Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Invitation - Revisited

The following word was posted last year. I have revised it slightly and am re-posting it as I sense it is a "present word" for the body of Christ.

The Invitation
Joseph Herrin























The Father is showing me that a pattern is being played out among the body of Christ. If you were among those who attended any of the meetings the Father sent me out to speak at during the summer of 2010 as I traveled across America, I ask you to pay special attention. If you have listened to any of the audio messages from those meetings, or have been reading what the Father has been inviting His sons and daughters to enter into, then I ask you to please attend to what is declared here.

When I was sent to jail the first time in November of 2009, the Father began to speak to me of those things He would have me to do when I was released. He spoke to me two things in particular. Yahweh shared with me that He wanted me to put together a series of Bible Studies in newsletter format to share with men and women in prison. The second thing He spoke to me was that He was going to send me out across the nation to teach.

Yahweh fulfilled both of these things after my release. After I had spent a couple months working on the newsletters, the Father turned my attention to getting my van ready to take me across the nation. I removed the back seats and built a desk and a cabinet to hold a microwave. I replaced the old carpet, and did some mechanical work on the van to get it ready. I also began preparing computer presentations to use as a basis for teaching when I went across the country. About 5-6 months after I had been released from jail, the Father told me it was time to go.

Randy Simmons and I spent 4 months traveling. I taught at 15 different locations. Most of the meetings ran for three days. The meetings were mostly held in homes, and a message was proclaimed of the afflicted path that leads to life. The invitation was given to the saints to answer Christ’s call to yield their lives entirely to Him. Those in attendance were urged to surrender to go wherever Christ would lead them, and to do whatever He would ask them to do.

In one of the early meetings, the Spirit of Christ directed me to illustrate this invitation with the use of a decorated box that was in the home of our hosts. I took up this box and shared the following:

Yahweh has appointed to every child of His a specific life path that they must walk if they are to attain to the image of Christ, coming to spiritual maturity. If we would be “perfect” as our heavenly Father desires us to be, then we must yield our lives, and the path we would choose for ourselves, and we must accept that invitation He has given to us to follow Christ wherever He would lead.

Matthew 10:38-39
“And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life shall lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake shall find it.”

As I held the small decorative box before those gathered in this home in Tennessee, I shared that inside the box was the life God had chosen for each individual. I emphasized that none of us were ever told what exactly was in the box, but we were given general guidelines to know what may be inside. Christ told those who would be His disciples to count the cost before committing to follow Him, and He outlined the things required of them.

Luke 14:33
“So therefore, no one of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.”

Luke 14:26-27
"If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.”

I shared with those before me that in the box was the life God had chosen for them. This life would require the surrender of all things. All material possessions of this world must be surrendered to God, and every earthly relationship as well. I told the people that back in 1999 God had brought me to consider the cost of accepting His invitation to follow Him wherever He would lead. I wrestled with the invitation for weeks, but eventually yielded. The path has indeed been costly, but the grace of God has been abundant.

As I stood in front of each person gathered in that home, I asked them, “Will you accept the life and path God has chosen for you? Will you yield your life to take up your cross and follow Christ WHEREVER He would lead?” The presence of the Spirit was powerful at that moment, and there was weeping, and deep consideration among those gathered. This invitation became a part of the meetings at the subsequent places the Father led me to visit.

Yesterday, as I wrote the blog that was posted, the Spirit began testifying something to me. He directed me to share the following passage of Scripture.

Luke 14:16-23
But He said to him, "A certain man was giving a big dinner, and he invited many; and at the dinner hour he sent his slave to say to those who had been invited,' Come; for everything is ready now.' But they all alike began to make excuses. The first one said to him, 'I have bought a piece of land and I need to go out and look at it; please consider me excused.' And another one said, 'I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out; please consider me excused.' And another one said, 'I have married a wife, and for that reason I cannot come.' And the slave came back and reported this to his master. Then the head of the household became angry and said to his slave, 'Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the city and bring in here the poor and crippled and blind and lame.' And the slave said, 'Master, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.' And the master said to the slave, 'Go out into the highways and along the hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.”

Yahweh showed me that the invitation He had me present in those meetings was identical to that which Christ describes above. The church today has been deceived in thinking that the invitation Christ gives is simply to believe certain things about Him. Christ’s invitation is far more costly. Christ’s invitation is to lay aside our earthly lives, those paths we have chosen for ourselves, that we might accept His invitation to come to the great marriage supper of the Lamb. None can enter in, but those who have been prepared. We can only be prepared as we follow the Lamb wherever He would lead us.

Matthew 22:11-14
"But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. So he said to him, 'Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?' And he was speechless. Then the king said to the servants, 'Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.' For many are called, but few are chosen."

The church today believes that Christ is inviting them to believe and confess certain things about Him. In truth, He is inviting them to something far greater, more demanding, and costly. He would have them come to His great supper, but all who come must first obtain garments worthy of attending. These garments are obtained ONLY as the saints lay down their lives and accept that life God has appointed for them. They must yield to follow wherever He leads, and do whatever He requires of them.

You can well understand now the excuses of those men whom Christ spoke of in this parable. Some men are engaged in business and a pursuit of the things of this world. They say, “I have bought a piece of land and I need to go out and look at it; please consider me excused.” Another states, “I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out; please consider me excused.” There are also those who have entered into relationships that hinder them from accepting Christ’s invitation to follow Him. These relationships can be as dear and close as that between a man and his wife. “And another one said, 'I have married a wife, and for that reason I cannot come.'”

In 2010, Yahweh sent me around to visit with many people, and to describe to them the cost of discipleship. The invitation was given to accept Christ’s invitation. Some who heard, balked immediately. The words were barely spoken when the excuses began rolling forth. Others expressed a desire to follow Christ, but some of these have yet to follow-up on their stated intent. Others have halted between two opinions, unwilling to surrender their lives to Christ, yet afraid to refuse His invitation. A remnant have accepted the invitation, overcoming the fears and desires resident within themselves out of a desire to be found pleasing to Christ.

The Spirit has been speaking to me since yesterday that the hour is at hand when the invitation must now be given to others. It was expedient to give the invitation first to those who own possessions, who have intact relationships, and who hold some esteem in this world. The church has despised the invitation of Christ. They even deny that there is any such invitation being given. Those with the world’s goods who have answered the call of God have proved to be too few to fill His banquet room. He has now turned to those whom the world and a worldly church have despised.

Then the head of the household became angry and said to his slave, 'Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the city and bring in here the poor and crippled and blind and lame.' And the slave said, 'Master, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.' And the master said to the slave, 'Go out into the highways and along the hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.”

I am in correspondence with a number of men and women in this hour who are being brought into circumstances where they are having to choose whether they will yield to follow Christ fully, or to turn back. For all of them, going forward with Christ will prove very costly. Many are at this moment facing the loss of all worldly possessions, and the loss of relationship with those closest and most precious to them. Very few will embrace the cost. All will prove by their decisions whether they love their own lives more than they love Yahweh.

Matthew 16:25-28
"For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake shall find it. For what will a man be profited, if he gains the whole world, and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and will then recompense every man according to his deeds. Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who shall not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom."

I have taught previously that the words of Christ in the last sentence above are almost universally misunderstood by the church today. The prevailing teaching is that some of Christ’s disciples would not physically die until they saw Christ in His glory. Some erroneously proclaim that this was fulfilled when Christ appeared with Moses and Elijah on the Mount of Transfiguration. Such teaching fails to discern the “death” that Christ said His disciples must “taste.” The true understanding of Christ’s words is found in the context of this passage.

Matthew 16:24-26
Then Yahshua said to His disciples, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake shall find it.”

This is the death of which Christ speaks. It is the death of a disciple who accepts Christ’s invitation to take up the cross and follow Him. It is far easier to surrender one’s life once as a martyr, than to die daily out of a desire to follow Christ.

It was with sorrow and lamentation that Christ uttered the words, “Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who shall not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.” Some would wait until it was too late. They would seek to save their lives, holding on to possessions and worldly relations, until the opportunity has passed them by to accept the invitation of the King to attend the marriage supper of the Lamb.

Many will be those who show up at the marriage supper saying, “I received an invitation,” but the Master of the house will say, “How did you come in here without a wedding garment? Bind him hand and foot and cast him into outer darkness. There will be weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth.”

I shared the invitation to surrender one’s life to groups of saints all across the nation last year. There was not a single church who invited me into speak to their congregation. The message of the disciples’ cross is rejected in this hour when the following words of Paul are being fulfilled.

II Timothy 4:3-4
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.

Christians will flock by the tens of thousands to listen to the prosperity message being proclaimed by men like Joel Osteen and T.D. Jakes, but they have barred the doors to those ministers of Christ who are setting forth His invitation to “Come, take up YOUR CROSS, and follow Me.”

Yahweh sent me to those outside the camp of mainstream Christianity. I spoke to small home fellowships and impromptu gatherings of the poor, the humble, and those disenchanted with the proclamations of the Christian religious system. Only once did I speak in a home to a gathering of wealthy men and women. (Yahweh does have a few who will answer His call from among this group.)

Even though I was sent to a remnant of Christianity, many from this group rejected the call. The invitation of Christ required too much sacrifice, too much devotion. The cost is very high. Only a few will ever accept it.

Yahweh sent me to those who say they can see the errors of an apostate church. He sent me to those who have the ability to walk through this world system, but there were not enough who accepted His invitation to fill the marriage supper of the Lamb.

Now, Yahweh is calling the blind and the lame. The invitation was given to men and women with worldly possessions, but for many of them their possessions stood in the way of surrender to Christ. Now He will turn to those who are the poor of the world, the homeless and destitute. He will search the highways and the byways, and He will fill his house.

I urge you, if you have been hearing the voice of the Spirit inviting you, do not hesitate any longer. The door is closing. The anger of the Lord is arising because His servants have gone out with the invitation and it has been spurned. The children of God have placed their earthly lives, possessions, and relationships above a desire to answer His call.

The Spirit would have you to walk in understanding of the hour in which you live. The Son of Man is soon to return. He is coming for a bride that has made herself ready, a bride that has been cleansed. This cleansing comes at a great cost. The white robes of righteousness must be purchased by laying down our lives daily, placing obedience to God over a desire to preserve the life our soul desires.

Revelation 7:13-17
And one of the elders answered, saying to me, "These who are clothed in the white robes, who are they, and from where have they come?" And I said to him, "My lord, you know." And he said to me, "These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. For this reason, they are before the throne of God; and they serve Him day and night in His temple; and He who sits on the throne shall spread His tabernacle over them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; neither shall the sun beat down on them, nor any heat; for the Lamb in the center of the throne shall be their shepherd, and shall guide them to springs of the water of life; and God shall wipe every tear from their eyes."

There is a path of tears to be walked, a trail of tribulation, but those who accept it will receive the wedding garments needed to stand in the presence of God. I am sensing the voice of the Spirit declaring to me, to Randy, and others at this hour that it is time to turn aside from those who were first invited, for the invitation has been given, and few received it. Now the blind and the crippled, the homeless and the prisoners, must be invited. Indeed, they must be compelled to come in that Yahweh’s banqueting house might be filled.


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

Parables Blog: www.parablesblog.blogspot.com    

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

5 comments:

Unknown said...

Thank you for being diligent in your obedience to God. I have so much I would wish to express to you as confirmation as well as how the Holy Spirit has been moving strongly in my life as well, however a post in the comment section seems too .....?
Anyways, I wanted to encourage you that there are bigger churches that have the Holy Spirit actively working in a majority of its membership. I do attend a large Calvary Chapel here in Henderson, NV and I want to encourage you that God is working in this large church as well. Our pastor is indeed anointed by God. Of course there are always those that just attend for attendance sake anywhere.
Sorry for the side track. My point in commenting is that the Holy Spirit brought me to your site in my search for signs in the stars and planets as of late, ie venus, moon events lately. Watching the film "The star of Bethlehem prompted that nudging in my heart and mind over two years ago. As my desire to have the Holy Spirit speak to me again I began googling and found a womans blog site, Believers Journey. who writes of her dreams and searching the sky for signs which had a link to your site. Ive been reading your site for a couple of weeks now and have been wonderfully blessed by your diligence in writing almost daily of your experiences with God. It has reestablished and confirmed in me to ask the Lord for more faith and for more belief like the man asking JC in scripture. Once I prayed for that and asked my eyes were opened again and I began to see that he never stopped speaking to me, It was I who had put sunglasses on and gotten busy and second guessed God speaking to me.
Reading and listening to your testimonies showed me that that small still voice was God speaking to me and he even does so with numbers and symbols as you explain in your writing and audio testimones.
So again I thank you for your obedience. I am desiring to see where He is going to call me and my family to go to continue the work of spreading the joy of Christ's love and edification of his bride.

Joseph Herrin said...

Dear Unknown?,

Thank you for writing and sharing your gracious words. I do truly hope that there are churches out there who are striving to be Spirit led and to fulfill the will of the Father. I do know of a couple of ministers of large congregations who proclaim truth. Charles Stanley is one example. Yet, even here there is much admixture as the doctrines of the denominations prevent the ministers from seeing clearly that invitation Christ has given to those who would be His disciples.

As a case in point, you spoke of being a member of this Calvary Chapel, yet you had not heard the message that was delivered here. There is a reason that the Spirit of Christ is calling the people of God to come out of Babylon (Revelation 8:14). The Christian religious system has become thoroughly leavened with error. The Babylonian system has caused even godly men's eyes to become dim.

It is necessary to come out of the Christian religious system in order to truly see the degree to which the people of God have strayed from the truths proclaimed by Christ and His apostles.

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

Traveler said...

I will say this. When the calling does come God does provide His compelling grace to move us and then sustain us. I left the U.S.A. in 2008 and have been living in a 3rd world country ever since. My house I'm living in is not much bigger than my kitchen in my house in America and the total sq area of my property where 2 people live in the US there are about 30 people here. I've suffered Tuberculosis, Dengue Fever, 2 motorbike accidents, and a very severe cultural change. But God called me and it wasn't even a second thought. I have unspeakable joy. Amen.

watchmanswife said...

Thank you for this, Joseph. I am struggling with this very issue and it is profound that this message came to me today. I personally find that I keep having to make the choice over and over again as I travel along the path that the Lord has for me. I wish it would get easier to make the choice but, for me, it gets harder. But God is gracious in that He allows me to choose how far I want to go with Him and it has been an incredible experience so far. I take this message as confirmation that I must endure to the end and continue on.

Unknown said...

Thank you Mr. Herrin for your reply,

I think you misunderstood a point in my comment. I did not mean to allude that in my quest I had never heard of the message of giving up ones life to gain it, or trusting fully in the Lord and on his provision in ones life to truly be considered a follower of Christ. In reading your blog I just sensed your disheartenedness at the church and its members. It seemed as if you thought that there weren't a lot of believers in churches out there that were acting on what the spirit called them to do. I wanted you to know that there are.
My gut tells me that in any church probably only 10% are fully committed on their God called path. then maybe another 10% are being slowly sanctified and convicted and then maybe another 10% that want to but are in fear and then the rest well, who knows.
Its seems like its that way in all organizations, 10% do 90% of the work. Not that we are a works salvation. But we know followers/believers by their fruits. It's evident in theirs words, lives and deeds.
Your life is a testimony to that. You walk by faith and not by sight and it is quite apparent,
I will continue to read your articles and be blessed by them.
thank you again,
Sophia