Monday, January 30, 2012

Personal Update

Joseph Herrin (01-30-2012)

Randy Furman(left) and Myself

Many people have been writing to ask how my recovery is going. As most of you know, I was involved in a motorcycle accident September 6th in which my left foot was dislocated, my fibula (smaller leg bone) was severely fractured, and the bottom of the tibia (the larger leg bone) was chipped. I had two titanium plates affixed to the bone and more than twenty screws.

In one of the last updates I mentioned that I had to undergo a skin graft to heal up the wound where the compound fracture had occurred. The skin graft took well, and I was surprised at how quickly it healed.

About three weeks ago my bones had healed enough that I was able to start walking without crutches while still wearing a protective boot over my left foot and lower leg. About two weeks ago I began wearing a shoe on the left foot, instead of the boot, which has made walking much easier. I still have some swelling and pain after walking a distance. I can walk about half a mile right now, with my distance steadily increasing.

I am scheduled to go back to the hospital Wednesday February 1st to have three screws removed from my leg. These were intended to be temporary, and must now come out as they restrict motion between the tibia and fibula. The doctor said this is a very minor procedure that should only take about 20 minutes, though I will be at the hospital longer than this as they have to prep me and will put me to sleep for the procedure. I would appreciate your prayers for this final procedure to go well.

I am anticipating being released from the physician’s care not long after this. I will have a follow-up appointment two weeks later, but I do not anticipate any other surgical procedures or need for further medical intervention. I have continued to have very little pain with the injury, or recovery process. The grace of Yahweh has been abundant.

Regarding the photo at the top of the blog, it was taken about 7 weeks ago. Randy and Kathy Furman had come driven down from South Carolina to visit with me for the day. Randy is an old hand around motorcycles, having ridden them many years. He has done a lot of mechanical work on them as well. He asked if there was anything he could do to help me with the bike. By this time, I had fairly concluded that the Father would have me to sell it, but it needed a couple things done to it before I could do so. The clutch needed adjusting and the battery replaced. Randy graciously performed this work for me.

After getting the motorcycle cranking and shifting properly, Randy took it for a ride around the RV park. He had gone about 100 yards from my site, riding slowly. As I was watching him I saw him thrown off the bike. He had applied the front brakes, which may have been sticky from not being ridden for a while. At the same time he was on a curve, and there was some loose gravel on the road. The combination of factors ended up rather dismally. As you can see from the photo, Randy did not have a helmet on as he had not planned on leaving the campground. His right hand was broken in the fall.

Afterward, I had no peace about keeping the motorcycle. I sensed that it was time to sell it. Within 48 hours of posting it on Craigslist it had sold and was taken away. During this season I have been hearing from numerous other Christians who are experiencing various trials, many of which are physical. A number have even experienced broken bones, the most common involving either a foot or a hand. I am sure there are parables to be delved in these things, but I will not give an opinion of what they may be at this time.

Both Randy Furman and I are recovering well after being thrown from the same beast, and we are grateful for the grace of God.

A number of things have been occurring at this time that have a common theme. Having been loosed from my crutches, and being able to walk again, I have a new appreciation for such a simple liberty. Around the time that I was weaning myself off of the crutches, a sister in Christ sent me three silver coins. The coins bear a figure that is referred to as “Walking Liberty.”

Walking Liberty

Two of the coins I received were dated 1989. As I received them in December 2011, they were 22 years old. That is a very common number in my life. All of our trials and experiences in life come from the Father’s hand with a purpose. He is ever working to cause us to come forth as purified sons in the image of Christ. Silver is symbolic of purity.

Zechariah 13:9
“And I will bring the third part through the fire, refine them as silver is refined, and test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are My people,’ and they will say, ‘Yahweh is my God.’”

Before we pass through the purifying fires of God, our liberty often is detrimental to our spiritual well being. While we are carnal we often use our liberty to pursue fleshly desires and passions. As we embrace the cross and submit to those fiery trials the Father has appointed for every son and daughter, we are able to walk in liberty without harm. Our Father is seeking to teach each of us to use our liberty to serve one another, rather than as an opportunity to pursue fleshly desires.

Galatians 5:13
For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

A third thing that has recently transpired that fits into this theme relates to my bus. The bus has air brakes, and they have locked up while I have been parked here in the RV park. I discovered this just prior to my accident. It seemed in more than one way that Yahweh was indicating that I was to sit still for a season. My bus would not roll, and after the accident I could not walk.

As my foot has been healing and I have begun walking again, I began praying about God sending me a mechanic to help me get the bus on the road. I sensed that the Father would have me to entrust this matter to Him, and to not initiate any action in this regard. I wanted to know that it was the Father guiding and directing in this matter.

A few days after I prayed for God to send me a mechanic, Honesty, a sister in Christ, e-mailed me. I had not heard from her in about a year. She wrote to say that she and her husband Marc had been thinking about me. Marc is an excellent mechanic and he wanted to know if there was anything I needed done on the bus. I shared with them about the air brakes being locked up. Marc, Honesty, and their two daughters came down this past week-end and Marc quickly had the problem resolved. Sunday I rode with Marc as he drove the bus down the road and it is running very well.

The weather this past week has been unusually warm and pleasant. It seems like an early Spring. The daytime temperatures have been in the 70s. In many ways it seems like there is a promise of release and renewal.

Song of Solomon 2:10-12
Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come along. For behold, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers have already appeared in the land...

To everything there is a time and a season. There is a time for sitting still and there is a time for setting forth. I sense that the changing of a season of my life is at hand. I am hoping at the end of February to be able to travel somewhat again. I will have been at the same RV park in Perry, Georgia for fourteen months. Fourteen is a number signifying transition.

Thank you for your prayers. The grace of God has been abundant even in a winter season, and during a period of injury and recovery. I am confident that the grace of God will continue to be abundantly supplied.

End Note: Following are links to two articles that were sent to me today. I found them very thought provoking.
Heart4God Website:    

Parables Blog:    

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

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Drowning in Deception

Joseph Herrin (01-26-2011)

13th Century Painting of Revelation 12:15

Revelation 12:15
And the serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, so that he might cause her to be swept away with the flood.

The book of Revelation conveys truth through symbolism. The serpent is symbolic of Satan. He is also called the dragon, which is a type of winged serpent.

Revelation 12:9
And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world...

The apostle Paul refers to Satan as “the prince of the power of the air.” His power is in deception. What is being symbolized in Revelation is Satan deceiving the world through a mass of lies. He is using words and various images and forms of communication to deceive the world. He would even sweep away the people of God with his lies, but God will help those who are fleeing from the great dragon.

Perhaps those who read this blog have taken note of the fact that the Chinese New Year began on January 23rd at midnight. The Chinese associate each year with one of twelve different animals. All of the animals are real except for one that is mythical, this being the dragon. In order they are:

Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig

The Chinese further combine these animals with five different elements which are wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. It takes 60 years for the complete cycle to be fulfilled.

The year 2012 in the Chinese calendar is the Year of the (Male Water) Dragon. It began on January 23, 2012 and will end on February 9, 2013. According to traditional texts, some form of the calendar has been in use for almost five millennia... The Chinese year beginning January 23, 2012 is reckoned in the seldom-used continuously numbered system to be 4709...

Chinese Water Dragon

According to the Chinese calendar, it is the year 4709. The numbers appear significant. In the Bible we find that these numbers hold the following symbolic meanings.

4 - The earth, humility
7 - Completion, Fulness of Time
9 - Finality, Judgment

When most people think of dragons, they think of those that breathe fire. The Bible does make reference to such a beast. In the book of Job Yahweh gives a description of the creature called Leviathan.

Job 41:18-21
His sneezes flash forth light, and his eyes are like the eyelids of the morning. Out of his mouth go burning torches; Sparks of fire leap forth. Out of his nostrils smoke goes forth as from a boiling pot and burning rushes. His breath kindles coals, and a flame goes forth from his mouth.

It is not a fire breathing dragon, however, that is depicted in Revelation chapter 12. What is described is a water dragon. The spiritual understanding of this creature is that of a beast that makes war with its mouth. It sends forth rivers of lies and deception that sweep men away into ruin. This river of falsehood is already coming forth, and it will increase in coming days.

People of God, I share this to warn you that great deception is to be unleashed at this time. If your mind is being filled with thoughts and images from the mass media, then you are already being assaulted with a flood of deception. Television programs and movies are created to manipulate minds and transform public opinion. Much of this comes out of Hollywood. The origins of the word “Hollywood” is “Holy Wood.” The holly was considered sacred to druids and witches. Witches wands are often made of holly. Hollywood is a center of witchcraft. It is designed to cast spells over people, making their minds susceptible and fertile instruments of Satan.

If you look to the major media for your news, you are being deceived. Things are not as they appear to be, nor as they are reported to be. The word of God at this hour is “Come out of Babylon My people, lest you participate in her sins and partake of her plagues.”

This deception is to increase at this time. As the world hurtles forward into calamitous days where the economies of the nations are laid in ruins, the cause of this ruin will be ascribed to events and people that had nothing to do with it. The actual perpetrators will remain hidden. Their evil work will be concealed. Those who are acting in the most evil manner will be depicted as victims, or even as saviors.

II Corinthians 11:14-15
For even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness...

As I correspond with Christians throughout the world I am appalled at the blindness and deception that is so prevalent. The saints have been spending too much time in the entertainments and pursuits of the world, and far too little time in communion with the Father. Their understanding is darkened, and their minds are full of confusion and error. Despite this tragic state, the church has not yet experienced anything like that which is coming.

Matthew 24:24
“For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.”

If you have been neglecting prayer, Bible study, and meditation upon spiritual matters, then you are not prepared to walk wisely in the midst of great deception. If you have been imbibing freely of that which is on television, the movies, magazines, radio, and the Internet, not bringing such activities under the rule of the Spirit of Christ, then you risk being swept away in what is coming.

The Spirit is testifying that an hour of recompense is at hand. The saints of God will reap according to what they have sown. Those who have been sowing to the flesh must reap the results of their deeds. Those who have been sowing to the Spirit will also receive according to their works.

Will you find in coming days that you have the spiritual perception to walk wisely in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation? Or will you suffer loss due to the dimness of your spiritual vision? Will you be conned by the great deceiver and his servants in disguise, or will you see through the subterfuge and avoid the trap?

I recommend the following article for those who wish to discern the subtlety of Satan, and the works of those who are in collusion with him.

I give this warning, however, there is an image that is sexually impure on this page as the author reveals the hidden symbolism in a Coca Cola ad. The value of the information in the article is such that I would recommend the article anyway. Be discerning, and exercise that self-control that flows from the Spirit of Christ.

End Note: I spoke with Randy Simmons today and he told me about an experience he had yesterday as he was ministering to the homeless on the streets of Macon, GA. He and a sister in Christ and another man were going to a bank and there was an ambulance pulled up in front of the bank. Randy is sensitive to God speaking in parables, and a sick, injured, or dying financial system is an interpretation that readily comes to mind.

As they were looking at this unusual sight, the sister in Christ drew Randy’s attention to the song playing on the radio. It is titled Independence Day, and was sung by Martina McBride. The caught the following words:

Let freedom ring, let the white dove sing
Let the whole world know that today
Is a day of reckoning.
Let the weak be strong, let the right be wrong
Roll the stone away, let the guilty pay
It's Independence Day.

Well, she lit up the sky that fourth of July
By the time that the firemen came
They just put out the flames
And took down some names
And sent me to the county home.
Now I ain't sayin' it's right or it's wrong
But maybe it's the only way.
Talk about your revolution
It's Independence Day.

The name McBride means “son of the Bride.” The Scripture reference that comes to mind is Revelation 12, the man-child whom the woman gives birth to. All this occurs during a time of calamity and judgment. The hour is late.

Heart4God Website:    

Parables Blog:    

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

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

When Giants Fall

Joseph Herrin (01-25-2012)

Fallen Giant Sequoia

The preceding post on this blog titled The Mighty are Falling spoke of the judgment of God upon those considered giants in the earth. We live in an hour when many who are lofty will be abased. In this post, I want to focus specifically on nations of this earth that are vaunted above all others in this hour. I want to share what I am discerning the Spirit of Christ to be proclaiming.

Let me begin by providing an amazing connection to the economic collapse of America and Europe and the account of the two giant sequoias that fell last year in California. In the previous post I included a video of the collapsing trees. Incredibly, their fall was caught on video by a German tourist who was standing nearby at the precise time of the collapse.

As I was researching the former post, I was drawn to the name of the German citizen who filmed the trees falling. I at first misread his name, thinking it was “Panzer.” I began pondering whether there may be a link to the German Panzer divisions of World War II. Upon further investigation, I found that the gentleman’s last name was not “Panzer,” but “Panzner.” Gerrit Panzner was the man God chose to be standing at that precise location with camera in hand to record the event. This detail stuck in my mind, and it came back with great force when the Spirit led me to another connection to this surname.

Michael Panzner wrote the book Financial Armageddon in 2007. This book predicted a global financial collapse in the following two years. This collapse was borne out as Wall Street was rocked by the implosion of the real estate bubble. The ripple effect has been devastating as banks, insurers, mortgage underwriters and a host of other industries have teetered on the verge of collapse. The complete collapse of the American and European financial systems were postponed through the immediate injection of trillions of dollars by the Federal Reserve and other central banks. This intervention, however, has only made matters worse, for America and Europe are now being pulled inexorably downward by a crushing burden of debt.

In 2009, Michael Panzner wrote another book. This latter book was titled When Giants Fall: An Economic Roadmap for the End of the American Era. When I read the title of this book, and perceived that the man who caught the sequoias falling bore the same last name as the author, I sensed that the Father was linking these two events together.

Although some reports speak of only one giant sequoia falling on the Trail of 100 Giants, there were actually two trees that fell at the same time. These trees were intertwined at the roots. Sequoias have vast, but very shallow root systems, which is quite remarkable for such massive living things. Does this not speak of the nations who also have shallow roots?

Mark 4:16-17
"In a similar way these are the ones on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy; and they have no firm root in themselves, but are only temporary; then, when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately they fall away.”

Sequoias are found in a very limited area. They typically grow in groves. They stand by intertwining their roots with one another, thereby lending support to the trees nearby. This interrelationship has another effect, however. When one tree falls, it can easily cause other trees to fall who have become entangled with it. This is what occurred when the two giant sequoias fell on the Trail of 100 Giants a few months back.

As was mentioned in the recent blogs on the Costa Concordia disaster, the parent company Carnival Cruise Lines is an American and British corporation. Even so, America and Europe are greatly tied together politically, militarily, culturally, and financially. When one falls, the other cannot avoid being dragged down with it.

On his blog, Michael Panzner describes "an economy teetering on the edge of disaster."In a January 11 email, he said: "The fundamental outlook is even worse now than it was a few weeks ago, given (the lack of positive) developments in Europe and growing evidence that the economies of major countries around the world are deteriorating fast."

As mentioned in the previous post, the Los Angeles Times spread the news of the fallen sequoias to the world when they posted an article on October 29th, 2011. See link below:

It was in October of 1929 that the American Stock Market collapsed, leading into a period of tremendous poverty and hardship known as “The Great Depression.” October 29th, 1929 became known as “Black Tuesday” as there was a tremendous sell-off on Wall Street. The volume of shares passing hands on that date was not to be equaled for another forty years.

It is my belief that the Spirit of God is giving signs in the earth of those things which are near at hand. He would have those with understanding to prepare their hearts to endure the great hardships that are coming swiftly. Satan, on the other hand, has his own ambassadors who are seeking to lull the people into a state of lethargy and complacency. The message presented by American President Barack Hussein Obama in his annual State of the Union address last night could be summed up as the following:

No cause for alarm folks. We are going to right this sinking ship. We are working hard to get everything back on an even keel. There is no reason to abandon ship. Go back to your cabins and rest assured that we will have your best interests at heart. We will keep you all safe.

The following image of the Costa Concordia, listing after it struck underwater rocks, is a fitting metaphor for America and Europe at this hour.

Costa Concordia Listing

Although the ship was mortally wounded at this point, taking on water from a deep rent in her hull, she was still mostly above water. She was leaning, but had not yet rolled over on her side. You can see that all of the lifeboats are still hanging from the ship. No one had been urged to abandon ship yet. No cry of alarm had gone out.

This is a fitting parable for where we are at this moment. The captain of the good ship America is on the phone with his masters, that wealthy and powerful cabal of international bankers and industrialists who are working to bring forth a new world order. The citizens of the nations, like the passengers on this doomed cruise ship, are being urged to “stay on board,” to trust those who are driving things to their ultimate goal. The ship, however, is dead in the water. It is not going anywhere.

One might wonder why the vast majority of people in America and Europe are so calm. Why do they not see the peril before them? Too many have placed their faith in the crew manning the ship. Some still believe that merely changing captains will stave off disaster and keep the ship afloat. Their hope is in the next election. They are unwilling, or unable, to grasp the fact that the damage has already been done. In the past 4 years America’s declared government debt has increased by 50% from 10 trillion dollars, to more than 15 trillion dollars. She is steadily being pulled under by the enormous and irresistible drag of this great burden. Quicker and quicker now, America and Europe are succumbing to the forces that will surely swamp them.

This is not what was proclaimed in the State of the Union address last night. The goal of America’s masters is to keep everyone calm and inactive, placated by lies and deception, as long as possible. The captain of the Concordia spoke to the passengers several times after striking a reef, seeking to assure them that they had experienced only a “technical problem” and all would be okay.

Alarmed by the growing tilt of the ship, and the inaction of the captain, passengers onboard began calling land based authorities to report a serious problem. The coast guard in turn contacted the captain of the ship four different times in the hour after the ship struck the rocks to ask if there was a problem. Each time he assured them there was only a minor technical problem, telling them the ship was fine and they needed no assistance. It was passengers and some minor crew members who finally began launching life boats. The captain issued the command to abandon ship only after the passengers and crew had already begun to do so.

Soon America and Europe will have fallen over like the ship in the image above. They are headed in this direction at this very moment.

It was the Greek philosopher Plato who coined the term “ship of state.” In book VI of Plato’s Republic he likened the governance of a city-state to the command of a naval vessel. Plato argued that the only men fit to captain the governments of men were benevolent and wise men who had absolute power to steer the nations. Sadly, such benevolent, selfless, and wise men are not to be found among the rulers of the nations at this hour. Such a ruler will not be known until the kingdom of this world becomes the kingdom of our Lord and Christ.

Leonard Cohen's song Democracy contains the line "Sail on. Sail on, o mighty ship of state. To the shores of need, past the reefs of greed, through the squalls of hate." The Costa Concordia is a symbol of the nations. It was not sailing to “the shores of need.” It was a floating pleasure palace, created to satiate the selfish and excessive appetites of carnal men and women. It struck a reef as surely as America and Europe have wounded themselves on the reefs of greed.

Following is an excerpt from an Internet website.

Warning Signs That We Should Prepare For The Worst
Thursday, January 19, 2012

The warning signs are all around us.  All we have to do is open up our eyes and look at them.  Almost every single day there are more prominent voices in the financial world telling us that a massive economic crisis is coming and that we need to prepare for the worst.  On Wednesday, it was the World Bank itself that issued a very chilling warning.  In an absolutely startling report, the World Bank revised GDP growth estimates for 2012 downward very sharply, warned that Europe could be on the verge of a devastating financial crisis, and declared that the rest of the world better “prepare for the worst...”

When this crisis is over, all sorts of people are going to be running around claiming that they predicted it.  But it does not take a genius to see what is coming. All you have to do is open up your eyes and look at the flashing red warning signs...

Pessimism regarding Greece is at an all-time high. Michael Fuchs, the deputy leader of Angela Merkel’s political party, recently made the following statement….

    “I don’t think that Greece, in its current condition, can be saved.”

But of course Greece is not the only declining economy in Europe by a long shot.

Italy has a much larger economy, and if Italy totally collapses it will be an absolute nightmare for the entire globe.

Right now, the Bank of Italy is forecasting a significant recession for the Italian economy in 2012.  The following is from a statement that Bank of Italy has just released….

    “The uncertainty that surrounds the medium-term perspectives of the Italian economy… are extraordinarily high and are directly linked to the evolution of the eurozone debt crisis...”

Originally it was hoped that the economic problems in Europe could be contained to just a few countries. But now it has become clear that is just not going to happen...

So will all of this economic trouble eventually spread to the United States?

Of course it will.

The global economy is more interconnected today than ever. Back in 2008 the financial crisis that started on Wall Street ended up devastating economies all over the planet.  The same thing will happen during this next great financial crisis.

Only this time the U.S. is in a much weaker position.  The U.S. debt problem has gotten much worse since the last crisis.

Interestingly, the banner for the website that the article above was taken from contains the following image:

The Economic Collapse Blog

I have no personal agenda in sharing these things. I am not an advocate of political resistance. I am no “tea party” revolutionist. I am a son of God, a citizen of a kingdom that is not of this world. As a teacher and watchman I share that which I see through spiritual eyes.

God is not giving forth these signs of what is at hand in order to drive His sons and daughters to some carnal response. He would not have His children hide themselves away with a great store of goods in some remote and unpopulated region. The will of God, as always, is that His sons and daughters be led of His Spirit in all that they do.

Romans 8:14
For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

For years now I have been proclaiming a message of being led by the Spirit, of taking up the cross and sharing in the sufferings of Christ. There will be suffering ahead for all mankind. God will not spare His own from suffering, for it is through many afflictions that we must enter the kingdom of God. A few years back when Yahweh first began sending me across the nation to share with His people, He gave me the following verse as a theme:

Acts 14:22
Strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying,"Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God."

My life the past twelve years has been one of many adversities. Yahweh has greatly molded me as a son in the past decade and more. There is less of me and more of Christ, but the job is far from complete. Now the Father is indicating that a time is at hand for many more of His sons and daughters to walk through wilderness places, and to traverse an afflicted path. Endurance, patience, and faith will be required of all who would survive spiritually the days ahead.

I have shared previously that vehicles often symbolize ministry. (Barack Obama rides in a black limousine that the Secret Service has nicknamed “The Beast.”) Yahweh provided a bus for me a couple years ago. It is stamped with the manufacturer’s name and location. It says “Body by Carpenter.” There is a parable in this detail. The bus had been last used for an entertainment platform as some men were taking it to NASCAR races for week-ends of drinking and coarse speech and entertainment. My heavenly Father instructed me to re-fashion the bus into a fit habitation. It is now a place where I conduct ministry and where I live.

The bus is forty years old, having been manufactured in 1972. Forty is a number related to trials and testing, and it is associated with wilderness journeys. I believe the time is at hand for many of Yahweh’s sons and daughters to embark upon wilderness experiences. The abundance of Egypt will no longer be found. Yahweh will try His people with hunger and thirst (Deuteronomy 8:3). They will be led to face enemies, and perils, yet the greatest danger will always be from within. Unbelief, fear, and fleshly passions that wage war with the Spirit will have to be conquered.

Dark days are near at hand, yet there will also be great grace given to those whose hearts trust in God. Yahweh has not given me any time-line of events. I cannot say with assurance when America and Europe will fall, but I do not look for it to be far off. The ships of state are already listing precariously. It is a time for all God’s children to put away the baubles and entertainments and vanity of the world and to seek Him diligently. As the prophet Zechariah counseled the nations, so too do I counsel you:

Zephaniah 2:3
Seek Yahweh, all you humble of the earth who have carried out His ordinances; Seek righteousness, seek humility. Perhaps you will be hidden in the day of Yahweh’s anger.

Heart4God Website:    

Parables Blog:    

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

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Mighty are Falling

Joseph Herrin (1-22-2012)

Lamentations 5:16
The crown has fallen from our head;
Woe to us, for we have sinned!

The news of this day is reporting that Joe Paterno, longtime head football coach for Penn State University, has died. He was 85 years old.

Joseph Vincent Paterno

My attention was drawn to the life of this man a couple months ago when a string of remarkable and unusual events occurred. The first news item reported that Joe Paterno had won his 409th game as head coach of a Division I college football team. This put him in sole possession of first place, having the most wins of any coach in this category. He was at the pinnacle. He stood head and shoulders above all others.

This would have been a noteworthy milestone, yet it was what occurred next that arrested my attention. Having reached the zenith as college football’s most winning coach, Joe Paterno would not be allowed to savor his success. He would not coach even one more game, though the season was not over. A scandal erupted around one of Joe Paterno’s former assistant coaches who had been sexually molesting young boys. It was reported that Joe Paterno knew about the allegations, but fell short in his response. Public outcry was swift and very vocal. Joe Paterno was fired from his position. He had been head coach at Penn State for 44 years (44 is 22 x 2, signifying cutting off wickedness, and a double portion of flesh cutting).

The timing of events interests me greatly. Why did this scandal emerge at this precise moment? The allegations were years old. The man at the center of the scandal, Jerry Sandusky, had not coached at Penn State for nearly a decade. The Bible tells us, “The mind of man plans his way, but Yahweh orders his steps” (Proverbs 16:9).

On October 29th, 2011 Joe Paterno won his 409th game. On November 5th Jerry Sandusky, was arrested on forty counts, being accused of abusing eight young boys over a fifteen year period. Joe Paterno held a news conference and said he would retire at the end of the football season which was about a month away. Outcry was such that the University acted quickly and forcefully. Rather than allowing Joe Paterno to finish the season, they fired him immediately. He had been with the University for 62 years.

As I pondered this, I was reminded of King David’s counsel to his son Solomon just before David died. David gave commandment to Solomon regarding two men who had acted very wickedly in their lives.

I Kings 2:5-9
"Now you also know what Joab the son of Zeruiah did to me, what he did to the two commanders of the armies of Israel, to Abner the son of Ner, and to Amasa the son of Jether, whom he killed; he also shed the blood of war in peace. And he put the blood of war on his belt about his waist, and on his sandals on his feet. So act according to your wisdom, and do not let his gray hair go down to Sheol in peace...  Behold, there is with you Shimei the son of Gera the Benjamite, of Bahurim; now it was he who cursed me with a violent curse on the day I went to Mahanaim. But when he came down to me at the Jordan, I swore to him by Yahweh, saying, ‘I will not put you to death with the sword.’ Now therefore, do not let him go unpunished, for you are a wise man; and you will know what you ought to do to him, and you will bring his gray hair down to Sheol with blood."

David deemed it to be unfitting for wicked men to end their lives at ease and in peace. I do not doubt that David had the mind of God in this matter, though there have been many wicked men who have appeared to die at ease and in the midst of their prosperity. Yet, for these ones, God chose a different fate.

As with other blogs I have written that have reported on individual’s lives, it is not the person in the story that is of greatest concern. Rather, it is what is being spoken through their lives. God sets up men as signs to others on the earth. He speaks through many means, and in various ways. Those who have eyes to see will ponder and seek instruction through what they observe.

Joe Paterno is a symbol of both men and nations that have attained to great heights, yet their lives have been unworthy of the honor and success they have received. Joe Paterno was idolized by Penn State football fans. A statue of the man was erected on campus while he was still living (is this not what an idol is).

Joe Paterno Statue

Paterno’s success in winning games endeared him to the legions of fanatical supporters of their college and its teams. This idolization of the man was not renounced by Joe Paterno. He accepted the multitude of accolades that came his way. Perhaps it is also a parable that he spoke the following words during an interview in 2006 as he was being questioned about his insensitivity to the sexual abuse of women by football players.

"Most people know me. I am what I am,'' Paterno told

The highlighted words above should trigger a memory in those who are familiar with the Bible. When Moses met God at the burning bush, he asked God what name he should be known by.

Exodus 3:13-15
Then Moses said to God, "Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they say to me, 'What is His name?' what shall I say to them?" And God said to Moses, "I AM THAT I AM." And He said, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'"

Had not Joe Paterno become like a god to many people? Was not he elevated even in his own mind? Joe Paterno’s success was not met with a corresponding humility. He did not acknowledge that it was God that had given him success. He took the credit to himself. He accepted the idolatrous worship of his fans. He became insensitive to his own personal failings, and those of his players and staff. The Jerry Sandusky affair was not an aberration.

In 1995, Paterno was forced to apologize for a profanity-laced tirade directed at Rutgers then-head coach Doug Graber at the conclusion of a nationally televised game. He was also accused of "making light of sexual assault" in 2006 by the National Organization for Women which called for his resignation, and was involved in a road rage incident in 2007...

In 2008, due to a litany of football players' off-the-field legal problems, including 46 Penn State football players having faced 163 criminal charges according to an ESPN analysis of Pennsylvania court records and reports dating to 2002, ESPN questioned Joe Paterno's and the university's control over the Penn State football program by producing and airing an ESPN's Outside the Lines feature covering the subject. Paterno was criticized for his response dismissing the allegations as a "witch hunt," and chiding reporters for asking about problems.

His hubris was further revealed when he dismissed criticism that he was overpaid during a time when budgets were tight and many people were struggling to make ends meet. He sought to keep his compensation secret, but when it was finally revealed he responded pridefully, rather than humbly.

After five years of court battles, the Pennsylvania State Employees' Retirement System (SERS) revealed Paterno's salary in November 2007: $512,664. He was paid $490,638 in 2006. The figure was not inclusive of other compensation, such as money from television and apparel contracts as well as other bonuses that Paterno and other football bowl subdivision coaches earned, said Robert Gentzel, SERS communications director. The release of these amounts can only come at the university's approval, which Penn State spokeswoman Lisa Powers said will not happen. "I'm paid well, I'm not overpaid," Paterno said...

Let me state again, it is not the life of Joe Paterno that I find important, for he serves only as a type and pattern for many men and nations who have grown prideful in their fortune and success. Yawheh is surely speaking something through this man’s life. At the height of his success he was cut down. His judgment came unlooked for. It was swift and the stroke was unanticipated.

On the very same day that Joe Paterno won his 409th victory, the Los Angeles Times reported on a story that I believe is related, though it would not become apparent until another week had passed and Paterno was fired.

Giant sequoia falls, raising questions about what to do next
October 29, 2011|By Bettina Boxall, Los Angeles Times

Along the Sierra Nevada's famed Trail of 100 Giants, the mammoth sequoia had stood sentry since King Arthur's knights gathered at the Round Table.

It witnessed the arrival of the first European settlers and the flurry of miners in search of gold. The onset of the Medieval Warm Period and the passing of the Little Ice Age. It stood, unperturbed, through the Great War and the one that followed.

Then a month ago, as a handful of amazed tourists looked on, it toppled — crushing a bridge over a small stream and blocking the path.

Now, the U.S. Forest Service must decide what to do...

"This has not happened in the Sequoia National Forest before," said public affairs officer Denise Alonzo, explaining the indecision.

The now-prone twins — two-thirds the height of Los Angeles City Hall — were among the bigger specimens in Long Meadow Grove, part of the Giant Sequoia National Monument. About 17 feet in diameter at their common base, the trees are middle-aged for giant sequoias, which can live 4,000 years and have the greatest mass of any living organism on Earth.

The Forest Service isn't sure why the trees hit the dirt Sept. 30, because they appeared to be healthy.

A German tourist, one of only a few people on the 1.3-mile loop trail at the time, recorded the crash on video.

"It can't be possible," Gerrit Panzner told the Visalia Times about what went through his mind when he realized the sequoias were falling.

"I wasn't afraid," said his wife, Sigrun Rakus. Her only thought was to get out of the way.

The trees may have toppled because the wet winter left the ground too soggy to hold the roots, which are relatively shallow.

"Sequoias do fall. That's how big sequoias die," said Nathan Stephenson of the U.S. Geological Survey.

Following is a video of the falling giants.

In 2010, as I traveled across this nation, I was blessed to be able to visit Sequoia National Park. I learned some things about the giant sequoias at that time. The largest and most mature of the trees are referred to as “monarchs.” They are kings among all living things. The tops of the trees are referred to as their “crowns.” It is typical for the mature sequoias to have their crowns fall off. It seems that Yahweh will have even the trees to give obeisance to Him.

More words of David come to mind as I consider the correspondence of events between these giant sequoias falling, and the fall of Joe Paterno.

II Samuel 1:19
Your beauty, O Israel, is slain on your high places! How have the mighty fallen!

David was lamenting the death of King Saul and his sons. Saul was struck down as a judgment of God. Saul was renowned for standing head and shoulders above all others in Israel.

I Samuel 9:2
He had a son whose name was Saul, a choice and handsome man, and there was not a more handsome person than he among the sons of Israel; from his shoulders and up he was taller than any of the people.

Before Saul was made king, he was humble in his own eyes. Yet after he became king he became proud. He did not honor Yahweh with his words and actions. He did many wicked things, therefore Yahweh judged him. Saul was brought low, and the humble man David was exalted in his place.

I believe that we are entering a time when many of those who have been accounted as mighty in the earth will fall. Now is an hour when God will abase many who are proud. He will also raise up some who are exceedingly humble. These events will come swiftly and unlooked for among both categories of people. There will be those who receive promotion at God’s hands like Joseph of old. In a single day they will be taken from the prison and given ruling authority.

Isaiah 57:15
For thus says the high and exalted One who lives forever, whose name is Holy, "I dwell on a high and holy place, and also with the contrite and lowly of spirit in order to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.”

Isaiah 66:2
"But to this one I will look, to him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word.”

A time of shaking is at hand for the nations. As was revealed in the recent devastating earthquakes in Christchurch, New Zealand, a time of shaking is also at hand for Christ’s church. Those who have exalted themselves, who have lived luxuriously, who have vaunted themselves, who have acted wickedly, will be laid low. As John the Baptist testified:

Matthew 3:10
"The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”

Let those who understand the times take note. Walk in humility before God and man. Remember the poor. Take care of the widow and the orphan. Seek humility. Seek righteousness. Perhaps you will be hidden in the day of Yahweh’s anger.

Me Standing Next to a Giant Seuoia at Sequoia National Park

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Affirmations to Costa Concordia Parable

Joseph Herrin (01-18-2012)

Europe and America Sinking Together

The image above was taken from an article posted on Financial Times on July 4th of 2011. The article was titled America and Europe Sinking Together. Following is an excerpt:

In Washington they are arguing about a debt ceiling; in Brussels they are staring into a debt abyss. But the basic problem is the same. Both the US and the European Union have public finances that are out of control and political systems that are too dysfunctional to fix the problem. America and Europe are in the same sinking boat...

This rather prescient article used the metaphor of a sinking ship to describe the impending economic ruin of the United States and Europe. Little did the author suspect that this parable would be duplicated before the world in stunning fashion seven months later when the cruise liner Costa Concordia ran aground and foundered. There are many, even among the worldly and non-Christian members of society who have discerned a parable in this catastrophe. This morning a brother forwarded me a link to an article posted yesterday on the Wall Street Journal’s website.

JANUARY 17, 2012
What Is Europe Sinking About?
The shipwreck of a cruise liner is a metaphor for a continent.

The Lord works in mysterious ways, or so it is often said. But in an era when few can read His signs, those signs have a way of becoming a bit more obvious. Like 45-10. Or how about another Titanic-type event, right on the eve of the 100th anniversary of the first one, as a way of prefiguring some great European disaster?

OK, probably better to leave Him out of it. But as metaphors go, Friday night's tragic-ridiculous shipwreck of a cruise liner off the Italian coast is an apt one for a continent in which nine countries had their credit ratings downgraded earlier that same day. Even the biggest ship can founder in calm waters if the captain is negligent. Even a rescue operation 50 feet from shore can turn into a fiasco if nobody has conducted a drill and the crew have no idea how to steer a lifeboat.

When the hors d'oeuvres are listing hard to starboard and the waiters tell you nothing's wrong, something's terribly wrong.

That last detail—from passenger accounts of the accident—reminded me of listening to European Council President Herman Van Rompuy in New York last fall, explaining that Greece would never default, that the euro zone's financial position was not a serious cause for alarm, and that the main thing was to prevent further outbursts of market irrationalism. In other words, it wasn't the ship that was sinking, in Mr. Van Rompuy's view, it was just that the passengers had an odd way of occasionally going berserk.

It is truly amazing to me to find this article on the Wall Street Journal website. Christ’s saying is true:

Luke 16:8
For the sons of this world are wiser in their generation than the sons of light.

The church continues apace proclaiming a prosperity gospel while many in the world are recognizing that the party is about to come to a sudden end. The Concordia Wreck is quite obviously a sign of great financial and political trouble coming to the world. It would be hard to construct a more fitting metaphor of the foundering of nations. Following is an diagram of the Costa Concordia showing the names assigned to the various deck levels.

Translating these nation names to English, they are: Sweden, Greece, Great Britain, Portugal, Germany, Austria, Poland, Spain, France, Ireland, Italy, Belgium, and The Netherlands. This ship was clearly designed to convey a message of unity (corcord) among nations. The United States enters the picture by virtue of  the parent company, Carnival Cruise Lines, being a British and American corporation. What happens in Europe clearly has an impact upon America.

Art, a brother in Christ who has the New Wineskin blog, posted the following comment to yesterday’s post:

It is no coincidence that the ship went down just as several major bond rating agencies (such as Standard and Poor's) were downgrading the sovereign (i.e., national) debt of several European countries (but not all), raising their borrowing costs and driving yet another wedge between them.

The first press release regarding those downgrades was issued by S&P at 4:36 PM Eastern Standard Time, which was 10:36PM Central European Time (i.e., in Italy).

The Concordia had hit a granite outcrop off Giglio Island slightly less than an hour prior to that, at 9:42 PM European Central Time.
[End Quote]

God is certainly giving a sign of impending disaster. The nations will be shaken. Even secular sources of news and commentary have made the connection to this event and the conditions in Europe and the United States. This is attested to by the following politcial cartoons.

The Concordia is renamed Euro in this cartoon, indicating that the Euro is soon to fail as a monetary system. This will set the stage for a new, global monetary system to be put in place, plans for which have already been put in place.

September 9, 2009
United Nations Proposes New "Global Currency"
By Declan McCullagh

The United Nations would like the dollar, euro, yen, and other national currencies to be succeeded by a new "global currency."

That recommendation appears in a U.N. report released this week, which suggests the dollar's outsize role in international finance has ended -- and says that it's time to invent a successor currency that would be managed by a "Global Reserve Bank."

It is interesting to note that the date of the report above is 9/9/9, a number mentioned yesterday in the post on the Concordia disaster. The Concordia wreck occurred 99 years and 9 months after the wreck of the Titanic. In the same post it was mentioned that the number 9 in Scripture is “THE NUMBER OF FINALITY OR JUDGMENT.”

This is another political cartoon. Angela Merkel of Germany and Nicolas Sarkozy of France are shown atop the sinking Eurozone ship while Monti, the leader of Italy is desperately clinging to the side of the ship.

This political cartoon makes a correlation to Obama saving himself from the sinking ship of America even as the captain of the Concordia abandoned ship while passengers were still aboard.

Here is a further twist on this idea that emphasizes Congress’s role in causing America to founder. People of God, we would do well to pay heed to the signs that are being given. Even the world is taking note, though I doubt too many are actually taking any steps that will prove beneficial in surviving the coming economic collapse and resulting political turmoil.

Are you truly prepared to weather what is to come? What will you do when the dollar is devalued, and your wealth ends up at the bottom of the ocean? Have you already divested yourself from an attachment to the world’s goods and possessions? Are you walking as a true disciple of Christ? You do not want to have attachments to that which God is testifying will soon sink beneath the waves. It is those who are free from entanglements that will find it easiest to extricate themselves from the wreckage.

II Timothy 2:3-7
Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Yahshua. No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier... Consider what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.

Have you learned to walk by faith, being directed by the Spirit, and confident of God’s provision and care for your life? Do you have the assurance that there will be corn supplied to you in a time of famine? Those who do not have faith in God will be swept up in the panic that follows the sinking of the world economic system.

Do not say to yourself that it will not happen. Very few gave any credence at all to the thought that financial systems would be rocked in 2008. Nevertheless, the world faced a tremendous calamity with one crisis following hard on another. Major financial companies like Bear Stearns, Merrill Lynch, and Lehman Brothers became insolvent. AIG, the world’s largest insurance company faced imminent collapse. Home values that had been rising at double digit rates year over year suddenly tanked. In the ensuing years millions lost their homes to foreclosure. Millions more lost their jobs as the economy contracted and businesses failed.

Now, four years later, nothing has improved. State after state has faced a severe budgetary crisis. The Federal government has continued only by increasing debt load to “titanic” levels. The weight of all of this debt must soon pull the ship of state under water.

What should you do seeing that Yahweh is giving testimony to the catastrophic things soon to occur? First, do not place your confidence in leaders who do not walk in the ways of God, who do not have compassion for the people they are elected to serve. They are hirelings. When they see danger come, they will flee. Place your trust and confidence in God. What He tells you to do, you must do, and that without delay. Get your house in order. Free yourself from worldly entanglements lest you be unable to escape the coming ruin.

If you have yet to accept the cost of being Christ’s disciple, there is no time to lose. To be Christ’s disciple you must yield yourself to His leadership. You must lay aside self-governance and surrender to be governed by Christ. He must be the One who determines what you do with your time, money, and possessions.

Luke 14:33
"So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.”

I Corinthians 6:19-20
Or do you not know that... you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price...

In the aftermath of the Concordia disaster it became known that the people had not been prepared for an emergency. The ship’s captain had not carried out rescue drills. Overconfidence gave rise to complacency. The ship had sailed (nearly) the same route many times. There had never before been a need to abandon ship or use lifeboats. The ship seemed exceptionally solid. She appeared to be able to remain floating for the imaginable future. No one, from captain to passengers, anticipated that this magnificent vessel would soon have a huge breach in her hull and quickly fill up with water and capsize.

Even after the damage was done, the captain refused to acknowledge what had occurred. It was passengers on board who reportedly contacted land based authorities with their cell phones to be the first to report a crisis.

Do not wait for the leaders of your nation to tell you a crisis is at hand. Do not look to them to tell you how to safely respond to what is to come. You will suffer loss if you do. Press into God. Seek His mind. Ask Him what He would have you do, and you must do this in all things. Do not just ask God how to survive economic and political turmoil. You must ask Him what He would have you to do in all things.

Psalms 146:3-10
Don't put your trust in princes, each a son of man in whom there is no help. His spirit departs, and he returns to the earth. In that very day, his thoughts perish. Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in Yahweh, his God: Who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them; Who keeps truth forever; Who executes justice for the oppressed; Who gives food to the hungry. Yahweh frees the prisoners. Yahweh opens the eyes of the blind. Yahweh raises up those who are bowed down. Yahweh loves the righteous. Yahweh preserves the foreigners. He upholds the fatherless and widow, but the way of the wicked he turns upside down. Yahweh will reign forever; Your God, O Zion, to all generations. Praise Yah!


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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Costa Concordia Disaster, and Other News

Joseph Herrin (1-17-2012)

Consta Concordia (lifeboats in foreground)

I have been following the story of the wreck of the cruise ship Costa Concordia for a few days. I am convinced that there is a parable contained in this catastrophe. The details surrounding this ship and its sinking are pregnant with significance.

The Costa Concordia is one of the largest passenger ships to ever sink, being 21 meters (68 feet, 11 inches) longer than the Titanic. The boat is relatively new, having been christened and taken its inaugural voyage in July of 2006. An ill omen was observed by maritime professionals as the champagne bottle used to christen the ship did not break when it was struck against the ship. Sailors have long considered this to be a harbinger of an ill-fated vessel.

The Costa Concordia’s parent company is Carnival Cruise Lines, which is a British and American corporation. The word “carnival” means “flesh raising.” Carnival’s ships are renowned for their appeal to the fleshly passions of man. Free twenty-four hour a day buffets, fine dining restaurants, on ship stores selling luxury goods, Las Vegas style entertainment, casinos, discotheques, movie theaters, spas, and many more pleasures and entertainments are offered to appeal to the sensual nature of man. Carnival truly offers a “flesh raising” experience.

The ship was named “Concordia” to express the wish for "continuing harmony, unity, and peace between European nations."

The sinking of the ship coincides with the most serious crisis the European Union has faced. A number of countries in the union are laboring under crushing debt loads. Nations with a stronger financial position are expected to bail out their troubled partners. Germany is by far the strongest nation economically in the European Union, but her citizens resent having the wealth of their nation used to shore up a profligate lifestyle among nations that did not execute a sound fiscal policy.

The stronger financial nations are seeking to enforce austerity measures upon those nations that need bailouts, but these austerity measures are odious to the citizens of the troubled countries. Greece, in particular, is in perilous financial shape, and could default on its debt in a few months if a concord is not reached with the other member states of the European Union. Greece, however, is just the tip of the iceberg, for Spain, Ireland, Portugal, Italy, Hungary, and other member states of the European Union are not far behind Greece, and may soon require saving as well.

The image of an iceberg seems appropriate. The moments after the Concordia struck the reef have been described by passengers as reminiscent of the sinking of the HMS Titanic which had a very similar gouge rent into her hull by an iceberg. The Titanic sank 100 years ago, in 1912, a fact which has been mentioned often in the media. To be more precise, the Titanic sank 99 years and 9 months prior to the Concordia. In the UK, the number 999 is the emergency telephone number, equivalent to the number 911 in America. The number 9 in Scripture is related to finality and judgment. E.W. Bullinger, in his book Number in Scripture, states the following:

It is the last of the digits, and thus marks the end; and is significant of the conclusion of a matter.

It is akin to the number six, six being the sum of its factors (3x3=9, and 3+3=6), and is thus significant of the end of man, and the summation of all man's works. Nine is, therefore, THE NUMBER OF FINALITY OR JUDGMENT...

While I am on the subject of numbers, the Concordia ran aground on January 13th. The number 13 also is of great significance in Scripture. Following is an excerpt from Bullinger’s work.

As to the significance of thirteen, all are aware that it has come down to us as a number of ill-omen. Many superstitions cluster around it, and various explanations are current concerning them.

Unfortunately, those who go backwards to find a reason seldom go back far enough. The popular explanations do not, so far as we are aware, go further back than the Apostles. But we must go back to the first occurrence of the number thirteen in order to discover the key to its significance. It occurs first in Gen 14:4, where we read "Twelve years they served Chedorlaomer, and the thirteenth year they REBELLED."

Hence every occurrence of the number thirteen, and likewise of every multiple of it, stamps that with which it stands in connection with rebellion, apostasy, defection, corruption, disintegration, revolution, or some kindred idea.

When one views the testimony of these numbers, relating them back to the intended meaning of the ship’s name, the message that comes forth is that “the harmony, unity, and peace” between European nations is about to come to a sudden and ignominious end. The festive party atmosphere will suddenly give way to panic. Some unseen hazard will doom the concord that exists among nations, leading to a time of “rebellion, apostasy, defection, corruption, disintegration, and revolution.”

In Roman mythology, Concordia is “the goddess of agreement, understanding, and marital harmony.”

Image of Goddess Concordia on Roman Coin

“In art, Concordia was depicted sitting, wearing a long cloak and holding onto a patera (sacrificial bowl), a cornucopia (symbol of prosperity), or a caduceus (symbol of peace). She was often shown in between two other figures, such as standing between two members of the Royal House shaking hands.

Artists depicted Concordia between two members of the Royal House as a testimony of her role in producing harmony among political and national rulers. What then is signified when a ship bearing her name, filled with passengers from many nations, strikes a rock and quickly sinks? One need not be a prophet to understand the message.

I believe it is significant that Concordia’s image was put on coinage of the Roman Empire. The European Union has been described by some as a re-birth of the Roman Empire. Achieving financial unity was one of the chief aims of the European Union. Yet it is issues of money that have plagued the union. England has refused to adopt the Euro for its currency, as have nine other nations that are EU members. Financial issues are a leading source of contention among member nations.

The message is that Concordia has failed. The nations she sought to join in peaceful union as they all pursued common goals of prosperity and security, will fracture as none are willing to make the sacrifices needed to maintain the union. Many have been prophesying that 2012 will be a year of great shaking among the nations. This sign upon the earth would seem to give credence to the thought that tremendous disruptions are near at hand.

More could be written about the role of the captain of the ship in this catastrophe, and how his failings relate to the missteps of government leaders among the nations. It is reported that he departed from the specified cruise course and steered too close to Giglio Island. He was further reported to have immediately been in denial of the seriousness of the damage to the ship, and he waited too long to get all of the lifeboats launched and the passengers and crew disembarked.

Perhaps, more damning, is the fact that the captain left the ship before everyone had been evacuated, and when asked by an Italian Coast Guard official to return to the ship to oversee the evacuation, he refused to do so. We will surely see parallels to this behavior in days ahead as government leaders seek to save their own necks while abandoning those they were elected to serve and protect.

Catastrophic Uncontained Engine Failure

Canada National 2699

This next news item has received almost no press. I was made aware of it by a brother who wrote to share it with me (Thanks Darrell). It too has some significant elements in it. Following is the story.

This is Canadian National locomotive number 2699. It is a 212 ton machine powered by a 183 liter, 4400 hp V16 4 stroke diesel

Shortly before this picture was taken, while working under load, 2699 experienced what is known in the trade as a "catastrophic uncontained engine failure." The train was passing the town of Independence, LA, at the time.

The first picture below shows that the engine exploded and one of the 16 cylinder-packs that form the engine was ejected through the engine bay body side and thrown clear of the locomotive.

In addition to this the piston from that cylinder was thrown free by the force of the failure. It was ejected so violently that it traveled through the air and crashed through the roof of a nearby home where it imbedded itself in an interior wall.


I shared the following with Darrell.

Viewing this event as a parable, some of the following things stand out.

The train number: (2 - witness, 6 - flesh man, 9 - judgment, 9 - judgment)

E.W. Bullinger writes the following regarding the number 9.

It is the last of the digits, and thus marks the end; and is significant of the conclusion of a matter.

It is akin to the number six, six being the sum of its factors (3x3=9, and 3+3=6), and is thus significant of the end of man, and the summation of all man's works. Nine is, therefore, THE NUMBER OF FINALITY OR JUDGMENT...

That the number is repeated twice would indicate the same thing as the repetition of Pharaoh's dream.

Genesis 41:32
"Now as for the repeating of the dream to Pharaoh twice, it means that the matter is determined by God, and God will quickly bring it about."

The city location: Independence  - could speak of an end of independence, or Yahweh's judgment on an unlawful use of independence.

The state location: Louisiana - Even as the train is Canadian, and Canada is a mixture of French and English, so too is Louisiana. No other state in the U.S. is noted for its French influence as Louisiana is. At present, France and the U.S. are yoked together (perhaps it could be likened to train cars) in an unusual alliance of military, political, and economic cooperation. This was shown clearly in the recent overthrow of Libya.

The event: The failure of the engine was "catastrophic" and sudden, occurring without warning and being unexpected. It was also described as "uncontained" which would indicate that man cannot control it or mitigate the damage. The piston affected things which are unrelated to the train. It did damage to a home, perhaps indicating that what occurs will truly "strike" home, "impacting" people where they live.

Engine stats: One of the numbers that stood out to me regarding the engine is that it is a 4400 horsepower locomotive. The number four denotes humility, and the number 44 is (22 x 2), signifying a double portion of flesh cutting. When a number is raised to the level of the hundreds, it speaks of the nations. 4400 would therefore be a testimony of a double portion of judgment coming to the nations.

Comet Lovejoy

I would end this post by making mention of the recent heavenly sign observed in Comet Lovejoy. If you missed the post on this subject, you can find it here:

Comet Lovejoy Blog

I believe this celestial sign indicates that some fiery times are at hand for the nations. A “decapitated remnant” will be brought through these experiences, surviving when no one expected them to do so. Another brother in Christ sent me a link to a video posted on the Fox News website that provides some interesting details of this heavenly sign.

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

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Monday, January 16, 2012

The Worth of a Woman

The Worth of a Woman

A considerable part of the backlash against the teaching of Yahweh’s role and purpose for women is that many people equate status in this world with a person’s value, or worth. Many women fear that, if they subject themselves to men, they will be viewed and treated as having a lower intrinsic worth, or value, than the man. Some even fear that in accepting the testimony of Scripture, that woman was created for man, that Yahweh might esteem the woman to be of less value than the man. This latter conclusion is surely false. Yahweh loves women with a perfect love, but where man makes judgments he is prone to grievous error.

Many men do treat women as if they were of lesser value, but it is in patiently and humbly bearing up under injustice that women (and men) find the fruit of the Spirit being formed in their lives. Accepting patiently the injustices of others finds great favor with God.

I Peter 2:18-20
Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable. For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly. For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God.

These words apply to women in their relationships to their husbands, as well as servants with their masters. Peter segues from these words directly into an admonition to women in the church.

I Peter 3:1-2
In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.

A master is not manifesting behavior that is pleasing to Yahweh by acting in an uncompassionate, or harsh manner, to his servants. Similarly, a man is disobedient to the word of God if he treats his wife as if she is of less worth than himself. Rank is not an indicator of value in God’s sight.

I Peter 3:7
You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.

In this present age Yahweh has established a governmental order that places man under the rule of Christ, and woman under the rule of man. Women likewise have a sphere of authority in which they rule, for they are placed in authority over their children, and may have servants under them as well. This gives both men and women an opportunity to practice conformity to Christ as they learn how to humble themselves under divinely appointed authority, and to demonstrate the gentle and meek nature of Christ as they exercise authority over others.

It will often happen that a person under authority is found faithful and pleasing to the Father even while the one who rules over them is disobedient. This does not cause the one under authority to be disadvantaged. In truth, they have more opportunity to demonstrate faith and obedience to God as they bear up patiently when suffering unjustly. A woman should never declare that she will be a submissive wife only when her husband gets his act together. I have heard numerous women say that they will honor their husbands when they begin to act honorably. This is great error. It is the will of Christ that servants prove themselves faithful when they have wicked masters, and that wives remain chaste and respectful when they have disobedient husbands. As they do so, the wives can gain great favor with God even while their husbands are heaping up judgment upon themselves.

The apostle Peter declared that women are “fellow heirs of the grace of life.” The word “heirs” reveals that Peter is speaking of inheritance. In the Law women did not receive an inheritance with the men. If a man had sons and daughters, the land of his forefathers was to be passed onto his sons. His daughters were not to receive an inheritance in this way. The only exception was when a man had no sons. Then the man’s property went to his daughters (Numbers 27:1-8).

When it came to inheritance, the Law treated women no differently than slaves. Slaves did not receive an inheritance in the land of Israel, neither could a Gentile. Only male descendants of Abraham received the promised land as an inheritance.

The apostle Paul declared that the rules of inheritance have changed. In the kingdom of God all may share an inheritance in Christ. In the third chapter of Galatians Paul establishes this truth. Both at this time, and in the age to come, men and women, slave and free, Jew and Gentile, can all be accounted as heirs of the grace of life that is found in Christ. When the subject of inheritance comes up, Yahweh makes no distinction based upon gender, societal status, or natural descent. The Law does not determine who will inherit the promises of God in Christ.

Galatians 3:18
For if the inheritance is based on law, it is no longer based on a promise...

As Christians, me must not confuse a person’s status in this life with their worthiness in the eyes of God. Christ declared that many who are first at this time will be last in the age to come, and many who are last now will be first in the resurrection of the dead (Luke 13:30).

Luke 13:30
"And behold, some are last who will be first and some are first who will be last."

It is important to note that Christ said “some” who are last will be first, and “some” who are first will be last. A person’s status in the age to come is dependent upon whether they walked humbly and faithfully before God and man in this age. Many servants cannot escape their servitude, but neither do they accept it with grace. Similarly, many women do not accept their role as helper to their husband with grace. Those who manifest complaint, murmuring, rebellion, clamor, envy, and discontent will not only be last in this age, but in the age to come as well.

Yahweh’s instruction to wives and to servants are the same. Even as wives are exhorted to be subject to their own husbands in everything, servants are commanded to be subject to their masters.
Titus 2:9-10
Urge bondslaves to be subject to their own masters in everything, to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, not pilfering, but showing all good faith so that they will adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in every respect.

Does God view those who are the last in this age as of lesser worth than those who are first? Absolutely not. If a man or woman proves themselves faithful in service to God and others they will be approved by Yahweh and honored in the age to come. Joseph’s life provides a type and testimony of this truth. Joseph was sold into slavery in Egypt. Joseph’s enslavement was unfair. His brothers had sold him due to jealousy. Nevertheless, Joseph proved himself to be a faithful servant seeking the welfare of his master. No one was more faithful than Joseph, and his master promoted him.

When Joseph was falsely accused of trying to rape his master’s wife, he was cast into prison. Now he was as low as a man could possibly go. He was not a free man. He was a slave. Yet, he was less than a slave. He was a slave in prison. Joseph had been doubly abased, but even in the prison he manifested an excellent spirit and everything he did prospered. After years of patient and humble service Yahweh placed great honor upon Joseph. He was promoted to the right hand of Pharaoh.

Joseph’s life serves as a parable for all those who would receive promotion and honor at Yahweh’s hands. If we prove ourselves faithful as servants, the day will come when we receive great honor. The woman should consider the call to serve her husband a great opportunity to exhibit that humility and faithfulness that is pleasing to God. Yahweh has told the woman what His will is. The way before her is clearly marked. Those who manifest an excellent spirit in serving their husband, continuously seeking his welfare, will receive a glorious inheritance and great honor in the ages to come. There will be no distinction at that time between male or female, slave or free, Jew or Gentile.

Galatians 3:26-29
For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Yahshua. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Yahshua. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's descendants, heirs according to promise.

Notice the word “heirs” again in this passage. Many have misapplied these words, suggesting that Paul is negating all differences between the sexes. This is not so. Paul is speaking of inheritance, not governmental order. Paul is declaring that God sees all men and women the same when it comes to inheritance. All may prove themselves worthy of Christ’s inheritance in the saints.

Those who contend that Paul was negating any differences in gender roles with the  preceding words are doing violence to the Scriptures. They are ignoring Paul’s many instructions to women in the church to subject themselves to men. If Paul is stating here that women need not subject themselves to men, then he must also be saying that servants need not subject themselves to their masters. Not only did Paul declare in the third chapter of Galatians that there is neither male nor female, he also said there is neither slave nor free. Paul, however, is speaking of inheritance in Christ. He is not giving a teaching on the proper attitude to have toward government. He addressed the subject of government in other passages.

Ephesians 6:5-8
Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ; not by way of eye-service, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart. With good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether slave or free.

Even as slaves will receive back from the Lord according to how faithfully they conducted themselves as servants, so too will women receive recompense from the Lord. Yahshua has testified:

Revelation 22:12
"Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to everyone according to what he has done.”

There have been men, like Joseph, who served other men as slaves, and their service found great favor with God. Daniel is another example. As a young man Daniel was taken into captivity to Babylon and made a servant of the king. Daniel did not rebel, nor wallow in self-pity, nor manifest a self-seeking attitude. Daniel was the most faithful of all the king’s subjects. Not even Daniel’s enemies were able to find fault with his service to the king.

Daniel 6:4-5
Then the commissioners and satraps began trying to find a ground of accusation against Daniel in regard to government affairs; but they could find no ground of accusation or evidence of corruption, inasmuch as he was faithful, and no negligence or corruption was to be found in him. Then these men said, "We will not find any ground of accusation against this Daniel unless we find it against him with regard to the law of his God."

Like Joseph many years before, Daniel bloomed where he was planted, even when his life seemed unjust, and his position was one of slavery. Did Yahweh think less of these men because of their status in this world? No! Daniel received the highest praise from God. When Daniel was seeking the Lord with prayers and fasting, Yahweh sent an angelic messenger to speak to him. This messenger declared:

Daniel 9:22-23
"O Daniel, I have now come forth to give you insight with understanding. At the beginning of your supplications the command was issued, and I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed; so give heed to the message and gain understanding of the vision.”

The esteem God had for Daniel had no relationship to his position in this world. The same is true for women. I am convinced beyond any doubt that there have been many women who were more highly esteemed by God than the majority of men. Christ chose twelve men to be His disciples and apostles, yet it was not to any of them that He appeared first after His resurrection. The first person to see the resurrected Christ was a woman.

John 20:11-18
Mary was standing outside the tomb weeping; and so, as she wept, she stooped and looked into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and one at the feet, where the body of Yahshua had been lying. And they said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?" She said to them, "Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him." When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Yahshua. Yahshua said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?" Supposing Him to be the gardener, she said to Him, "Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away." Yahshua said to her, "Mary!" She turned and said to Him in Hebrew, "Rabboni!" (which means, Teacher). Yahshua said to her, "Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, "I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.'" Mary Magdalene came, announcing to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord," and that He had said these things to her.

Was it not a great honor to be the first among all mankind to see the resurrected Lord? Those who confuse governmental order with the love of God would certainly think that Christ would reveal Himself first to a man. I am persuaded, however, that the one who loved Christ the most saw Him first. He could not delay in bringing comfort to one who was so grieved at being separated from Him. Notice how she clung to the feet of Yahshua when He appeared. Mary did not want to ever be separated from her Lord again.

Sisters in Christ, I ask you, if rumor had gone out that you had died, and you knew that this saying was causing distress among your family and friends, who would you show yourself to first to demonstrate that you were actually alive? Would it not be the one you knew would be the most grieved to experience your loss? Would not your love for that person compel you to go straightway to them?

I know of no greater testimony in Scripture that women are counted as worthy of the love and favor of God as men than the fact that Christ showed Himself to Mary Magdalene before He showed Himself to any other. Not even John, the beloved disciple, met the resurrected Christ before Mary.

God does not judge as man judges. Man is impressed with position, success, and fame. God, however, looks upon the heart. He knows those who love Him. He sees that it is often those without position, even in the church, who are the most faithful and devoted. The Bible tells us that Christ had twelve male disciples whom He handpicked. Only one of them was mentioned as being present at His crucifixion. All others had fled. Only John was in attendance. Yet among the women who had followed Him, we are told that there was a number present during this darkest, and most sorrowful moment of His life.

John 19:25
But standing by the cross of Yahshua were His mother, and His mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.

The male disciples of Christ had fled, fearing the persecution of the Jewish leaders and the Romans. The threat was just as imminent for these women, but not even fear for their lives could keep them from the One they loved so dearly. It is significant to note that the one male disciple who was present at the crucifixion of Christ was known for his love of Christ, and Christ’s deep love for him.

John 19:26-27
When Yahshua then saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to His mother, "Woman, behold, your son!" Then He said to the disciple, "Behold, your mother!" From that hour the disciple took her into his own household.

Does it not speak volumes about the value of women in the eyes of God that one of Christ’s last acts was to appoint John as the caretaker of His mother? Was it not love that drove Him to look past His own suffering, and feel the pain of the sword that pierced His mother’s heart.

That women are greatly valued in the eyes of God is further attested to in the fact that the purest religion is described in the following manner.

James 1:27
Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

Yahweh has great compassion for women. The widow is ever before His sight. Yahweh does not love women any less because they were created “for man.” He does not see them as of less worth than man because they are called to subject themselves. Yahweh’s government, and His grace are two separate systems.

The Bible describes the woman as “weaker” than the man (I Peter 3:7). Does it not move the heart with compassion to see those who are weak persevering, overcoming their fears, and going where those much stronger than they are unwilling to go? I am sure the ten male disciples of Christ who were absent at His crucifixion later rued the fact that they were not present when John and a group of women were. Did it not move the heart of God the Father to know that these women were present to provide solace and comfort to His Son in His hour of suffering? I do not doubt that a great reward awaits them.

In the days that followed the crucifixion, the women continued to be subject to men. Christ did not appoint any women to be apostles or leaders in the church. The governmental order of man being the head of woman continued. At the same time, the system of grace continued. Women were present in the upper room on Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was given. They became partakers of the Spirit of Christ the same as the men. Women are assured that in the resurrection they will receive inheritance along with men. Many who are the last, the lowest, and the least in this world will be first in the age to come. Such is the marvelous grace of our Father.

Sisters in Christ, there are men in this age who will judge with wicked motives. There are men who will act unjustly. Many will confuse authority with a person’s worth. Those who are humble will be taken advantage of. Take comfort in knowing that God sees all things. He weighs the hearts. His eyes roam to and fro throughout the earth that He might strongly support those whose hearts are wholly His (II Chronicles 16:9). Will He not give much grace to those who are lightly esteemed in this age, yet serve with faithfulness and patience?

In the age to come I am convinced that many women who were unknown to the world will receive honor and praise from the Father. The woman who devoted herself to her husband’s welfare, who raised children, who was a keeper at home, who prayed faithfully, who was a model of good works, who washed the feet of the saints; to her will belong glory and honor and praise in the ages to come.

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Joseph Herrin
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