Joseph Herrin (03-02-2012)
The above image shows my bus when I first bought it a couple years ago. The previous owner’s last name was Nash, and he used the bus to drive to the NASCAR races at Atlanta Motor Speedway. You can see the numbers of some of his favorite drivers painted in various locations across the bus. Under previous ownership the bus was utilized by two different Methodist churches that used it in their children’s ministries. The bus still had the words “CHURCH BUS” painted across the back of it when I purchased it.
The bus was a strange hybrid when the Father directed me to purchase it. There may not be another NASCAR church bus on the road. Yahweh has for quite some time opened my eyes to observe parables in various details, and I have no doubt that He had something to speak to me through this particular vehicle with its myriad of strange and wonderful details.
The bus was built by Carpenter Body Works, and it has an ID plate inside that says “Body by Carpenter.” The name Carpenter is also observed on the indoor lighting, and on the steps as one enters the bus. I preserved these details when I remodeled the bus, transforming it into a motorhome.
The bus actually had another role before it was a church bus, or a NASCAR platform. It was originally owned by a public school system. I had previously shared that one parallel I had seen between this bus and the church, is that the church was tasked with the role of making disciples. In the Great Commission Christ used the following words:
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you.
Christ’s commission was to teach, making disciples of all nations. After being used to transport students to school to facilitate teaching, the bus was used to transport children to church. Hopefully, there was some teaching being done, but knowing the apostate condition of the Methodist Church, I am fairly confident that Christ’s commission to “make disciples” was not being accomplished. After a lengthy season the bus was then sold and used for an entertainment platform. This parallels the decline of the church. It began as a training ground for disciples. It then was reduced to giving instruction to spiritual children, not leading any to maturity. Then it was given over to a pursuit of entertainment.
In its most recent incarnation, the bus is now serving as a habitation for myself, and at times for others. This brings the story of the church full circle. Even though the church has declined, falling into apostasy and a pursuit of entertainment and pleasure, Yahweh will call forth a remnant and make them into a fit habitation for His presence.
Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
I believe this interpretation of the details surrounding this bus is a true testimony. Yet, I believe the Father is bringing forth an additional message at this hour. I began to ponder this when Michael Shevlane sent me the comments on the blog I had posted on the Daytona 500 race. If you missed the post, you can find it here:
I am going to repeat Michael’s comments. He wrote:
I saw your article on the Daytona 500 and though I did not see the race, a couple of other things came to mind. Firstly, on the Saturday there was the second tier race at Daytona, the Nationwide Series, which I did not see either except literally the last couple of laps, as I happened to be buying food in an establishment that had the race on a large screen. I watched the last two laps as I ate, and I found the finale very interesting:
Basically, the cars were all together coming to the end of the last lap, when a chain reaction started, which crashed out all of the top ten drivers. The driver in 11th, a relative unknown driver who had never won, somehow missed all of the spinning, crashing cars and won the race. His car number was 30. This seemed very notable to me at the time, and it made me think of Joseph, who was the 11th brother, but ultimately gained preeminence before his older brothers. The number 30 is also associated closely with Joseph as the age in which he was raised up to the right hand of Pharaoh, and obviously has connotations of maturity. As far as the finish itself, I felt as though it symbolized the mature son coming faithfully through the midst chaos and confusion, and wreckage to emerge into victory.
I did not see the 500 either, but I could not help noticing that Matt Kenseth’s sponsor was ‘Best Buy’, and this made me think of the Lord bidding the church at Laodicea to “buy from me gold refined in the fire”. This would certainly constitute the ‘Best Buy’ possible, and also tie in to the refinement theme of the race. Furthermore, I looked up Matt Kenseth on Wikipedia and notice that he turns 40 on March 10th, less than two weeks after the race, which ties in again to the fiery trial symbol that you pointed out with regards to the race being halted with 40 laps to go.
I found a number of videos online that show the end of this race. It is quite remarkable to watch. On the very last half of the last lap of the race, the top ten leaders are all involved in a crash and the driver in the 11th position passes by all of them and drives across the finish line to take the checkered flag and be declared the winner of the race. Following is one video I found on YouTube.
As I pondered this race, a number of thoughts came to mind that I believe serve as parables of this present hour and what the Father is doing. This race was held on Saturday February 25th, the day before the Daytona 500 was to be run. This race was not as prestigious as the Daytona 500, and it was not aired during Prime Time. In this, I believe is a parable of those forerunners that have been running a race that has been little observed in this hour. Yahweh has been preparing a group of sons who will serve as guides to His people who will be called to run a race in this last hour.
We see this pattern in the life of Moses. At the age of forty, Moses slew an Egyptian and fled for his life into the deserts of Midian. Moses had been a prince of Egypt. He had the best education available, and the abundance of material possessions to be found in the household of Pharaoh. Yet he traded this away, choosing instead to share in the reproaches of Christ. At the end of forty years in the wilderness Yahweh declared that Moses was the most humble man on the face of the earth.
An interesting parallel is seen in the race being discussed. The driver in the 11th position, James Buescher, won the race by “going low” when the crash occurred. Because the crash was on a curve, cars tend to drift upward in a wreck. Their speed forces them to the top of the track. James Buescher instinctively steered his car low on the track and by doing so he not only escaped collision, but won the race. This is a parable of choosing the humble path.
When Yahweh had worked the needed humility into Moses, he then used him to lead His people through a similar experience. They too had a wilderness experience to pass through, and a race to be won. The purpose of the wilderness is to humble mankind and to bring him into a state of submission and reliance upon Yahweh.
“You shall remember all the way which Yahweh your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of Yahweh.”
The Father has been taking a group of His sons and daughters through wilderness experiences for some years now. The Father has indicated to me that I have been a part of this group. It has been necessary for those who will serve as guides to others through their wilderness journeys to have first passed through the same themselves. Back in 1999 the Father spoke to me the following. He said, “I have indeed called you to be a cutter of grass, for all flesh is as grass. But first you must let me cut the grass in your own life.”
In 2004 the Father led me through two forty day periods of camping in the Oconee Forest in Georgia. It was a time of trials following on the heels of my wife leaving me. I had only a tent, and very little food. The weather was difficult, and there was loneliness, and various deprivations to contend with. The Father gave me a two day break between these forty day periods where I was able to go back to town. Get some food, bathe, wash my clothes and bedding, and sleep in a comfortable bed. Then He sent me back for the second forty day period. On that last day as I got in my car to leave, the trip odometer read 240, and I had just had two forty day periods in the wilderness.
It was only in retrospect that the Father gave me understanding of the experiences. He told me that the first forty day period represented that wilderness experience ahead of me that was needed for my humbling and preparation as a son. He said the second experience would parallel Moses’ life as I would then be used of Him to guide a group of sons and daughters through the wilderness experience prepared for them. This latter experience is what I would refer to as Prime Time. It is that spoken of in Revelations chapter 12:
Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars. Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth. And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born. She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne. Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days.
There is a wilderness experience appointed to the people of God. I do not mean to imply that this will be a trek into a literal wilderness. The book of Revelation is a book where physical images are used to represent spiritual truth. Much of my wilderness experience during the past 12 years has taken place in town, at a rescue mission, among the homeless and drug addicts and alcoholics. The wilderness is symbolic of an afflicted path that God will use to humble and purify His people. It can take place anywhere that He chooses. The Israelites did not remain static in their wilderness. They journeyed. They camped at forty-two different places before they arrived at their destination.
As Michael pointed out, there are other people in the Bible who serve as types and shadows of those saints the Father will work through in these last days. Even as Moses serves as a type, so does Joseph, the son of Jacob. Joseph was used of God to preserve alive a remnant during a time of famine. Joseph spoke the following words to his brothers.
“God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant in the earth, and to keep you alive by a great deliverance.”
Even so, Yahweh has appointed some to serve a similar role to the church in the wilderness. Joseph provided food for the family of Jacob even as Moses provided food for the same. Both men were meek, having to pass through many experiences that were intended to humble them. Moses’ experience was in a literal wilderness, while Joseph’s experience was in the midst of Egypt. Joseph was sold as a slave to an officer of Pharaoh. He later was falsely accused and put in prison. Though Joseph went to Egypt and suffered before his brothers, a similar experience was also appointed to them. They would be slaves for 400 years in Egypt. The people of Moses’s day also had to pass through their own wilderness experience as Moses had done previously.
This is a pattern which will be fulfilled in this hour. I believe that the race being run by the first group, which seems a small and insignificant matter in the eyes of the world and the church, is coming to an end. A time of release is at hand. Most of you have heard of the Daytona 500, but how many are familiar with the Nationwide Drive4COPD 300 race that preceded it? I had never heard of it. That was the name of the race James Buescher won. Most of you have heard of the Great Tribulation, but how many are familiar with those sons who must be prepared to lead the church through the wilderness? One event is obscure and the other is Prime Time. Consider the words of Revelation 12 again.
“Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days.”
Even as Moses fed the children of Israel in the wilderness, and even as Joseph fed his brothers and their families in Egypt, there must be a group of sons prepared to preserve alive a remnant of God’s people in these last days. I believe the time for the woman to flee into the wilderness is near at hand. Perhaps there will be some delay, even as the Daytona 500 was delayed. But Prime Time is nearing. The hour for many prophecies to be fulfilled is at hand.
As I looked at the biography of James Buescher on Wikipedia some details stood out to me that further corroborate his serving as a type of forerunner in this hour. We are told that when Joseph was called forth from the prison to stand before Pharaoh that he was given charge to go across all of Egypt and make preparation for the coming day.
And Pharaoh said to Joseph, "See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt..." Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Egypt.
Joseph was given a nationwide ministry. James Buescher was competing in the Nationwide Series. James Buescher actually split his time between two different NASCAR racing series. Following is an excerpt from Wikipedia.
James Buescher (born March 26, 1990) is a NASCAR driver currently running full-time in its Camping World Truck Series... He also runs part-time... in the NASCAR Nationwide Series...
(Note that Buescher was 22 years old when he won the race. This number signifies flesh cutting and the work of the cross in a person’s life.)
In an interesting parallel, the Father has had me camping full-time for a number of years, while He has also sent me out part-time across the nation to speak to a chosen remnant of His people. I suspect that this pattern will continue. The Wikipedia article also contains the following information on Buescher.
He made his return to the Nationwide Series at Kansas Speedway in September driving for Turner Motorsports in the #11 Great Clips Toyota.
Joseph was the 11th son of Jacob, but he received the birthright that belonged to the firstborn son. James formerly drove the #11 car when he returned to the Nationwide Series. Is it not telling that he was sponsored by Great Clips, which speaks of cutting. Great Clips is a chain of hair salons. Hair represents man’s glory, and the cutting of the hair speaks of humility.
The Nationwide Series section of the article on James Buescher ends with the following words:
Buescher won the season opener at Daytona, avoiding a massive crash on the final lap and coming from 11th to win, leading only the final lap.
This was Buescher’s first NASCAR win. When he did win, he led the race for less than half a lap. His win was improbable, unexpected, and occurred suddenly. He had ten cars ahead of him even as Joseph had ten older brothers. James’ victory came suddenly. He was surprised by it. He spoke of how shocked he was to see no cars ahead of him and the finish line in sight.
So too did the life of Joseph change suddenly. In one day he was brought from the prison to a position of preeminence. Moses’ life also changed suddenly when after forty years tending sheep for his father-in-law, Yahweh appeared to him at the burning bush. For those who have been toiling in obscurity, wondering if the promises of God will be fulfilled in your life, there is a lesson here. Do not judge the potential for a victorious turn of events upon your past experience, or even your present position. Stay in the race. With Yahweh in control, things can change SUDDENLY.
Looking at my bus, and myself, I am certainly glad that “the race is not to the swift.” My bus will go no faster than 55 MPH.
I returned and saw under the sun that —
The race is not to the swift,
Nor the battle to the strong,
Nor bread to the wise,
Nor riches to men of understanding,
Nor favor to men of skill;
But time and chance happen to them all.
My times, and yours, are in Yahweh’s hands. (Psalm 31:15)
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