahweh had to speak something to Abraham in order for faith to arise.

Consider for a moment that Abraham did not choose to leave Ur of the Chaldees, or Haran, at his own initiative. Faith does not originate in the thoughts of a man. Faith ALWAYS originates in a word from God. Consider how this is revealed in another event from the life of Abraham.

Genesis 22:1-3
Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham, and said to him, "Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am." And He said, "Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah; and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you." So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him and Isaac his son; and he split wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.

Yahweh once more appeared to Abraham, giving him specific instructions. Abraham responded in faith. If there had been no word from God, there would have been no possibility of faith being present. Abraham did not have to wonder, “Does God want me to do this?” Abraham had heard God give him specific instructions and Abraham responded in trusting obedience.

How many Christians have been tormented because they were not sure they had heard God speak? How many have heard some man tell them that they needed to take a group of scriptures and stand on them, but they had no specific word from God relating to their circumstance? It is difficult to have any confidence in a matter, especially when our senses and circumstances are warring against us, unless we have received a clear word from God.


Romans 10:17
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word (rhema) of God.

The expression “faith comes by hearing” is not translated literally into English here. The word “by” is a translation of the Greek word “ek” which literally means “out.” It is more accurate to translate this statement as “faith comes out of hearing.” In other words, faith must have something substantial from with it might emerge. This substance is God’s word revealed by His Spirit to His people.

According to Strong’s Greek dictionary, the word rhema literally means “to utter, speak or say.” Let us then look at this verse anew with this understanding.

Romans 10:17
So then faith comes out of hearing, and hearing by the utterance, the speech, or saying of God.
[Author’s Amplified Translation]

If God has spoken nothing, we have nothing out of which faith can arise.

If a man, woman or child has not heard anything from God, faith is not present, and belief is not possible. What many are calling faith and belief is merely positive thinking, or misplaced confidence based upon a wrong understanding of God’s word.

Hearing from God is a necessary part of a life of faith. Without hearing there can be no true faith. Many are teaching a type of faith today that lacks this vital necessity of hearing God give us direction. Many are teaching a false faith that originates in man’s own mind and imagination. They encourage the saints to envision the things they want and then stand in confidence, claiming that they have these things. Elwin Roach wrote regarding this false faith:

Some have called this type of faith the “Prosperity Message,” although in less favorable circles it has been called “Name it and Claim it,” “Bless it and Confess it,” “Blab it and Grab it,” or “What the Heck, Write the Check...”

It is one thing to have the Faith of God as a result of an impregnation of His anointed word which will move mountains, but it is entirely another matter when a man carves an image in his positive-thinking mind and calls it faith, and then holds God ransom with the written word which his carnal mind has little or no understanding of. This, dear reader, is not faith, not even in the farthest stretch of the imagination. It is presumption, and God is not obligated to pay up!
Many of the saints today have built upon the shifting sands of a false faith doctrine. Its teachings rest upon a belief in a principle of faith. It is taught that if one can work up enough confidence to believe something when they ask for it in prayer, then they will be assured of having their request. The key to this type of faith is the ability of man to believe something. The saints are told that if they can conceive something, and believe in its fulfillment, then they can have it.

This is not the type of faith that Abraham demonstrated. Abraham did not think to himself one day, “I sure am tired of this city of Ur. I would like to live somewhere far away from here. I think I will take my wife and hit the road, and I will trust God to protect me and bless me in my journey.” No! Abraham did not initiate this journey. We read where Yahweh spoke to him and gave him a command. So Abraham’s faith began with hearing.

Many who are teaching a principle of faith that is divorced from being led of the Spirit, focus in on verses such as the following:

Matthew 18:19
Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven.

The faith teachers of the day make great use of this verse to suggest that Christians can have anything their hearts desire. But surely a mature Christian does not believe that the “anything” stated here actually means “anything” that man can think up? Does this mean if two Christians agree together that God should give them both a million dollars, that Yahweh is obligated to do so?

James 4:3-4
You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God?

James reveals that there are some limitations to those things we can expect to receive from God. Is it possible that there may be other conditions that must be met in order for prayer to be answered? Is it possible that Christians are to discern the will of God in each situation? The Scriptures reveal that the answer is an emphatic “YES!”

George Muller, the minister who established large orphanages in England in the 1800's knew much about prayer and faith. In 1880 he preached a sermon where he shared the following:

Had it been left to us to make promises concerning prayer, I do not know that you or I could have done any more than say, “Ask, and ye shall receive.” Yet, while the promise is so full, so deep, so broad, so precious in every way, we have here, as becomes us with other parts of the word of God, to compare Scripture with Scripture, because in other parts additions are made, or conditions are given, which, if we neglect, will hinder our getting the full benefit of prayer.

George Muller went on to detail a number of conditions that were attached to the simple “Ask, and ye shall receive.” First, our petitions must be according to the will of God as is revealed in I John 5:14.

I John 5:14
And this is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.
Brothers and sisters, we have to get the whole counsel of God on a matter. If you would seriously contemplate this matter of prayer and faith, you would surely have to acknowledge that God will not do anything the mind of man will conceive simply by his asking for it. What a mixed up world this would be. Mankind would end up ruling in the heavens. God would be at the beck and call of man, existing to meet man’s every whim, to move at man’s command. Such a condition would amount to a total overthrow of the authority of God over His creation.

A true and mature understanding of prayer and faith must acknowledge that man must at all times be subject to the will of the Father. If man asks “anything” according to His will, He hears us and will answer from heaven. If it is not according to His will, then man has no expectation of God granting His petition. Is it always the will of God that healing be granted? By careful examination of the Scriptures, we must conclude that the answer is “No!”

No Formula For Healing - The Example of Christ

Christ knew the Scriptures better than any other man, yet He never operated out of general principles derived from them. Yahshua did not begin His ministry until the Spirit descended upon Him and remained. Immediately He was led of the Spirit into the wilderness to fast for forty days. His entire ministry was characterized by a complete submission to the will of the Father as it was revealed to Him by the Spirit. He plainly states how dependent He was upon the Father to know His will in every circumstance and situation.

John 5:19-20
Yahshua therefore answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and greater works than these will He show Him, that you may marvel.”

Christ NEVER determined for Himself who He would heal, or how the healing would be accomplished. He looked to the Father. Whatever the Father showed Yahshua, He did “in like manner.” If the Son saw the Father healing a blind man by taking spittle and clay and making mud to place on his eyes, He did exactly as the Father showed Him. If He saw the Father healing ten lepers by telling them to go a present themselves to the priest, knowing they would be healed along the way, then He instructed them exactly according to what the Father showed Him.

Christ never quoted from Isaiah, or another verse mentioning healing, saying, “Based upon this verse, you are healed.” If any man had the ability to apply the Scriptures according to His understanding, surely it was Yahshua. Yet He strictly avoided ever being led in this way. He never made a decision apart from discerning the will of the Father for that situation.

John 5:30
I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.”

The Son of God never acted presumptuously, although He said He was greater in wisdom than Solomon. As He heard from His Father, He judged. It is the tendency of natural man to gather what facts he can through his natural senses, and then make a decision based upon what is observed and his own understanding of righteousness. This the Son of God never did.

Isaiah 11:3-4
He will not judge by what His eyes see, nor make a decision by what His ears hear; but with righteousness He will judge...

God the Father is the only source of righteous judgment. Only He can decide what will be done in every situation. He chooses to heal, or not heal. He knows the reason behind every sickness. Yahweh alone can determine the manner in which a healing will take place, and we must discern His mind that we might know what He would have done. Consider the following examples from Yahshua’s ministry.

John 9:2-3
And His disciples asked Him, saying, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he should be born blind?" Yahshua answered, "It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was in order that the works of God might be displayed in him.”

John 5:7-14
The sick man answered Him, "Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I am coming, another steps down before me."
Yahshua said to him, "Arise, take up your pallet, and walk." And immediately the man became well, and took up his pallet and began to walk. Now it was the Sabbath on that day... Afterward Yahshua found him in the temple, and said to him, "Behold, you have become well; do not sin anymore, so that nothing worse may befall you."

In the first example Yahshua was asked if the man or his parents had sinned, causing his blindness. Yahshua said that neither had sinned. In the second example Yahshua discerned that the man’s sin had indeed precipitated his condition and He cautioned him to sin no more. How could Yahshua discern this? Certainly not by outward observation. It would be impossible to construct a set of doctrines, or a theological structure, to determine why a person is sick. It is only by the Spirit of God that the cause can be discerned. Yahshua was in constant communion with the Father by the indwelling Spirit. He was always discerning the mind of the Father in this way. In like manner, the saints of God are to approach every situation where healing is needed.

Yahshua never operated by formula, or principle. He acted as God directed Him. For one blind man He simply touched his eyes and told him to be healed. For another He made mud from spit and dirt and applied it to the blind man’s eyes and told him to go wash in the pool of Siloam. For some afflicted people Yahshua cast out unclean spirits that He discerned to be in them. For some He told them to stretch out their hand, or rise up off their pallet. For some He said, “Your sins are forgiven.” In each situation Yahshua discerned the mind of the Spirit and acted accordingly.

Living by Biblical formula leads to an independence from a daily reliance upon the leading of the Spirit. We are called to “abide” in Christ. Yahweh has so designed the Christian life and experience so that His children will seek Him always. Great error occurs when men seek to construct a theological framework whereby they can determine what to do in every situation. We are called to be a people of the Spirit, not a people of the letter.

II Corinthians 3:6
It is He Who has qualified us making us to be fit and worthy and sufficient as ministers and dispensers of a new covenant of salvation through Christ, not ministers of the letter of legally written code but of the Spirit; for the code of the Law kills, but the Holy Spirit makes alive.
(Amplified Bible)

Those who declare that all we need is God’s word have made the Bible into an idol. (It may be more appropriate to say they have made their notions concerning the Bible into an idol, for they believe they are able to understand the Scriptures and apply them independent of hearing from the Spirit of God.) This idol leads men and women away from a daily reliance upon the life of Christ expressed through the indwelling Spirit of Christ. Placing the Bible into a role God intended His Spirit to occupy renders Christians susceptible to many errors of judgment that result in heartache and loss.

Understanding Scriptures on Healing

Many ministers who teach a universal promise of healing based upon Scriptures often cite the following passage from Peter.

I Peter 2:24
He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.

Peter is quoting a passage from the prophet Isaiah, so let us begin by looking at Isaiah’s words, which are also quoted widely in support of a doctrine of universal healing from sickness and injury.

Isaiah 53:5
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

A question that many have glossed over is, “What kind of healing is the verse referring to?” Many saints have not studied this verse “as a workman that need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of God.” Looking no further than the surface to gain understanding and to find their interpretation and application, they have failed to arrive at the truth. They see the word “healed” here and make an assumption that the verse is speaking of physical healing. Assumptions are very dangerous, leading to sorrow in many occasions. The word healed is not used exclusively in relation to physical sickness.

There are many clues in the context of the above verse that make its meaning clear. Large portions of the prophetic books of the Bible are written in a poetic style that was common to the Hebrews. One of the features of Hebrew poetry is the use of parallelism. Parallelism is the repetition of a thought, either restating a thought using different words, or making a contrast to the thought by stating its opposite. This is seen clearly in the Psalms.

Ps 6:1
O Yahweh, do not rebuke me in Your anger, nor chasten me in Your wrath.

Ps 7:9
O let the evil of the wicked come to an end, but establish the righteous...

In these two verses we see examples of parallelism. In the first verse the same thought is stated in two different manners. In the second verse parallelism is again used, but this time the thoughts are in contrast to one another. By understanding this feature of Hebrew poetry translators of scripture have been able to discern the meaning of many obscure words. Knowing a thought is restated, or contrasted, they are able to compare known words with words they are uncertain about in order to arrive at a clear understanding of a word’s meaning.

As students of the scriptures, we can use this same device to determine meaning when we perceive parallelism is being used. Look again now at the verse from Isaiah.

Isaiah 53:5
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

It is clearly evident that parallelism is being used in this scripture. Is the parallelism restating the same thought, or is it a contrast? As we look at the verse we see that the same thought is restated. The first clause is:

“He was wounded for our transgressions...”

The parallel clause is:

“He was bruised for our iniquities.”

We see here that the words “wounded” and “bruised” are parallel to one another, speaking of the suffering of Christ before and during His crucifixion. We also see that the words “transgressions” and “iniquities” are parallel. These parallel clauses are clearly speaking of Christ suffering for the sin of man.

This verse is very interesting in that it repeats the original statement not once, but three times. The next sentence contains two more perfect parallels to the original statement.

“The chastisement of our peace was upon Him...”

“With His stripes we are healed.”

It is easy to discern that the words “chastisement” and “stripes” continue the parallels found in the words “wounded” and “bruised.” All four words describe various forms of suffering. It takes a little more Bible knowledge to discern the parallel in the last part of these clauses. What is meant by “the chastisement of our peace was upon Him”?

When someone sinned under the Levitical Law an offering had to be made to atone for the sin. One such offering was called a “peace offering.” This is the meaning of “the chastisement of our peace was upon Him.” This thought is further stated in the following passage.

Colossians 1:19-20
For it was the Father's good pleasure for all the fulness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross...

The cross of Christ is the place where the peace offering was made, restoring the relationship between God and man where sin had caused a division. It is evident then that the first three clauses of this verse from Isaiah are all dealing with sin and Yahshua bearing sin’s penalty. Could we expect that the final phrase will bear the same meaning? Let us examine it.

“And with his stripes we are healed.”

I have already noted that “stripes” is a parallel to “wounded,” “bruised,” and “chastisement.” All of these words are linked to Yahshua paying the penalty of sin. How then are Christians able to break the established parallelism and declare that Isaiah is now writing about physical healing when all the other clauses have been speaking of sin’s healing?

The word that is interpreted “healed” in this verse is elsewhere interpreted as “repaired” (I Kings 18:30), and “be made whole” (Jeremiah 19:11). The scripture from Kings is speaking of “repairing” the altar and the scripture from Jeremiah is speaking of destroying a piece of pottery so that it cannot “be made whole” again. We see that the word can have variations of meaning, and we must look to the context of the passage it is found in to determine its application.

If you still have doubts about the meaning of this verse from Isaiah, you need only look at the verse in its context. The rest of the passage contains these words:

Isaiah 53:6,10
All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but Yahweh has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him... But Yahweh was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief; if He would render himself as a guilt offering...

The stripes Yahshua suffered were an example of Yahweh putting His Son to grief that He might render Himself a guilt offering. What is the purpose of a guilt offering? It is to atone for sin. By His stripes we were healed from our sin guiltiness.

To conclusively settle this matter, we need only look at the New Testament to observe how the apostles understood this Scripture.

I Peter 2:24
He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.

The subject of this verse is sin and righteousness. The final clause relates to all that has been said before it. “By His wounds you were healed” from sin that you might live to righteousness.

It is a great manifestation of poor Bible interpretation that would lead a person to conclude that these verses were making a general promise of physical healing from all sickness to Christians. Tragically, many saints have taken such verses and attempted to stand upon them and claim physical healing. God never intended this verse, or others, to be used in such a manner.

I do not deny that Christ does provide healing for people. I have experienced this in my own life and among my family. Christ healed many people during His ministry. At the same time, He declared that He only did what He saw the Father doing. Let me address one other passage that has recently been shared with me by a reader.

Matthew 8:16-17
And when evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed; and He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were ill in order that what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, saying, "He Himself took our infirmities, and carried away our diseases."

Most Bible scholars I have read take these words of Matthew to be a reference to Isaiah 53:4

Isaiah 53:4
Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried...

Yahshua truly did heal many people, both physically and spiritually. He continues to do so today, and divine healing is still available to those who seek Him.

I believe it is helpful to consider the miracles of healing that Christ performed. Many people came to Christ, or were brought to Him, and they would make known what they wanted. We have their testimonies. One man said, “If you are willing you can make me whole.” Another said, “If you are able, please help my son.” People had various understandings concerning the power that was present in the Son of God. Let me say that I believe what the Scriptures declare:

Matthew 28:18
And Yahshua came and spake unto them, saying, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.”

Christ now sits at the right hand of the throne of power. He can do absolutely anything. There is nothing outside of the scope of His power. Certainly, there is no sickness too great for Him to heal, for He demonstrated that He had power to even raise the dead.

As we have observed, and must keep in mind, Yahshua always did things in like manner as the Father revealed it to Him. When we encounter sickness today, how are we to know the cause of the sickness unless the Spirit of Christ reveals it? How do we know if sin is the cause? How do we know if the sickness is generational, caused by a forebear’s sin? How do we know if it is caused by demonic oppression? How do we know the specific manner in which God would heal a person? We must be led of the Spirit.

The Bible is our operating manual, and it tells us that God heals sickness and disease and injury. Yet we must be guided by the Spirit to know the mind of God for each situation.

The Example of the Apostles

Let us look at the example of the apostles to see if the doctrine of universal healing for all Christians holds up. The apostle Paul was a man of great faith. He was used of the Lord to perform spectacular healings.

Acts 19:11-12
And God was performing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that handkerchiefs or aprons were even carried from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out.

Notice here who it says was doing the miracles. “God was performing extraordinary miracles.” Paul was simply God’s hands in performing the work. Paul was directed by God in these activities, and what the Spirit revealed to him he did in like manner. It is evident that Paul did not subscribe to an universal healing doctrine based upon a perceived Biblical promise. He only healed when Yahweh revealed it was His will to do so, and in the manner revealed to him. There were times when Yahweh gave Paul no revelation for the healing of an individual.

II Timothy 4:20
Trophimus I left sick at Miletus.

How is it that a man with the spiritual maturity of the apostle Paul left an associate behind due to sickness? Didn’t Paul know that there was an universal promise of healing for all, and the prayer of faith would raise them up?

It is perplexing to many people that Paul could heal everyone at one point in his ministry, and at other times he could not even heal his closest associates. How are we to understand this mystery? I do not believe Paul’s faith or spiritual life was any less at one time than the other. It is simply a manifestation of the will of the Father. He chooses when His power will be present to heal.

It is the Father who determines whether His power will be present to heal at a particular time and place. Knowing that Yahweh is the One who decides when His power will be manifest to heal, we should find ourselves driven into His presence to petition Him for this healing when it is needed. We find Paul doing this very thing. There were times when Paul experienced profound illness.

Galatians 4:13-15
But you know that it was because of a bodily illness that I preached the gospel to you the first time; and that which was a trial to you in my bodily condition you did not despise or loathe, but you received me as an angel of God, as Christ Yahshua Himself. Where then is that sense of blessing you had? For I bear you witness, that if possible, you would have plucked out your eyes and given them to me.

By Paul’s own confession he had a loathsome condition that afflicted his eyes. This was a prolonged condition, for trouble with his eyes is mentioned frequently.

Galatians 6:11
See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand.

Because Paul was nearly blind, he often dictated his letters and only signed his name at the end of them.

Romans 16:22
I, Tertius, who write this letter, greet you in the Lord.

I Corinthians 16:21
The greeting is in my own hand - Paul.

How did Paul respond to this bodily affliction? Did he claim a blanket promise of healing perceived in the Scriptures, such as “by His stripes we are healed”? No! Paul sought the Lord concerning the matter.

II Corinthians 12:8-9
Concerning this I entreated the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

I believe this loathsome affliction to his eyes may well have been Paul’s thorn in the flesh, for he often makes reference to it. Of this affliction he says he prayed to God three times “entreating” the Lord to remove it. Paul entreated. He did not claim some general promise. Paul sought the Lord’s mind, and when the Lord revealed it was His will for the affliction to remain, Paul accepted it.

Paul’s actions lend no support to the faith healing doctrines that suggest God will heal all who have faith and repentance. Clearly this is not the case. God did not remove Paul’s sore affliction of his eyes. Will men suggest this was due to Paul being deficient in faith, or having unconfessed sin in his life?

We find the apostle Paul giving the following instructions to Timothy.

I Timothy 5:23
No longer drink water exclusively, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.

What is interesting to note here is that Paul did not do anything that the erroneous faith healing doctrine would suggest. He did not tell Timothy to stand on promises of healing found in the word of God. He did not tell Timothy to rebuke the devil. Paul did not even suggest that Timothy call for the elders of the church, for Paul was Timothy’s elder. Paul discerned that Timothy should drink a little wine for his stomach and his frequent ailments, and this is what Paul recommended to him.

As Christians we must be discerning of the Father’s thoughts for us. He does not choose to heal every person anymore than He chooses to make everyone financially prosperous. Though, just like this doctrine that suggests universal health is promised in the Bible, many faith teachers today say there are a multitude of promises of universal wealth to all who will believe. Yet God chooses to subject His children to lean times financially as well as physically. Through these means He is able to reduce the strength of the outer man in order that the fragrant aroma of the life of Christ might be released through us. Concerning Paul’s physical affliction, he understood the following:

II Corinthians 12:7
To keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh...

I was born with a hereditary bone disease called Osteogenesis Imperfecta, or Brittle Bone Disease. From the age of seven to the age of thirteen I broke multiples bones and had numerous surgeries to repair these injuries. Looking back I can see the Lord’s purpose in this. Had I been a physically strong person I would have had a tendency toward pride and independence that would have been very destructive. Yahweh wanted to produce a son who was humble and who looked to Him at all times. To accomplish this He gave me a body that was easily broken. The strength of the natural man provides a barrier to walking in humility before God. Yahweh will often choose to subject His children to some affliction, or weakness in order to produce sons in His image.

I Corinthians 1:26-29
For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised, God has chosen, the things that are not, that He might nullify the things that are, that no man should boast before God.

God will choose to afflict His children in various ways for the sake of their own conformity to Christ. As we receive some weakness, or affliction Yahweh has chosen for us, He provides a more abundant grace that the life of Christ might be revealed in us.

II Corinthians 12:9
Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

God will not choose to heal all sickness, disease and affliction for He has chosen some to bear these things for their perfecting as saints. Though you stand and claim healing Scriptures from dawn to dusk, God will not change His mind concerning His will for your life.

I have been much impressed from the time of my youth with the testimony of Joni Eareckson Tada. As a teenager she experienced a diving accident that left her paralyzed from the neck down. She prayed for healing, and many others prayed for her, yet it was not God’s will to remove the paralysis.

As Joni came to accept the brokenness of her body, the fragrant aroma of Christ within her began to manifest more and more. Her compassion, tenderness, patience, and joy are of an unusual degree among the saints of Christ. She has subsequently been enabled to impact the lives of millions through the testimony of Christ’s sufficiency in her weakness. She considers her wheelchair not to be a prison that holds her captive, but a throne upon which the Son of God can be manifest.

I read the book Joni when I was a teenager. In it she shared how some well meaning believers told her that if she just had enough faith God would heal her. This was like kicking a person when they are down. God revealed to Joni that it was His will that she endure this condition, and His grace has truly been sufficient. His power has been made manifest through her weakness.

My Experiences of Divine Healing

The Father has done some tremendous things in my family. He has performed miraculous things for which only He can get the credit. My son Josiah was also born with the hereditary bone disease called Osteogenesis Imperfecta. By the time he was seven years old he had already broken thirteen bones and had two surgeries to correct fractures. My wife and I had some years earlier applied for government SSI benefits on him and he had been accepted. This provided us with free medical benefits for Josiah and a monthly stipend of between $300-$400 a month. These things gave me no satisfaction, for I desired for my son to be healed.

I began to pray in earnest, asking God to heal my son. I was distressed over his condition. He was spending so much time in casts that his muscles and bones were not able to grow stronger. This exacerbated his condition, making him more prone to have fractures. As I was petitioning the Father one day concerning my son, the Lord spoke to me and told me that He would heal my Josiah. The Spirit made known to me that the Father required that I cancel the SSI benefits on him in order to receive this healing. The Lord demanded that I exercise faith before I would see His provision.

Observe in this how the Spirit of Christ who dwells in us is able to reveal the mind of the Father in a much greater substance and precision than the Law was able to do. There is nothing written in Scriptures that would tell me that God would heal my son if I canceled his SSI benefits and Medicaid. The Spirit is able to make know the will of the Father with great specificity. Christ said:

John 10:27
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me...”

To natural sight and reason, the revealed will of God appeared very foolish. My son was freshly out of a cast and had broken two bones that year. Medical treatment was very expensive and many people fought long and hard battles, even hiring lawyers, to attain the benefits we were receiving. I considered, however, that it would be much better for my son to be healed and to have no more fractures, than to have the government pick up the tab each time he broke a bone. I wanted my son to be able to run and play and do all the things that other boys did.

I shared with my wife what the Lord had spoken to me, and we decided to follow the Lord in obedience, to cancel the benefits we were receiving on our son, and to trust the Lord to heal him. When we called the government agency to ask them to cancel our benefits, they did not understand why we would make such a request. They tried to get us to reconsider, but we told them that we no longer wanted the benefits they offered.

The Lord told me to not baby my son. I was instructed by the Spirit to allow Josiah to ride bikes, skateboard, play on trampolines, roughhouse with other kids, and do all the things other boys were doing. Yahweh promised that He would protect him. Over the course of the next seven years my son never broke another bone, though this was the prime period in which most boys with his condition would have experienced the most fractures. God preserved him. I saw my son take some tremendous spills off of his bicycle that would have left him shattered prior to God’s healing, and he came away only with scrapes and bruises. His bones were not broken.

I had heard God speak, and therefore faith had a solid foundation upon which to rest. I did not decide for myself that I would cancel all medical benefits on my son and believe that God would heal him. I pressed into God in prayer, and when I heard from Him faith resulted. This is ever the pattern for faith.

A year after God led me to trust Him for the health of my son, He spoke to me again and told me that He now wanted me to trust Him for the health of our entire family. I was working as a computer professional at a local hospital and they had excellent medical benefits at a reasonable cost. I was serving as a minister at a local church at the same time, and the Father was calling me to steps of faith as an example to the body. I knew I had heard from God again, and I shared what I had heard with my wife. This caused her much fear, and she opposed this decision initially, but later she came to agreement with me in the matter.

When I went to the office at work to cancel my health insurance, I was informed that changes to benefits could only be made during a two week period that occurred in December. This was some months away, so I determined then that in obedience to God I would cancel health insurance on my entire family when that date arrived.

Several weeks before the date that I could drop my insurance I began to manifest symptoms of diabetes. I began experiencing dry cottony mouth and constant thirst. I had extremely frequent urination, even having to get up 5 or 6 times a night to use the bathroom and get another drink of water. I experienced blurred vision and occasional dizziness. One day while at work I became dizzy and, being right there in the emergency room, I asked them to run some tests on me and they checked my blood sugar and it was about 370 when it should be no higher than 120. The attending doctor told me I was diabetic and that I needed to go see my family physician and get started on a diabetic regimen for treatment.

I knew what God had spoken to me about trusting Him for our health. His instructions were for me to cancel my health insurance. The timing of this physical attack, just weeks before I could cancel this insurance seemed more than coincidental. I knew it was a test.

The pressure was poured on even more. Some nurses I knew at the hospital had heard about my case and they dealt with diabetic education and treatment. They began telling me regularly that I needed to see a doctor quickly. They gave me brochures about diabetes and they told me horror stories of amputated limbs, blindness, organ failure, and other effects of leaving diabetes untreated. They told me that they had patients in the hospital at that moment whose blood sugar was no worse than mine, and these patients were on intravenous insulin drips.

In my thoughts I struggled greatly during the next weeks and my symptoms persisted. I became nervous and distracted by all that was coming against me. I had great pressure from family to not cancel insurance. We will often find that there are obstacles to obeying God, and this is where our faith is exercised. Faith is not exercised when we have received no direction from God. It is exercised after we have heard.

I have great sympathy for those Christians who have not understood this. I have watched many wrestle to trust God in some matter in which they have received no revelation by His Spirit. The torment is great, and there is little ability to stand. At times, the results are very tragic.

As I considered my situation, the greatest contributing factor that weighed in my choice to trust God came when I considered what life would be like if God could not be trusted. I considered what the years ahead would be like if I devoted my life to serving a God who would not do what He said when I followed Him in obedience. The prospect appeared horrendous to me. I decided that I would rather risk dying of diabetes than to spend the rest of my life doubting God’s faithfulness.

Life did not appear to be worth living if God could not be trusted. The only fulfillment and satisfaction I could envision in life was in entrusting myself to a heavenly Father who genuinely cared for me and who would not abandon me when I placed my life in His hands. How unbearable it seemed to me to spend the rest of my life serving a God I could not trust.

With some trepidation, I went to the office at work during the allotted time and I asked them to cancel health insurance for myself and my family. I rejected the advice of the emergency room doctor and nurses, to go and see a family physician to begin treatment. I cast myself wholly over onto Yahweh for healing. Over the next weeks I began to lose weight, when all of my previous efforts to do so had failed. I lost about fifty pounds and all of the symptoms of diabetes disappeared. Within 1-2 months I experienced complete healing, and to this date, now more than eleven years later, I have had no reoccurrence of any of the symptoms.

The pattern was shown in my life, that the word of God precedes faith. I had heard the Lord tell me that He wanted me to cancel health insurance on our family. It would have been an easy enough thing to do if we had all been in great health. Yet He allowed me to be tested by asking me to do this thing when I was suffering from a serious condition and was being advised to seek medical attention quickly. Praise Yahweh! He is faithful!

The Prayer of Faith

James’ instructions to the elders of the church of Christ include directions for dealing with sickness.

James 5:14-15
Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him.

To understand this we must keep in mind what we have already seen. Faith must include revelation and a trusting response. Many people call for the elders to pray for them today and they are not healed. This passage is often quoted in many churches, but there is very seldom any healing that takes place. Why is this so?

James states that not just any prayer will restore the one who is sick. What is required is the prayer of faith. There must be revelation and a trusting response. Why are so many prayers of the elders ineffective? Because there is no revelation from God before they pray. Many simply pray some formulaic prayer, citing verses of Scripture that speak of healing, or saying “Lord, if it is Your will, let this person be healed.” Is this a prayer of faith? Absolutely not.

James states that if the person has sinned his sins will be forgiven him. How is it to be determined if sickness is the result of sin? This knowledge comes through revelation of the Spirit of God. The position of elder is a spiritual duty, providing oversight for the souls of the saints. The elder is to be one who is Spirit filled. They should be capable of discerning such matters as they wait before God for direction.

Even after having heard God instruct me to trust Him for the health of my family, I encountered situations in others’ lives where I needed to know what to do. I could not tell them God would heal them, apart from a specific word for their circumstance.

One day my wife and a close friend went out to pick some peaches. When they got back her friend said she was feeling very poorly. Her breathing became affected and she was experiencing numbness and tingling throughout her body. I was quite concerned, and began praying. I told the Father that I did not know what to do, and I asked Him to reveal what should be done. A few moments later a lady from the community dropped by and she took a look at this lady and discerned immediately that she was having an allergic reaction due to pesticides that had been sprayed on the peach trees just before they picked peaches. This woman had some Benadryl in her purse and gave one to my wife’s friend and she quickly felt better. In less than 30 minutes she was able to get up, eat a meal, and resume her normal activities.

I know Yahweh sent this woman to our home at that precise moment in answer to my prayer. There are times when Yahweh chooses to use some natural remedy, or treatment to affect healing. There are times when He uses medication and doctors. We must not assume that He will not work through these means. We must remain open to hear from Him at all times, and to obey that which He reveals.

I believe there is good reason that God did not give the church a blank check regarding healing. If God had told the church that all they needed to do was embrace a principle, or stand on certain scriptures, then the church would in effect become independent of Him. God wants His children to be intimate with Him. God wants His children to seek Him diligently and develop ears to discern the still, small voice of the Spirit. God wants communion with His children.

I will close this teaching by sharing one more insight from the Scriptures.

John 20:21-22
Yahshua therefore said to them again, "Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you." And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

Yahshua is commissioning His disciples. He is sending them forth as the Father had sent Him. How did the Father send Him? Christ began His ministry when the Spirit descended upon Him at the Jordan. His life is a an example of one Who was Spirit led in all things.

Christ would not direct His disciples to function in a way that was contrary to His own experience. They were to walk as He walked. The words Christ spoke to His disciples above would not lead them to independence from God. He did not hand them an instruction book, nor tell them to develop principles of kingdom life to apply to every circumstance. He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

The Holy Spirit was given on the day of Pentecost. From that moment forward we observe the disciples moving by the direction, and in the power, of the Holy Spirit. We too are to live in like manner.

You will rightfully conclude that you must be able to discern God’s voice to live in this manner. To hear His voice you must walk uprightly. You must submit yourself wholly to be led of Him, committing yourself to go wherever He says go, and do whatever He says do.

Many Christians are unable to clearly discern God’s voice today because they have made no commitment to obey God in all things. Should God make His will known to those who have not committed themselves to obey Him? Why should He waste His breath? I would not continue to give directions to someone who constantly ignores my words. I will go to one who hears and obeys. So too does God.

The people of God have been bought at a great price. They are no longer their own. We are called to be a people of the Spirit. If you would like to read more concerning the principle of being led of the Spirit in all of our activities and ways, I would recommend to you the book Sabbath. It can be read in its entirety online.

If you would like to read how the Spirit of Christ has led this son of His to an experience of dependence upon God, manifesting His hand in healing and miracles of provision, I would recommend to you the book Evidence of Things Unseen. It too can be read online:

May you be blessed with peace and understanding in these days.

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Mailing Address:
Joseph Herrin
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063