Joseph Herrin (01-10-2011)
Back Window of Converted Bus
The photo above shows the back window of the bus I have converted into a motorhome. Randy Simmons had “The Dreamer” image (with butterflies) made by an acquaintance who has a sign shop. They are made of vinyl with a self-adhesive backing. Randy presented this as a gift for me, and I am very blessed by it. He also had the words “The Dreamer” in larger block letters cut out of black vinyl to go across the front of the bus above the windshield. I will have to wait until after I paint the exterior to apply them.
The words “The Dreamer” are taken from the life of Joseph, the son of Jacob.
When [Joseph’s brothers] saw him from a distance and before he came close to them, they plotted against him to put him to death. And they said to one another, "Here comes this dreamer! Now then, come and let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits; and we will say, 'A wild beast devoured him.' Then let us see what will become of his dreams!"
Our heavenly Father has presented the life of Joseph to the body of Christ as a type of the overcomer in Christ. The dreams that Joseph had were from Yahweh. Dreams play a very important role in the lives of those who would walk as overcomers.
Let us consider Joseph as a type of the overcomer in Christ.
He sent a man before them - Joseph - who was sold as a slave. They hurt his feet with fetters, his soul was laid in irons. Until the time that his word came to pass, the word of Yahweh tested him. The king sent and released him, the ruler of the people let him go free. He made him lord of his house, and ruler of all his possessions, to bind his princes at his pleasure, and teach his elders wisdom.
We know that Joseph did receive the promotion that Yahweh had revealed to him at the age of seventeen in dreams. He became the second ruler of the greatest nation on earth. He was given glory, wealth and authority. This is the portion of the overcomers in Christ.
“He who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations; and he shall rule them with a rod of iron, as the vessels of the potter are broken to pieces, as I also have received authority from My Father... He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
“He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
Yahshua wants us to listen carefully to what He is proclaiming. He is speaking to the entire body of Christ. He DOES NOT say that all who are Christians will rule with Him during that period the church calls “the millennial reign of Christ.” He very clearly states that this honor is reserved for those who overcome sin, Satan and the world.
And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Yahshua and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.
Who are those who have been “beheaded” because of the testimony of Yahshua? It is those who have taken Him as their Head, requiring that they remove their own head.
I Corinthians 11:3
But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man...
What is Paul saying in these words to the saints in Corinth? Have all the saints taken Christ as their Head? Are they all overcomers? Far from it. Paul writes to this same body of believers the following words:
I Corinthians 3:1-4
And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?
The church in Corinth had a great many problems. Men were joining themselves to prostitutes at the local pagan temples. Christians were defrauding one another, and taking each other to court over material possessions. Some were getting drunk at their love feasts, while others were acting as gluttons and depriving the poorer members. Their corporate gatherings were chaotic with multiple people speaking at the same time. There was an emphasis upon speaking in tongues, albeit without an interpreter, and no one was being edified. Women were casting off the headship of man, and a great many other transgressions were occurring.
Let none suppose that those saints who keep their own heads intact, who direct the course of their own lives, will rule and reign with Christ. This is why He repeatedly states, “He who has ears, let him hear!”
Consider once more the pattern revealed in Joseph’s life. Joseph had eleven brothers, but only he was made a ruler in Egypt. Joseph’s brothers were living as free men, pursuing a course of their own choosing, while his life was very restricted. Joseph could not follow a course of his own. He was a servant, and later a prisoner. Paul uses both examples to speak of his own life, and that of all who would similarly attain to the place of overcomers.
Paul, a bondslave of Yahshua Christ, called to be an apostle...
Paul, a prisoner of Christ Yahshua...
Slaves and prisoners cannot direct their own lives. They must do as they are told. This must become the chosen lot of all who ascribe to be numbered among the overcomers. You must surrender to go wherever Christ sends you, and to do whatever He asks of you. If Christ is to be your head, you cannot be guided by your own head.
In sober contemplation, how many Christians today do you suppose have removed their own heads in order to take Christ as Head? Have you done so? The church today is full of its own works, and Christians are following the counsel of their own souls. They live as they choose. They work where they want. They spend their money on that which their soul desires. Their words and actions arise from the soul. Listen carefully to what Christ is declaring. Such ones WILL NOT rule with Him during the millennial period. They WILL NOT attain to the first resurrection. They will not be spared the Lake of Fire, which is called “the second death.”
Consider the plain reason of these things. Christ said no man could be His disciple unless He takes up his cross and follows Him (Luke 14:27). He said no man could be His disciple unless he hates his own life (Luke 14:26). As I have shared before, the goal of the Christian life is to die before you die. This is what a cross does. It puts a man to death. It is a painful, often long, torturous process, but to those who submit to it, there is resurrection life to follow.
What then of that multitude of Christians who resist the working of the cross in their lives? Are they not deceived by a myriad of false teachers who assure them that they will share the same inheritance with Christ and His overcomers? Truly I tell you, for those who despise the cross appointed to them, there will be weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Joseph’s brothers were living according to the counsel of their own souls. We read of Reuben, Joseph’s oldest brother, having sexual intercourse with his father’s wife (Genesis 35:22). We read of Judah going in to prostitutes (Genesis 38). We read of the sons of Zilpah and the sons of Bilhah acting in an evil manner when they were charged with tending their father’s flocks (Genesis 37:2). I trust you can see the spiritual parable in these things. Our Father has sent shepherds out to care for His flocks in this hour, and many are acting wickedly. They have no regard for the Father’s desire for the health and welfare of the sheep. They are filled with their own self-interest.
If you want to attain to the first resurrection and be numbered among the overcomers; if you want promotion like Joseph, and to reign with Christ and share in His authority, glory, and blessings, then you must embrace the cross. You must take off your head, and take Christ as Head. You must cease living life at your own direction and begin to “follow the lamb wherever He goes” (Revelation 14:4). Lambs go to the slaughter. Lambs are used for sacrificial offerings. The end of a sacrificial lamb’s life finds him placed on an altar for the fire to consume his flesh.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service of worship.
God does not consider it unreasonable for a man to totally surrender the rule of his life to Him. He says that such a sacrifice is reasonable. After all, did He not give His own Son on our behalf? We were purchased with the blood of His beloved Son. We are no longer our own, having been bought at a very high cost.
What will induce a man or woman to present their lives as a freewill offering unto Yahweh? What could possibly motivate them to endure hardship, trials, suffering, pain and loss when their brothers all around them are living for pleasure while merely giving lip-service to their great love for God? We find the answer in the Scriptures.
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Yahshua, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising (thinking nothing of) the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
There is a joy set before all who will endure the cross. They will enter into the joy of their Father. They will see Him with exultant delight declare, “Well done! Enter into the joy of your Lord!” They will be recipients of all that glorious inheritance reserved for the overcomers in Christ.
People of God, this is the dream of which I speak. Are you also a dreamer of dreams? Have you been captivated by the promise of that which lies ahead for the overcomers in Christ? Has it encouraged and strengthened your faltering heart when you are in the midst of the pain of the cross? It was the promises of Yahweh that kept Joseph faithful in the midst of his slavery and imprisonment.
Until the time that his word came to pass, the word of Yahweh tested him.
What do these words mean? Yahweh had spoken a word of promise to Joseph. The day would come when He would ascend to a place of ruling. If he would trust Yahweh; if he would hold fast to the dreams Yahweh had placed in his heart, the day would come when all the dreams would be realized.
Joseph did remain faithful. He was tested as he held to the word of Yahweh. We know the end of the story. He received glorious promotion. All the riches and possessions of the ruler of the world were placed in his hands. Immeasurable glory became his. Before him every knee bowed. He was given authority to bind Pharaoh’s princes at his will, and to teach his counselors wisdom.
Will you embrace the cross in order to attain to resurrection life? He who has ears to hear, let him hear. “There is no other way to become a partaker of the glory of Christ than to follow Him down the path of the cross.” Enter though the narrow gate and follow the afflicted path. There are few who find it, but you can be one of them. And hold to the dreams God has promised to all who overcome.
Note: If the message of the preeminence of the first resurrection is new to you and you wish to understand this subject more fully, I recommend to you the book Christ in You - The Hope of Glory. It can be read freely online at the following link:
Heart4God Website: http://www.heart4god.ws
Parables Blog: www.parablesblog.blogspot.com
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063