Thursday, August 11, 2011

Prison, Praise and Promotion - Part Four

Joseph Herrin (08-11-2011)

Please note the date on this post. Today is the 11th day of the 8th month. It is also the year 2011. The number eleven denotes the following:

it is the number which marks, disorder, disorganization, imperfection, and disintegration.

[Source: http://philologos.org/__eb-nis/eleven.htm]

The Father has been speaking much to me through this number of late. Shortly after I was released from jail and had retrieved my cell phone from my daughter’s house, my phone rang. I was surprised because I didn’t think anyone knew I was out yet. It was a friend from the Atlanta area (Joe Boes). He said he had checked my status on the jail’s website and it reported that I had been released at 11:11 A.M. that morning. Following is a screen shot from the Houston County Jail’s website.












(Click on picture for larger image)

You may note that the last THREE numbers to the far right at the bottom under “Date Released” are 11 11:11. One of the first things that occurred nationally, and internationally, upon my release, is that the U.S. lost their triple A bond rating, and this has sent shockwaves through the world economy. Monday of this week the U.S. stock market fell drastically, over 600 points and yesterday (Wednesday) it declined a further 519 points. In the past two weeks the markets are down nearly 20% and have erased approximately two trillion dollars of wealth from the markets.

Today, is the 11th of August. Being the 8th month it signifies new beginnings. New things are not always pleasant and prosperous. In today’s Streams in the Desert devotion I found the following written.

“Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation” (Hab. 3:17, 18).


Observe, I entreat you, how calamitous a circumstance is here supposed, and how heroic a faith is expressed. It is really as if he said, “Though I should be reduced to so great extremity as not to know where to find my necessary food, though I should look around about me on an empty house and a desolate field, and see the marks of the Divine scourge where I had once seen the fruits of God’s bounty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord.”


Methinks these words are worthy of being written as with a diamond on a rock forever. Oh, that by Divine grace they might be deeply engraven on each of our hearts! Concise as the form of speaking in the text is, it evidently implies or expresses the following particulars: That in the day of his distress he would fly to God; that he would maintain a holy composure of spirit under this dark dispensation, nay, that in the midst of all he would indulge in a sacred joy in God, and a cheerful expectation from Him. Heroic confidence! Illustrious faith! Unconquerable love!–Doddridge.
[End Excerpt]

I believe the Spirit to be testifying that such days are near at hand. A people who have known great prosperity are soon to know great poverty. Famine, both natural and spiritual, is soon to stalk the land. What will be the response of the saints? Will their faith be sufficient to lead them to wait contentedly before Yahweh? Will they be at peace, or manifest great panic and distress? The prophet Habakkuk is an example of one whose heart attitude was honoring to the Father.

I would share something that Yahweh has been testifying to me. I have often shared that God has been raising up some men and women to be forerunners. These have been as explorers and pioneers, walking down an afflicted path before their brothers who must shortly follow. Yahweh confirmed this through the camper van He providentially provided for me back in 2005. Vehicles symbolize ministry, and the van was an Xplorer Van. It had a Pioneer sound system in it, and the tires were Pathfinder Trail tires.

In the Bible, Joseph, the son of Jacob, is a type of that forerunning ministry that has been prepared for this hour. Joseph was sent to Egypt to suffer BEFORE HIS BROTHERS. A day came when a worldwide disaster (a great famine) drove Joseph’s brothers to Egypt as well. Joseph testified:

Genesis 45:6-8
"For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there are still five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant in the earth, and to keep you alive by a great deliverance. Now, therefore, it was not you who sent me here, but God...”

Yahweh has great care for His people. See how He sent a man before the family of Jacob to preserve their lives in a time of distress. Back around 1999 the Spirit of Christ spoke to me and told me to begin using my first name, which is Joseph. Up until that time I had always been called by my middle name (Bradley). Yahweh testified that my name was significant, and He wanted me to use it. It was at that same time that He directed me to begin a ministry of writing. From the beginning I have signed my name on my books and writings as Joseph Herrin. The last name Herrin is derived from the German Herren, which is the word equivalent of the English “gentleman.” My name means, “the man, Joseph.”

I did not choose this name, but God chose it for me. Even as Yahweh spoke of that calling on Joseph’s life through dreams in the night, He has spoken to me through the name I was born with. We find in the Bible that this is not unusual, for many Bible characters had names that spoke prophetically of their ministry or experiences.

I have never believed that I am “THE Joseph” God has raised up to help guide His people through this hour, but I believe firmly that my heavenly Father has testified that I am one member of a Joseph Company that He has been preparing “for such a time as this.” This is not to boast, but simply to believe what Yahweh has repeatedly testified to me. Humility is not believing we are nothing. It is agreeing with what Yahweh testifies to us, and about us.

My experiences since that day in 1999 when Yahweh told me to begin using the name Joseph, has in a great many ways paralleled the experience of the son of Jacob who bore the same name. Most recently I have even found myself placed in jail. This was an experience of Joseph in the Old Testament. Solomon testified:

Ecclesiastes 1:9
That which has been is that which will be, and that which has been done is that which will be done. So there is nothing new under the sun.

Yahweh delights to work through types and anti-types. He often repeats experiences in the earth, permitting men today to understand His ways as they examine what He has done in the past. I believe the Spirit to be testifying that days of distress are near at hand. He has gone before His people by raising up some who have already walked through much distress while their faith failed not. These will be used of the Father to strengthen the faith of others with the intended result spoken by Joseph, “to preserve for you a remnant in the earth, and to keep you alive by a great deliverance.” Was Joseph boasting to speak these words? Or was he simply acknowledging that which the Father was accomplishing through him?

My purpose for writing such things is that the saints might understand the hour that they live in. Great distress is at the door. We are entering an hour of “disorder, disorganization, imperfection, and disintegration.” A special correlation exists between the number 11 in the Bible, its symbolic meaning as described in these italicized words, and Joseph. Joseph was the 11th son born to Jacob. He was raised up by God for a time of distress.

Joe Boes sent me a remarkable testimony the day after I was released from jail. He said that he was checking for my release daily, for God was setting before him a testimony that led him to expect that I would soon be released. Joe reads David Wilkerson’s daily devotions. For a number of days leading up to my release, David Wilkerson’s devotion had every day focused on the life of Joseph. Following is the remarkable transcript of these devotions.

GOD IS DOING A NEW THING
by David Wilkerson | August 1, 2011

How often have you heard Christians say, “God is doing a new thing in his church”? The “new thing” they refer to may be called a revival, an outpouring, a visitation, or a move of God.


Yet very often, this “new thing” dies out very quickly. And once it has faded, it can’t be found again. In this way, it proves not to be a move of God at all. In fact, Christian sociologists have tracked many of these visitations and discovered the average span of life of such an event is about five years.

Personally, I believe God is doing a new thing in his church today. Yet this great work of the Spirit can’t be found in just one location. It’s happening worldwide.


God will not begin a new thing in his church until he does away with the old. This biblical principle, proven throughout centuries of church history, is found in both Testaments and governs any true move of God. As Jesus put it, he won’t put new wine into old wineskins (see Mark 2:22).


The principle of doing away with the old and raising up the new was first introduced in the Old Testament at Shiloh. During the time of the Judges, God established a holy work in that city (see Judges 18:31). Shiloh, where the Lord’s sanctuary stood, was the center of all religious activity in Israel. The name Shiloh itself means “that which is the Lord’s.” This speaks of things that represent God and reveal his nature and character. God spoke to his people at Shiloh; it was there that Samuel heard God’s voice and where the Lord revealed his will to him (see 1 Samuel 1).


The Lord stopped speaking at Shiloh because the priest had become lazy and sensual and the city had become corrupt. God told Samuel, in essence, “Shiloh has become so defiled, it no longer represents who I am. This house is no longer mine. I’m finished with it.” So the Lord lifted his presence from the sanctuary and wrote “Ichabod” above the door, which means, “The glory of the Lord has departed.”


The Lord completely did away with the old but once again, he raised up a new thing. After that, the temple in Jerusalem became known as “the Lord’s house” and God spoke to his people there.


“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
[Source: http://www.worldchallenge.org/en/node/14315#]

Note: The date of the above devotion is 8-1, signifying a time of new beginnings. The devotion is titled “God is doing a new thing.” David Wilkerson wrote this devotion prior to his death on April 27th of this year. Yahweh is speaking prophetically through this saint even from the grave.

God is testifying that the church has become defiled. Its present state has come to an end. He will now judge it. He has further emphasized this by the profound testimony of the earthquakes in Christchurch, New Zealand. This new thing will appear very bitter to many, but for a remnant it will result in a great salvation.

THE JOSEPH COMPANY
by David Wilkerson | August 2, 2011

Let me show you the Joseph Company—a body of last-day believers wholly given to the Lord. They commune with God daily and are led by the Spirit in every detail of their lives. At this moment they are coming out of great trials to enter a place of revelation, wisdom and fruitfulness. God is working in them, giving them his truth and knowledge, and very soon he is going to call upon them as he did Joseph!


For the most part, the church today is experiencing widespread spiritual famine: shallow sermons, dead hearers, "lively" worship that is not backed up by righteous living.


God has always worked far in advance of every spiritual famine in his church. In every generation he has moved ahead to prepare a way out for his people!


The seventy-five members of Jacob's clan would have died in the great worldwide famine (and the promise of Israel would have been destroyed) had God not been working ahead of it all. In fact, some twenty years before the famine hit, God was already setting in motion a plan to save his people from destruction.


God sent Joseph ahead to Egypt! For twenty years God worked on this man—isolating him, trying him, preparing him for a place of authority—because Joseph was to become the life-saver of God's chosen. He kept Joseph from the limelight in order that he might be ready for a coming day of chaos and death!


Beloved, just as surely as God isolated Joseph, he has a Joseph Company today that is hidden from all eyes. These are in the furnace of affliction, prisons of testing, battlegrounds of trials and temptations. They are dying to this world, wanting nothing of its fame, honor, money or pleasure. And they are growing hungry to become more intimate with Christ, to know his heart and his voice.


You may not understand all the mysterious testings, trials and troubles in your life. But if your heart is fully set on following Christ, you can rest assured God has purpose in it all: He wants to bring you into his Joseph Company!
[Source: http://www.worldchallenge.org/en/node/14316]

Note: Every word of this devotion is profoundly important for the hour we live in. Pay attention! Be alert and sober! This is what I have testified. God has raised up a Joseph Company to minister to Yahweh’s remnant during a season of great spiritual famine. This company of overcomers have been laying up spiritual bread for years. Soon the famine will be severe and those who are hungry will begin to seek out those who have the Bread of Life. This will occur in conjunction with a time of great distress in the earth.

JOSEPH AND GOD’S FAVOR
by David Wilkerson | August 3, 2011

Does our heavenly Father favor certain of his children? Does the Bible say God is no respecter of persons? When it comes to salvation and his wonderful promises, God treats all alike but he also puts his special favor on those who respond wholeheartedly to his calling and yield their lives to him entirely!


Job said: "Thou hast granted me life and favour" (Job 10:12). David said: "For thou, Lord, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield" (Psalm 5:12).


Our heavenly Father puts a special garment on those who completely give him their heart: "I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness" (Isaiah 61:10).


Joseph responded to the Spirit's call, surrendering all, and as a favor from his father he received a robe that set him apart. But that favor of his father was costly! It cost Joseph relationships and brought him rejection, misunderstanding and mockery: "All his brethren . . . hated him" (Genesis 37:4).


Why did Joseph's brothers turn on him? The key is in verse 11: "His brethren envied him." When they saw the robe Joseph wore, they knew it spoke of favor, righteousness. And they hated it, because it reminded them of the Spirit's call they had rejected! Joseph was a reproach to their halfhearted lifestyle!


You see, Joseph's brothers sat around indulging in petty gossip and self-centered talk. Their hearts were occupied with lands, possessions, the future, but Joseph's was elsewhere. He spoke of the things of God, of supernatural dealings. God had given him dreams, which in that day was synonymous with hearing the voice of God.


Lukewarm believers around you will want to talk about their cars, houses and jobs, but you'd rather talk about eternal things, about what God is saying to you. Soon you'll become a reproach to their halfheartedness. They will envy you because you represent the call of the Holy Ghost they turned down!


Yes, Joseph was of a different cloth and that difference made him hated and envied among his brothers. And, beloved, the same will happen to you if you are sold out to Jesus!
[Source: http://www.worldchallenge.org/en/node/14317]

Note: People of God, it has not been forecast what devotions would be published on David Wilkerson’s blog. There was no way I could know he would be posting these messages at this hour. Yet, the Father has orchestrated all things perfectly. While I was in jail I wrote only one blog post. It was titled “The Garment of Humility.” It was a revelation of those garments Joseph was given to wear. If you have not read the article, I exhort you to do so.

http://parablesblog.blogspot.com/2011/06/garment-of-humility.html

Yahweh is now looking for other sons (both male and female) that He can honor. These will be ones who will yield their lives entirely to Him. This will be a costly surrender, but it will result in great promotion and honor in the end. Though this remnant will be hated in this life, they will be granted glory and ruling authority in the ages to come. Yahweh is even now at this hour beginning to invite many sons to wear garments of humility now that they might soon receive the pure linen garments of the overcomers in Christ.

EVERY WORD AND PROMISE WAS FULFILLED
by David Wilkerson | August 4, 2011

Joseph was in one of his darkest hours—lonely, downcast, about to give up his dreams, questioning his place in God. Suddenly, the call came from one of the king's guards: "Joseph! Get cleaned up—Pharaoh is calling for you!"


In that moment, I believe the Spirit of God came mightily upon Joseph and his heart leapt with excitement. He was about to understand what it was all about!


As Joseph shaved and trimmed his hair, he probably thought, "This is the beginning of what God promised me. Now I know I heard from him! The devil has not been in control and my life hasn't been wasted. God has been directing everything the entire time!"


In a matter of minutes, Joseph was standing before Pharaoh, listening to his dream. Joseph gave the interpretation of the coming famine and told Pharaoh he had to gather and store the nation's grain: "Someone must be in charge of the storehouses. You have to find a man who's full of wisdom to oversee it all" (see Genesis 4l).


Pharaoh looked around and then turned toward Joseph: "You! Joseph! I appoint you second ruler. Only I will have more power in the kingdom than you. You will oversee it all!"


How quickly things had changed! The day came when Joseph stood before his brothers and was able to say: "But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive" (Genesis 50:20).


"God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt" (45:7-8).


Dear saint, very soon you're going to understand your present fiery trials. God is going to bring you into the promise he gave you and suddenly it's all going to make sense. You'll see that he has never forsaken you. He had to take you this way, for he has been training you, preparing you, teaching you to trust him for everything. He has planned a time for you to be used—and that time is just ahead!
[Source: http://www.worldchallenge.org/en/node/14319]

Note: Although I believe brother Wilkerson has discerned much about Joseph, I do differ with him on a point he brings out here. Brother Wilkerson writes as if Joseph had given up hope, that his faith had failed in his bitter experiences and times of waiting. From both Scripture testimony, and my own experience, I can tell you that this was not the case. The Bible records the following of Joseph:

Psalms 105:19
Until the time that his word came to pass, the word of Yahweh tested him.

The word rendered here as “tested” is the Hebrew “tsaraph.” It means “to fuse metal, to refine.” Unbelief does not produce a purified product. Only faith, standing firm in the midst of injustice, disappointment, distress, and delays can produce something that has been refined and purified.

James 1:2-4
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

If faith fails in testing, it is not yet perfected. Faith is only perfected as it does not fail during testing and delays. Abraham’s faith was considered perfect before God when after many years he continued to believe that God was able to fulfill what He had spoken. Though Abraham’s body was as good as dead, and Sarah was aged and barren, yet his faith grew stronger, not weaker.

Romans 4:19-21
Without becoming weak in faith he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah's womb; yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform.

No man can attain to promotion unless he has believed God, and honored Him with his faith. While I was in jail a sister from England sent me a poem I published a few days back. It included the following lines.

Faith failed not through those long, dark days of waiting,
His trust in God was recompensed at last,
The moment came when God led forth his servant
To succor many, all his sufferings past.

I can attest in my own experience that faith has not failed. Rather, it has grown stronger with time. My confession, even in jail, was ever “Yahweh you are faithful. Surely You will fulfill every word You have spoken. What you have testified, You will bring it to pass, for you are faithful and You fail not.” I am fully persuaded that Joseph, the son of Jacob, also had a strong confidence in Yahweh, and that it was stronger near the end of his trials than at the beginning.

JOSEPH'S GREATEST TRIAL WAS THE WORD OF GOD!
by David Wilkerson | August 5, 2011

"He sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold for a servant . . . until the time that his word came: the word of the Lord tried him" (Psalm 105:17, 19). Joseph was tested and tried in many ways but his greatest trial was the word he had received!


Consider everything Joseph endured: At only seventeen, he was stripped down and cast into a pit to starve to death. His cold-hearted brothers laughed at his pleas for mercy and sold him to Ishmaelite traders who took him by caravan to an Egyptian slave market and sold him as a common slave.


Yet Joseph's greatest trial wasn't his rejection by his brothers or even the human indignity of being made into a slave or being cast into prison. No—what confused and tried Joseph’s spirit was the clear word he had heard from God!


God had revealed to Joseph through dreams that he would be given great authority that he would use for God's glory. His brothers would bow before him and he would be a great deliverer of many people.


I do not believe any of this was an ego trip for Joseph. His heart was so set on God that this word gave him a humble sense of destiny: "Lord, you have put your hand on me to have a part in your great, eternal plan.” Joseph was blessed just by knowing he would play an important role in bringing God's will to pass! But the circumstances in Joseph's life were just the opposite of what God had put in his heart. He was the servant—he had to bow! How could he believe that he would one day deliver multitudes when he was a slave himself? He must have thought, "This doesn't make sense. How could God be ordering my steps into prison, into oblivion? God said I was going to be blessed but he didn't tell me this was going to happen!"


For ten years Joseph faithfully served in Potiphar's house but in the end he was misjudged and lied about. His victory over temptation with Potiphar's wife only landed him in jail. During such times he must have pondered the awful questions: "Did I hear correctly? Did my pride invent these dreams? Could my brothers have been right? Maybe all these things are happening to me as discipline for some kind of selfish desire.”


Beloved, there have been times when God has shown me things he has wanted for me—ministry, service, usefulness—yet every circumstance was the very opposite of that word. At such times I thought, "Oh, God, this can't be you speaking; it must be my flesh," I was being tried by God's word to me but God has given us his promises and we can trust them, all of them!
[Source: http://www.worldchallenge.org/en/node/14320]

Note: I will not belabor the points I made before. Certainly there is a temptation to disbelieve God. Satan would entice us to respond in unbelief, to wag our tongues in unbelief and discontent with the way Yahweh has ordered our circumstances. Yet, those who would progress on to perfection will of necessity come to rule over their tongues. These will “take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” They will not permit their minds to entertain thoughts that are unworthy of Yahweh. They will not accuse Yahweh of lacking love, of not caring for them, of being unjust. Such a response will fit no man for entry into their inheritance in Christ. Rather, those who do such things will die in the wilderness.

I am persuaded that Joseph ruled over his thoughts. He ruled over his tongue. As a result, he also was brought to a place of ruling over all that Yahweh desired to entrust to his care.
This last post was published the day I was released from jail. Joe Boes told me that what struck him is that it is written in the past tense, as if things have already been accomplished. For example, the title reads “JOSEPH'S GREATEST TRIAL WAS THE WORD OF GOD!” No wonder Joe checked that day to see whether I had been released. What a blessing for me to learn that Yahweh had released me precisely at 11:11 A.M..

We serve a God who does all things with precision. At the appointed time He will perform all His will. I have oftentimes been amazed at the preciseness of what Yahweh does. We read the following of the children of Israel being released from bondage in Egypt.

Exodus 12:41
And at the end of four hundred and thirty years, to the very day, all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt.

Similarly, Yahshua, the Passover Lamb of God, was crucified at the precise time that the Jewish priests were offering up the Passover lambs on the day of Passover. My testimony to many a man in the jail was that I was not concerned about my release date, for I was confident that when Yahweh wanted me set free, the prison doors would be opened. I was content to wait upon Him.

People of God, I believe the Father is testifying that many things are at hand. Those who have been being prepared for a Joseph ministry will now begin to see doors opened for the fulfillment of things Yahweh has spoken to them for many years. Though the days ahead will be calamitous and distressing in many ways, it will also be an hour of unprecedented salvation. Yahweh will purify a people who will be a praise unto Him in this earth.

The hour is at hand. Let us be expectant. Stand in faith. Listen carefully to the voice of the Spirit of Christ. Be quick to obey all He has spoken.

May you be blessed with peace and understanding in these days

P.S. I recommend the following blog post with the August 11th date on it.
http://crossinthewilderness.blogspot.com/


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

Parables Blog: www.parablesblog.blogspot.com    

Mailing Address:
Joseph Herrin
c/o Fair Harbor RV Park
515 Marshallville Road
Perry, GA 31069-3016

4 comments:

Joshua said...

Hey Joseph,

This is really encouraging and I know Gordon and Deirdre are going to be super encouraged by it.
Love you all :).

WOW on the garment of humility!
SO AWESOME! :)

In Christ with love,
Joshua

AngelaM said...

Brother Joseph,
Wow! Sometimes it is just fun to know that I hear from God. I had sent that devotional from David Wilkerson to you in jail, and just received it back in the mail today as you were not there any longer. I had the same reservations about what Pastor Wilkerson said concerning Joseph's discouragement in prison and attempted to explain it to my husband last week. Just yesterday I was explaining Ecclesiastes 1:9 to my daughter. And I have spent the summer pondering the Roman's 4:19-21 verses about Abraham's faith. The fact that it did not even enter his mind to doubt. I have been asking for that kind of belief. And I believe that the Father is accomplishing this in me. When circumstances look their worst, that is an exciting time for me, because the potential is limitless with the Father. The times we have walked thorough the shadow of the valley of death have been the greatest blessings for they have established my faith in my Father's love and provision. I am not naive, that the days to come will be easy, but I look forward to the great presence of Yahweh in my life as I walk though them.

So glad to hear words from you that confirm what the Father is already working in my life. So happy to have you among us again!

Blessings,
Angela

Joseph Herrin said...

Thank you Angela for your graciousness in sending the devotion to me at the jail address. Yahweh is doing awesome things in this hour. My daughter brought me some of my mail last night and in it was a handwritten letter from a sister in Christ from New York. She had hand written out two of the devotions from David Wilkerson and mailed them to me, but I was released before they arrived. What a blessing to have these confirmations.

I would remark on one thing you said, I do not believe it would be accurate to say that doubts never entered Abraham's mind, or Joseph's, or any other. Rather, I believe they considered such thoughts unworthy of God who is faithful. We read in the book of Hebrews that Abraham considered that if he should have to slay his son that Yahweh was able to raise him from the dead. There is often wrestling attended with coming to such a confident trust in Yahweh, but those who know Yahweh will put their lives, and the lives of those dearest to them, into the Father's hands. Abraham knew that what God had spoken about Issac, He must honor, for God cannot lie.

This is our source of confidence, an assurance of the goodness and faithfulness of God.

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

AngelaM said...

I agree with you about Joseph and Abraham. I guess I did not express myself clearly.