Joseph Herrin (04-05-2012)
Many of the readers of the Parables Blog are unacquainted with my earlier writings posted on the Heart4God website. I was led to begin the Parables Blog in April of 2008. Three months prior to this I had received discipline from the Father pertaining to the food I put in my body. I wrote a post regarding this correction from Yahweh. It is titled Yahweh Speaks Through a Heart Attack. I think reading that post will give the reader here a better understanding of the Father’s dealing in my life in this area.
Yahweh is seeking to bring forth perfected sons and daughters in this hour. Like the Israelites of the Old Testament, we have set before us the challenge to take possession of the land. The Israelites were led by Joshua to take possession of Canaan. It was a land filled with many enemies. There were strongholds, fortified cities, and giants in the land. All of these had to be conquered, killed, or driven out, for if they remained they would become a snare to the people of God. The sins of the land of Canaan would entice God’s people to wickedness. The idols of the land would lead them to commit spiritual adultery. Therefore, Yahweh commanded them to be zealous and to do a thorough job of subduing the land of their inheritance.
We too have a land to conquer. Christ said “the kingdom of God is within you.” We each dwell in a little piece of real estate formed from the dust of the earth. As Paul testified, “In my flesh dwells no good thing.” “Sin dwells in my flesh.” The land of our flesh must be subdued. We too have a Joshua (Yahshua) to lead us into battle. He will give us the battle plan to pull down every stronghold, break through and subdue every fortified city, and slay every giant in our lives.
We know the Israelites fell short of the will of God. They gained some victory, but they left various enemies in the land. These enemies became a snare unto them, leading them to great sin and idolatry. This resulted in Yahweh judging His people. We too will be judged by God if we do not rule over the enemies in our flesh. Yahweh desires that our bodies become a kingdom of peace and righteousness. This can only be the condition of our vessels when we have risen up and done much warfare against the passions and desires of the flesh. If we make peace with any sinful desire we will be snared by it.
This is why Yahweh is dealing strictly with a remnant of His sons and daughters in this hour. He must have a bride that is prepared for the appearing of His Son. His Son requires a bride without spot, blemish, or any wicked thing. Yahweh will therefore discipline His people. He will scourge every son that we might share in His holiness. When He has tried us we will come forth as gold, though we must pass through the fire.
The following account is from January of 2008. It reveals the scourging of the Father in my life. He is patient and merciful, but He will not strive with men forever. Let us exhort one another to stir ourselves up in Spirit that we might fully possess our vessels in holiness and righteousness.
I discovered after having posted this writing in 2008 that my website program assigned to it the number 622.
Those who are frequent readers of this blog will recognize the meaning of these numbers. Six is the number of the flesh man, and twenty-two signifies flesh cutting. Yahweh does all things perfectly.
If you have a testimony of your own to share regarding the chastening of the Father in your life, I invite you to consider sharing it for the edification of your brothers and sisters in Christ. Write up your testimony and send it in, and I will share as many as the Spirit permits.
May you be blessed with peace and understanding in these days.
Yahweh Speaks Through a Heart Attack
Joseph Herrin (01-18-08)
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
This past week I experienced a heart attack. It was an experience of chastisement by my Heavenly Father, and He was very present with me, speaking to me His thoughts the entire time. I wish to share with you the things He spoke to me, for in this experience there is a message for all of God’s children in this late hour.
This past Sunday, as I have done for several months, I led a Bible Study at the home of an older brother in Christ. The teaching given was titled Possessing the Land. This presentation has been posted to the Heart4God website, and I strongly urge all who have not viewed it to do so. The teaching reveals the parallels between Joshua leading the children of Israel in to take possession of the land of Canaan and the Christian taking possession of the land of his flesh under the leadership of Yahshua.
After the meeting I stopped by a Chinese restaurant on the way home and picked up some food for supper. Some months back the Father had told me that He wanted me to focus on losing weight, and He gave me a specific goal to attain to before my next birthday in May. I have struggled with weight issues most of my life, and for most of my adult life I have been brought to think about the matter of weight loss and eating a healthy diet, as the Spirit has brought conviction time after time.
This area of my life has been a real stronghold, as I find in myself a desire to eat many things that are not healthy, or profitable for my body. Like many Christians, I managed to ignore the still, small voice of the Spirit, and I put off until a later date becoming serious about the things the Spirit was speaking to me. I figured that I had time to attend to this area of my life before it led to any serious consequences.
As some of you know from reading the book Evidence of Things Unseen, back in 1998 I began to experience symptoms of diabetes. I had a very sedentary job as a computer professional, and with plenty of money I was very willful in the things I chose to eat. Over time my weight ballooned to 285 pounds, and eventually it led to my becoming diabetic. This got my attention, and at the Spirit’s leading I cut out fats and sugars from my diet and I quickly lost down to 235 pounds. All the symptoms of diabetes went away, and I became comfortable at that weight, and began to eat limited amounts of unhealthy foods while maintaining this weight.
For many years I saw no more consequences from my unhealthy eating habits. I was eating better than I had most of my life, but I still had not fully destroyed the stronghold of the flesh in this area of my life. In the past year I began to feel tired at work, and when I drank coffee I felt my heart pounding in my chest, so I gave up coffee, and once more the Spirit spoke to me. About five months ago He gave me specific instructions to lose down to 165 pounds, and to surrender my eating habits to Him.
I became excited about the prospect of getting down to this weight and becoming physically fit, and Yahweh said He would give me great grace to attain to this goal. He also indicated that arriving at this weight would be preliminary to certain things happening in my life, including a release into a greater and more effectual ministry. I listened to the Spirit and began applying myself to attaining the goal He had set before me. I was reading books on healthy eating and lifestyle, and I threw out the things I could no longer eat. I began exercising, and I got a set of scales and began weighing myself once a week on Fridays.
The first 20 pounds came off quickly, and I began feeling more energetic at work, and healthier in general. Many other things were happening at this time as the Lord provided a projection system and opened the door for me to teach a local Bible study. He told me to begin putting presentations together, and I began doing so. Yet after losing the first 20 pounds I once more began to make compromises in my eating.
I was down to 215 pounds, and I felt better, and I reasoned that attention to this matter of losing weight was not as important as preparing the teachings the Lord had given to me. For a couple months my weight stayed the same, and even began to inch back up. My focus on the goal was on and off. I made some right decisions in eating, but I was making a lot of exceptions. This past Sunday I stopped at the Chinese restaurant and ordered chicken and vegetables on fried rice with egg rolls. Part of my choices were healthy, and I reasoned that it was good enough to get by.
That night, January 13th, I began to feel tightness in my chest, and my left arm began to ache. I was not able to lie down due to my heart pounding so hard, so I sat up in a chair all night. The Spirit began to speak to me about how I had lost focus in doing the things He had commanded me, and how I had been walking in disobedience. I was very chastened, and I confessed my disobedience, and asked for His mercy.
On Monday I was feeling poorly and stayed home from work. The Spirit continued to deal with me, relating what was happening to the message I had given the day before on establishing the kingdom of God within our beings by ruling over every enemy, casting down every stronghold, and fighting the good fight of faith. I realized that for all of my 46 years I had allowed a stronghold to remain in the land of my flesh, and I had made peace with it. God, however, had not. He would not rest until everything within me was brought under His dominion. My fleshly appetite for unhealthy food had not yet come under His lordship.
I had never felt so bad physically as I did Sunday night and Monday. God had gotten my attention. This matter was all I could think about. I went and threw out some unhealthy food items that I had brought back into the house, and I went shopping and bought only those things I knew the Spirit had set His approval upon. I was much stricter in my selections than I had ever been before, seeking to be completely obedient to God.
Yahweh knew that I needed further chastening, however, as this was a mighty stronghold in my life, and I had let it remain in defiance to Him for many years. Monday night, January 14th, I began feeling even worse than the night before. The pain in my left arm increased. I could feel my heart laboring tremendously, and I had a slight feeling of nausea. I could not lie down, and once more sat in the chair in my room.
I considered calling a friend to let him know of my distress, and I considered whether the Lord would have me go to the hospital. I did neither, however, as I believed that this was a dealing of the Lord that I needed to place completely in His hands. As the night went on I was unable to sleep due to the discomfort. My heart’s laboring became more pronounced, and I could tell that my body was growing tired from the struggle. Between 2 and 3 A.M. I felt that I was reaching a critical point where God would either have to intervene and heal me, or my heart would give out.
During this time I felt an extraordinary peace. I knew I was under the chastening hand of God, and I had a sense of His great watchfulness over me. Although I felt alone in regard to human companionship, I knew I was in the presence of Yahweh. I reached a place of contentment where I was at peace whether my Father in heaven chose to take my life, or to spare me for further service and a more complete conformity to the image of Christ.
I keep my music on my laptop computer, which is connected to a stereo system in my room, and I felt led to turn it on to a playlist of songs which were all taken from the Psalms of David. As they played I found my soul agreeing with the words, and my prayer going up to the Father. One song was from Psalm 25, which contains the following words:
To You, O LORD, I lift up my soul.
O my God, in You I trust,
Do not let me be ashamed...
Make me know Your ways, O LORD;
Teach me Your paths.
Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
For You are the God of my salvation;
For You I wait all the day.
Remember, O LORD, Your compassion and Your lovingkindnesses,
For they have been from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions;
According to Your lovingkindness remember me,
For Your goodness' sake, O LORD.
Good and upright is the LORD;
Therefore He instructs sinners in the way.
He leads the humble in justice,
And He teaches the humble His way.
All the paths of the LORD are lovingkindness and truth
To those who keep His covenant and His testimonies.
For Your name's sake, O LORD,
Pardon my iniquity, for it is great.
I knew I had failed to obey the leading of the Spirit of Christ all these years, beginning in my youth, but I also understood that Yahweh is a God of mercy and lovingkindness. I could trust Him even in discipline.
I was reminded of David when his sin led to a severe chastisement where he was driven from Jerusalem before his son Absalom. David responded with a humble heart, confessing his iniquity, and being content with whatever Yahweh chose for him. David said:
II Samuel 15:25-26
“If I find favor in the sight of Yahweh, then He will bring me back again and show me... His habitation. But if He should say thus, ‘I have no delight in you,' behold, here I am, let Him do to me as seems good to Him.”
We can have no better attitude when confronted with the discipline of God. God takes no pleasure in judgment. He prefers that a man should repent, as His goal is always that righteousness and holiness be formed within His children. Yet, at times, our stubbornness requires that Yahweh deal with us severely.
As I endured the struggle within my body, my soul found comfort in the Psalms of David. Another song came on that the Spirit used to speak clearly to me.
For His anger is but for a moment,
His favor is for a lifetime;
Weeping may last for the night,
But a shout of joy comes in the morning.
As I listened to the words of this Psalm I felt encouraged that Yahweh would bring me through this trial victoriously. Some time around 3 A.M. I fell asleep. When I awoke in the morning the pressure in my chest, and the great laboring my heart had known, were dissipated. I felt greatly improved.
I was mindful that Monday was the 14th, a number denoting transition from one state to another (See Matthew chapter 1). I felt that the Spirit was signifying that this stronghold that had ruled me all my life would rule over me no more, for I had learned the fear of the Lord, and I understood His commitment to bring me to victory over every enemy in the land. Tuesday as I awoke feeling better was the 15th of the month. This is 5+5+5, signifying a fulness of grace.
I worked half a day Tuesday, and a full day Wednesday and Thursday. I still experienced a dull ache in my left arm, and a slight discomfort in my heart, for Yahweh has allowed these to remain as a reminder that I am to walk very carefully in this area of my life. I am filled with peace, however, knowing that God is watching over me to bring me forth to victory in every area of my life, and to bring everything within me under the dominion of His authority.
This chastisement of the Father has actually given me a hope that I previously lacked. Formerly I had doubted that Yahweh would give me victory over every area of my life that has been a source of trouble, leading to sin. Now I am confident that He will not rest until He brings me forth into complete victory, and that no enemy in the land of this flesh can stand before me as I follow Yahshua into battle.
He has also let me know that this is the message that He wants proclaimed in these days. He wants His children to walk holy and perfect before Him. He is not content for any area of our lives to remain in willful disobedience to His leading. He will judge His people, and He will chastise all who are allowing strongholds of sin to remain in them.
I share a house with a man who is not a Christian. Monday, as soon as I had returned from buying healthy food, my roommate came into the house and he had also been to the store. He said that he had bought cookies and ice cream for me. I told him I could not eat them, but he insisted they were for me. I replied that I had to eat things that were healthy, as my body could not take anymore unhealthy foods. Right after this he came to me and said he had bought two new movies, and he gave me one to watch, and later he brought me the other.
As soon as he presented the movie to me the Spirit spoke and showed me that the world is not only offering God’s children things that are unhealthy for their bodies, but things that are unhealthy for their souls, as well. I returned the movies to my roommate without watching them. The Spirit impressed upon me that even as He is serious about the things we feed our bodies, He is even more concerned for what we feed our souls. Disobedience in the latter will bring forth His judgment and chastisement as surely as my disobedience in the former brought on a heart attack.
I had often been in the habit of watching T.V. after work. This too had been an area of my life that I had struggled with for as long as I have struggled with my eating. There had been times when I fell under conviction, and for some years I did not even allow a television in my house. However, I had compromised in this area, and I had watched many things that were impure, and an offense to a holy God. Although in recent years I had been selective about the things I would and would not watch, there was as much mixture between obedience and compromise with the flesh in this area as there had been in the area of eating.
Yahweh has been signifying that great judgment is coming to those who continue to feed on things that are unclean. A sister in Christ recently sent me a link to an article about a group of bald eagles that began to feed upon refuse left in an open trailer at a fish processing plant in Alaska. The eagles began to eat this fish refuse and they became covered in slime and were unable to fly. Some of the eagles began to freeze, and some were crushed among the refuse. The last update I read on this story said that 22 eagles had died. This is once more a number denoting judgment upon the flesh.
This sister wrote the following insight concerning this story:
It is such a picture of our nation - feasting on garbage, being covered with slime, and finally succumbing to it.
It is also a picture of the church. Yahweh is warning His children that we must cease feasting on the refuse of the world, or we will be covered in sin and no longer be able to rise above the depravity that is in the world. Already many saints have succumbed to the sin they have fed upon, and many lives have ended in spiritual death and ruin. The hour is late. Yahweh is sternly warning all His children to separate themselves from the world and its corruption.
We must be radical in our determination to live sanctified (set apart) lives that are pleasing to the Father. It is not necessary for God to bring His children to the point of death before they will repent and change direction. He will deal with us according to the stubbornness within us. Those who are humble and respond quickly to the conviction of the Spirit need not experience a harsh correction. As the Psalmist declared:
Do not be as the horse or as the mule which have no understanding, whose trappings include bit and bridle to hold them in check, otherwise they will not come near to you.
God will jerk our head around forcefully if that is what is required. Yet we can make ourselves sensitive to His voice where such force is not needed. We can choose to obey when we hear that still, small voice speaking to us.
I urge all who read this to consider that Yahweh has given us the illustration of Joshua leading the children of God in to take possession of the land of Canaan as a pattern and instruction for our own lives. Yahweh is determined that we drive out every enemy in the land, and bring everything under His dominion.
Many on this mailing list know that God has called them to be ministers in the last days, leading others to repentance and righteousness. Understand then that all who would be used of the Lord in coming days must themselves be set apart as vessels of honor fit for the Master’s use. We must flee from all that is unrighteous. We must respond with great focus when the Spirit points out some enemy in our land that He wants us to exercise dominion over. If we would rule with Christ as overcomers in the age to come, we must first rule with Him over this flesh until we can declare that “the kingdom of God is within [us].”
I would once more urge all those who have not read the writing Possessing the Land to do so. You can find this writing here: http://www.heart4god.ws/id614.htm. In it you will see the desire of God for His children to place every enemy under their feet.
In closing, I desire to allay the concerns of those who are startled by my health issues, and my choosing to not see a doctor. It is difficult to not be influenced by the attitude of the world concerning almost all things. One thing that the world manifests is a fear of death. Death for a child of God is not to be feared. It is something that all must experience. I am content to allow Yahweh to choose the limits of my life on earth. I would that we might all have the attitude expressed by the apostle Paul when he said:
For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose. But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better; yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake.
I do look to that day when I can depart this life and go to be with Christ. Yet, I also desire to complete the course He has chosen for me. I desire to depart on a note of victory, rather than on a note of defeat. Any child of God who can say, “For me to live is Christ,” can also say, “and to die is gain.” The Lord knows I desire to be found pleasing to Him. He showed me Monday night that there is no fear in death. Let us all seek to live a life of obedience that at our appointed time we might face death with neither fear nor sorrow.
May you be blessed with peace and understanding in these days,
Heart4God Website: http://www.heart4god.ws
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