Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Shaking Christ’s Church

Joseph Herrin (02-23-2011)

Hebrews 12:26-27
"Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven."  Now this, "Yet once more," indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain.

Yesterday, February 22, 2011, a major earthquake struck Christchurch, New Zealand. The damage and loss of life far exceeded the 7.0 magnitude quake that struck the city five months earlier. Significantly, many churches that had survived the previous earthquake with limited damage were destroyed, or damaged beyond repair in yesterday’s temblor.



Christchurch Cathedral - Tower Destroyed and Building Damaged
(Click on any image to view larger)

You may want to review the posts on the 2010 earthquake as an accompaniment to this article.

http://parablesblog.blogspot.com/2010/09/great-shaking.html
http://parablesblog.blogspot.com/2010/09/judgment-has-begun.html
http://parablesblog.blogspot.com/2010/09/christchurch-update.html

I want to repeat a short portion of the first post on the 2010 Christchurch earthquake. I cited a prophetic word by Phil Buck that was delivered shortly after the Haiti quake, and nine months before the one in New Zealand.

EARTHQUAKE in THE CHURCH - a Word
-by Phil Buck.

January 27, 2010 - Prayer time for the Church, at our home.

I heard a word in my mind saying, There’s coming an earthquake of the magnitude 7.0 that was experienced in Haiti, only it is coming to the Church. I have sent many warnings down through the portals of time, that this day was coming, and now is here, even at the door. The earthquake will start from outside the Church, and then will permeate the Church from within. Prepare, prepare, there will be destruction as would never have been imagined.

The rubble of the buildings of man will crumble to the ground. The teachings of man will have come full circle. There will be people that have bought into the man system and will be destroyed in the rubble of the collapse, some spiritually and others both spiritually and physically. For they have believed a lie and will suffer the consequences of their doing.

[End Excerpt]

Consider the ways in which this prophetic word parallel the events in Christchurch. The 2010 earthquake was centered 40 km outside of the city. The prophetic word declared “the earthquake will start outside the church.” Yesterday’s earthquake was centered 10 km outside the city and was also much closer to the surface, making its impact much more severe.

During the September 2010 earthquake, not a single person’s life was lost, and although 2300 homes were condemned, and numerous buildings damaged, the absence of more dire consequences was hailed as extremely unusual. Some who have faith in God attributed the absence of more grievous consequences to His grace. It has been five months since the September quake. Five is the Biblical number for grace.

The prophetic word said “Prepare! Prepare!” In what ways are the people of God to prepare for the shaking that is at hand? The prophetic word specifically mentioned two areas that would be tested in this shaking; the teachings (doctrines), and the works of the church.

Yahweh will judge the teachings and the works of His people. Those who have embraced error will suffer loss due to their having built upon the teachings of man, rather than the truths of God.

In considering this matter, I have been led to reflect upon the Spirit’s guidance in my life beginning back in 1999. At that time, Yahweh impressed upon me the necessity to surrender the direction of my life into His hands. Up until this time I had been raised up in the churches. I had a sincere devotion to God, and was judged to be more dedicated to the Father than most. Yet, my life was one of contradiction. I called Christ “Lord,” but most of my life’s decisions were decided by my soul. I was doing many things of my own initiative, often presenting to God a sacrifice of my choosing rather than the obedience He required.

The Father spoke to me at the time, revealing that He could take me no further apart from a complete surrender to go where He directed me to go, and a willingness to obey whatever He required of me. My soul was terrified of what I might encounter if I gave my life into the Father’s hands. I knew there would be a cross appointed to me, and I did not like the thought of suffering.

The Spirit persisted by indicating to me that I would actually begin to lose what I had previously gained, and I would forfeit the good things God had planned for my life, if I did not accept the call to “take up my cross and follow Christ.”

The church today has heaped up to themselves teachers to tell them what the soul of man wants to hear. The doctrines of the church permit men to remain in control of their own lives, rather than surrendering all they are and all they possess unto God.

The recent teaching series I have posted on the Law provides one example of how the teachings of the church have deviated from the message of Christ and His apostles. The church would prefer to adopt a body of laws to guide them, than to yield the control of their lives to the Spirit. By adopting a code of conduct, the church retains control of the major portion of their life’s decisions. Consequently, men can make a good showing in the flesh while avoiding the cross God has appointed to every disciple of Christ.

How does a person prepare for God’s shaking? They invite the Father to reveal to them the quality of the foundation they have been building upon. They entreat the Father to reveal the deficiencies in their doctrines and works. When God points out an area that is false, they must tear down that which is defective and begin to build anew according to the plan of the Father.

In my own life, this process included great changes both in my teachings and in my circumstances. Those who are unwilling to have their present lives interrupted, their current manner of existence radically altered, will find themselves clinging futilely to that which cannot stand.

After the Christchurch earthquake last year, the prevailing response of the churches was to re-build that which had fallen using the same pattern as before. There was no consideration of abandoning an unsafe design. Most of the danger lay in the great towers and soaring cathedral ceilings of the buildings. The pride of man would not permit consideration of a more lowly, and humble, yet practical and safe building design. The cry throughout the city was to re-build what was shaken and make it stronger than before. It did not matter to men that God had not initiated these proud works. It did, however matter to God.

Among the largest and proudest church buildings in Christchurch are those constructed by the Roman Catholic diocese. The mother church of the Roman Catholic diocese is Christchurch Basilica, also called the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament. The towers of the Basilica had been damaged last year in the main earthquake and its aftershocks, especially the one that occurred on Boxing Day.

The inside of the Cathedral was closed off to public use until repairs could be made. At the beginning of this month, a contract was signed to commence repair work on the towers that were damaged from the earlier quake. The assessment at the beginning of this month was that “they are definitely fixable.”

Article Link


Christchurch Basilica Before Earthquake


Christchurch Basilica After Yesterday’s Earthquake

Preliminary reports indicate that the Basilica cannot be repaired.

The two bell towers at the front of the building collapsed, bringing much of the front fa├žade down with them, with large blocks of masonry destroying vehicles in front of the building. There was also major cracking evident around the cathedral's main dome. Stained glass windows, which had survived the September 4 earthquake and some 4,000 aftershocks, were also "in ruins."
[Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cathedral_of_the_Blessed_Sacrament,_Christchurch]

It is not just the Catholic Church that God is judging. He is judging ALL His people. Perhaps the grandest building in town, and most prominent landmark was the Anglican Church’s Cathedral.


Anglican Cathedral Before and After Earthquake 2-22-2011

Those familiar with the teachings on this blog know that the number 22 denotes flesh cutting, and judgment on wickedness. The date of this recent, destructive earthquake, as written in New Zealand’s format, is 22-2-2011.

The year 2011 is defined by the number 11. According to E.W. Bullinger in the book Number in Scripture, 11 bears the following significance.


If ten is the number which marks the perfection of Divine order, then eleven is an addition to it, subversive of and undoing that order. If twelve is the number which marks the perfection of Divine government, then eleven falls short of it. So that whether we regard it as being 10 + 1, or 12 - 1, it is the number which marks, disorder, disorganization, imperfection, and disintegration.
[Source: http://philologos.org/__eb-nis/eleven.htm]

Did Yahweh appoint the shaking of Christchurch to occur on this specific date to reveal something through the date? I believe He did. God is signifying that a double portion of judgment upon the flesh and wickedness of the body of Christ is at hand. The immediate result will be disorder, disorganization, imperfection, and disintegration. In truth, this is already the spiritual condition of the church.

The church lacks God’s order and organization. Christ is to be Head of the body. He is to guide and direct His people. Instead, the church has raised men to this position, while looking to the soul of man to guide and direct. The church is imperfect. Christ said, “If you would be perfect... take up your cross and follow Me.” This the church has refused to do. Dis-integration, a lack of oneness among the body, and an absence of union with God, are the result of these things.

We are entering a time when the world will experience a tremendous shaking. This shaking in the world economies, governments, and social structures will serve to expose the apostate condition of the church. Many who have embraced doctrines of prosperity, ease and comfort will experience a shattering of their lives as the world economy begins to shake violently. The affluent lives of millions will be turned to poverty with great suddenness. Those who have equated worldly blessing with spiritual success will find that they have erred greatly.

Such errors are not the domain of one particular church or denomination. They are nearly universal. Yahweh will expose the defects in His church, exposing every work of man. All that the heart of man has devised will not stand.


St. John’s Anglican Church After Quake


Knox Church - Presbyterian - Before and After


Oxford Street Baptist Church After Quake


Unidentified Church - Destroyed by Quake

People of God, it is evident that the world has been going through upheavals in the past few years, particularly beginning with the financial crisis of 2008. Here in America, millions are now unemployed. Millions have lost their homes to foreclosure. Many lives are in upheaval.

The response of most, in and out of the church, has been to try to hold things together as long as possible. Few have been willing to make true, foundational changes in their lives. How then will they be ready for the much more intense shaking that the Spirit is indicating is near at hand?

One website reported that on Saturday February 19, just 3 days before this most recent quake, Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker held a summit meeting of all the parties involved in the recovery operation from the 2010 quake. They were laying out plans to restore the city to its former glory.

Article Link

Those who met had no idea that a far greater destruction would be visited upon their city in just a few short days. God has provided this spectacular sign to warn His people that upheaval is coming. He knows that most of the doctrines and works of the church are wood, hay and stubble. They will not stand. The faith of multitudes will collapse, for they have not the strength to stand. Multitudes will experience great loss in both spiritual and natural realms. This loss could have been mitigated, and perhaps it still might if people will surrender immediately to be led of the Spirit.

An End of Playing Games

The attitude here in America is characterized by the events of Christchurch. The Mayor and citizens of Christchurch have been applying themselves to getting the city back in order from last year’s quake. Part of their motive is that Christchurch was slated to host seven games for the Rugby World Cup in 2011.

Article Link

The church has sought to shrug off the economic disturbances of the past couple years as quickly as possible that she might also return to a pursuit of fun and games. They do not see the judgment at their very doorstep.

I Peter 4:17
For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God...

The Spirit has been testifying that it is time for all saints to get their houses in order. Those who do not will certainly suffer loss.

Collapse in Christchurch

Heart4God Website: http://www.heart4god.ws  

Parables Blog: www.parablesblog.blogspot.com  

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

4 comments:

Kim said...

Perhaps you have read this, Joseph. It adds another layer to this message from God...to give Him thanks in ALL things.

http://www.johnthebaptisttv.com/2011/02/23/awful-shaking-in-christchurch-andrew-strom/

Joseph Herrin said...

Dear Kim,

I have read Andrew Strom's comments on his experiences trying to arrange an ecumenical praise service in the city after last year's earthquake. I will share a couple thoughts on the subject.

Mr. Strom wrote of his efforts to orchestrate an ecumenical praise and thanksgiving rally/concert in Christchurch after the September 2010 earthquake. He reached out to numerous ministers and musicians, but could not find any to be interested in participating with him. His statements would lead one to conclude that this response was due to an absence of gratitude for the lives that were protected during the quake.

I am not convinced that this was the reason he could not find other ministers willing to participate with him. Andrew Strom is regarded as a firebrand. He is very outspoken, and he has stepped on the toes of many who are in organized religion. Some of what he has said and done to offend people is from God, and some is from Andrew.

I suspect that the lack of cooperation had more to do with various individuals lack of desire to work with Andrew, than it had with their being averse to thanking God for their lives being spared.

One must also ask, is a community wide praise service the response Yahweh was looking for among His people? It is easy to honor God with one’s lips, but it is very difficult to lay down one’s life to follow Christ. One of the root issues God is judging in the church is their self-directed manner of living. The church calls Christ “Lord,” but they are not surrendered to be led of the Spirit in all they say and do. Their confession is a false profession.

Yahweh is seeking those of a humble and contrite heart. He is asking His people to repent, to turn away from dead works that they might perform works of the Spirit. Having a community praise gathering would not have satisfied the Father.

Amos 5:23-24
Take away from Me the noise of your songs, for I will not hear the melody of your stringed instruments. But let justice run down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream.

Psalms 51:17
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart - These, O God, You will not despise.

Yahweh wants His people to return to Him as their first love. He wants men to die to their own desires and yield their lives to be directed by the Spirit. The response which God is seeking from His people has not yet been found. Apart from true repentance and surrendered lives, Yahweh will not be pleased with the voices of men who gather to praise Him.

Anonymous said...

Joseph, I believe that you have partial truth and andrew strom has partial truth. None of us has all the answers, all the time, If we did there would not be any need of "the church body" or of the Holy Spirit to lead us in to all truth. That's why I pray without ceasing and let the Holy Spirit lead me on, and to direct me to what I need to read and hear and by whom.I'm learning daily on what it means to follow the Spirit. I just keep pursuing hard and fast after my love Jesus Christ.
Peace to you, Joseph!

Mark K. said...

Dear Brother Joseph:

Your comments regarding Christchurch hit the nail on the head. Another symbol of the religious institututions of men, a steeple, has fallen. Will the response be one of humility and repentance?? Or will we once again hear the proud proclaim, "we will rebuild once again, bigger and stronger than before"? Also, your thoughts regarding brother Andrew Strom remind me how fine is the line between proclaiming truth in an abraisive and offensive way, as opposed to proclaiming truth with a yielded and humble spirit. The Holy Spirit still has much work to do in MY life regarding this matter! May the work of HIS refining fire continue, for HIS praise & glory!!

Mark K