Friday, August 31, 2012

The Parable

Joseph Herrin (08-31-2012)

Brush Pile Being Burned at RV Park

There is a parable that Christ gave that I have been sharing with a number of people recently. I will share the Scripture passage here with you.

Luke 13:6-9
He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.

The sons and daughters of God are like unto the fig tree. Many have been abiding in Yahweh's vineyard for many years, but they have not been bringing forth fruit. They remain barren; barren of obedience, barren of the fruits of faith and righteousness. Yahweh has borne patiently with them, giving them time to begin obeying Him and to bring forth the fruit of righteousness, but now He is saying the time of judgment is at hand.

Yahshua is like the dresser of the vineyard. He says, “Let me give the tree one more year. I will break up the soil, and dung around it, and then if it does not produce fruit we will pluck it up and cast it into the fire.”

Is it not significant that in our society today we speak of unpleasant things that come into our lives as "dung?" (I am sure you can think of less polite expressions that are used today.) This is the manner in which Christ dungs around us: He will cause very unpleasant and noxious things to enter our lives. The intent of Christ is to stimulate His children to change their ways. He would induce them through such means to begin bearing the fruit they have lacked.

Last Monday I had three people sitting with me at my table in my bus and I shared with them this parable. As I finished, the owner of the RV park approached a large burn pile he had been building from landscape refuse. He poured gasoline around the edges of the pile, and stood off from a distance and lit it. On top of the pile was a small tree he had uprooted from some place on his property. We all watched the pile go up in flames. Randy Simmons, who was one of those visiting, said, "It is not by coincidence that this occurred right after you finished speaking about this parable."

The next day I had a man in his thirties come to stay with me. I met him some years back when I was employed by the Macon Rescue Mission. He is a professing Christian, but he has not been walking as a disciple of Christ. He has been engaging in illicit sexual relations, using drugs, smoking cigarettes, and living a sensual life. Symbolically, he is morbidly obese, which serves as a spiritual parable of his fleshliness.

I have stayed in contact with this young man for the past five years since he left the mission. He would call me periodically and share that he was under conviction for his sinful life, and wanted to get things right with God. I would speak to him words to exhort him to not delay in making changes, speaking to him of the fear of the Lord, and the fact that God will not bear with His children forever.

When this young man arrived to spend some time with me, he shared that he had recently had a dream. In the dream God said he was done with him. He understood this to mean that his time was up and Yahweh was not going to strive with him anymore. When he awoke from the dream this man was quite frightened. He wondered if God had given him over to judgment and there was no longer any hope for him.

I am confident that this is not the case, but even as the owner of the vineyard asked “Why does this tree even encumber the ground anymore. Pluck it up and cast it into the fire,” Christ is now interceding and saying, “Let me dung around it one more time.”

The Lord must really heap the manure on our lives at times to lead us to make radical and lasting changes to our lives. The man who came to stay with me has been reduced to poverty. He is in his thirties and living in a small trailer on land owned by his parents. He cannot work as a truck driver because he cannot provide a clean urine for the drug screens. He has been unwilling to give up marijuana, and the Lord has been very patient with him.

Today, a sister in Christ who attended some of my meetings when I was traveling the country, wrote to me. She had corresponded with me about a week or two ago. Her life has become very unpleasant as she also is reduced to poverty. She has been following the counsel of her own soul, and her life has been a shambles. She entered into some relationships with ungodly people, seeking fellowship with darkness. When her situation became desperate she turned to these godless ones, among whom are some living and promoting a homosexual lifestyle. She looked to them to deliver her, rather than seeking God. I spoke frankly with her, desiring to arouse in her the fear of God that she would take immediate steps to return to Yahweh’s path for her life.

This sister had been convicted of a number of specific things God would have her to do. She spelled them out in large capital letters in her last letter to me two weeks ago. Today I received a letter from her in which she said that after undergoing tests at a chiropractor’s office, she is afraid she has a very fast advancing cancer. She confessed that she had not done any of the things she had committed to do in obedience to God weeks back. She wrote today asking me to pray for her.

I shared with this sister that my prayers for her cancer would avail nothing as it was Yahweh with whom she had to deal. He was chastising her for her stubborn spirit and disobedience. Christ was dunging around her life in hopes that this might induce her to bear the fruit the Father had been seeking in her life. If He did not find it now, there was nothing left to do but to pluck her up and cast her into the fire. (The Scriptures indicate many Christians will share a place with the unbelievers in the Lake of Fire. See the writing God’s Plan of the Ages if you are unfamiliar with this topic.)

Randy Simmons recently shared with me regarding a man he has known for some time on the streets of Macon, Georgia. This man is a professing Christian. His family ministered for years as a gospel group. He sang and played the guitar in many churches. This man had backslidden. He was living a sensual life, giving little regard to the consequences.

Recently this man became depressed and took an entire bottle of anti-depressants. He collapsed on the streets of downtown Macon and was taken by ambulance to the hospital. The drugs had been absorbed into his system, so pumping his stomach would not help. The man lay in a coma for some time. The doctors did not know whether he would live or die. This man’s father came to visit him and wept for his son.

The man recovered from this drug overdose. He shared with Randy that God had appeared to him and told him that this was the last time. He said there would be no more grace and mercy if he returned to his life of sin again. He was clearly shaken by these words.

I believe we are now in an hour when Yahweh is speaking a similar message to many who have been called to walk as overcomers. He is saying, “I have been looking for fruit in your life for many years. I have not found any fruit unto maturity yet. Why do you even take up space on my Earth if you will not bear fruit for me?” For many, the period of Yahweh’s patience has come to an end. Now there remains only judgment.

John 15:2-6
Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.

Hebrews 10:26-31
For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain terrifying expectation of judgment, and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay." And again, "The Lord will judge His people." It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

As I am writing this, the UPS driver has just delivered a package. When I went out to speak to her she asked me if I heard what happened to a certain man who works at the same company for whom my daughter works. She said the man was at work yesterday when he sat down to take a break. He had a heart attack and died. The man was 46 years old.

There are things that come quite suddenly upon individuals. This man did not get up in the morning thinking “I might have a heart attack and die today.” Neither did the sister in Christ consider that if she continued to resist the will of the Father that she could be diagnosed with a fast growing cancer in less than two weeks time.

In this age when the church teaches Christians to have no fear of God, when they are taught by example and doctrine that they can live any way they want as long as they maintain a confession of Christ, some are likely to object to the notion that God will judge His people with sickness and even death. Read the following words of the apostle Paul.

I Corinthians 11:30-32
For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep. But if we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord so that we will not be condemned along with the world.

The church of Corinth contained many fleshly believers. Some were having sexual relations with prostitutes. Some were coming to the church love feasts and acting as gluttons, while some were getting drunk. There were many living unruly, self-focused lives.

Yahweh struck some with sickness, seeking to induce them to consider their ways and repent. Even then, many would not repent. How often unbelief enters in and a Christian begins to say, “I don’t think this sickness, this injury, this threat to my life, has anything to do with God or my behavior.” This is what happened in Corinth, and many who could have been healed died as a result of carnality and unbelief.

Recently someone forwarded to me the following prophetic word by Glynda Lomax.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012
All Sin Comes With A Price
My Word is truth, though many refuse the truths it offers them. My Holy Word contains the power to set men free from their sins, the power to move any mountain, to clear any path.

My people often neglect to study My Word and learn of its truths and in times soon coming, this shall lead to their sudden destruction, for no man can stand before My Judgments.

Many are deceived into thinking sin no longer counts, that it no longer matters to Me, but it has always mattered. My Son died for sin because it mattered. He died to set men free from it, not to leave them free to do it more.

All sin comes with a price. There is no sin that does not bring a consequence into your life, though at first you may not see it. As the cup of your sins becomes full, that consequence must be meted out, for I am a Holy and Righteous Judge and I will have a holy and spotless bride for My Son.

For those who repent, the consequences will be less. For those who do not even try to stop sinning, they shall be very grave. But be not deceived, whatsoever a man sows, he shall also reap.

Sin is grievous in My eyes and should not be found among those sworn to serve Me. You are coming into a fierce and evil time and you cannot stand before your enemies without My power and My truth. Those who live sinful lives will not walk in My power and will not be able to stand.

If you turn now from your sins, you will have help in that time. If you do not turn from them, grave consequences await you, My children, which you shall not enjoy. For some of you, I shall expose your sins to others. Some of you shall reap through diseases, financial lack and loss of relationships.

Your choices now determine the ease of your path later. In My great mercy, I have warned you that you may turn from the destructive path in time, but you must want to turn from it.

Choose you this day whom you will serve.

Each time temptation calls, you are choosing. Be wise, My children, be vigilant. For the enemy of your souls seeks to devour you and all you have.

Will you let him?
[End Prophetic Word]

Brothers and sisters, I share this word in hope that some who have been resisting the voice of the Spirit will fear God and repent. The hour is late. Very dark days are close at hand. Only those who walk closely with the Father will be enabled to pass victoriously through these days.

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

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