Joseph Herrin (01-02-2013)
As I typed the heading above, it was the first time that I wrote out a date for the year 2013. 2013 portends to be a year of dramatic changes for America and the nations. Dire things are coming. The light of truth and righteousness is fading quickly. As men are becoming ever more enslaved to the passions and desires of the flesh, Yahweh is giving them over to another type of slavery. Their personal liberty and freedoms are being eroded. A draconian government is arising that will enforce thought control along with dictating all human behavior. If you are new to this blog and have not read the article I posted on the year 2013, I recommend it to you.
In that post I shared the Biblical significance of the number thirteen. Following is a quotation from E.W. Bullinger.
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.
As the earth descends into darkness, the same fate need not be the portion of the people of God. Indeed, it is the Father’s will that as gross darkness overtakes the world that an increasing radiance would be seen among His sons and daughters.
Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of Yahweh has risen upon you. For behold, darkness will cover the earth, and deep darkness the peoples; but Yahweh will rise upon you, and His glory will appear upon you.
The sons and daughters of Yahweh are not members of this world and its kingdoms. We are aliens and strangers here. The verses above reveal how far out of synch the kingdom of God is from the kingdom of this world. Satan’s plan is advancing as he covers humanity with gross darkness. At the same time Yahweh has a remnant who are increasing in their manifestation of the life and light of Christ as they are transformed from glory to glory.
One thing I have noted among a number of saints is that at this time they are being urged to bring to completion that which is lacking in their lives. They are rising up to overcome besetting sins. They are manifesting a renewed vigor to study the word of God, to spend time in prayer and communion with their heavenly Father, and to surrender more fully to be guided by the Spirit.
At the end of 2011 I shared in a post that Yahweh had convicted me of falling short in some areas of my life. I was not walking as an overcomer. Had I gone on to be with the Father at that time, I lacked confidence that I would be numbered among the overcomers in Christ.
The manner in which Yahweh brought this into focus was by drawing my attention to the campsite I had been parked in during the year 2011. It was site number 143.
Site Number 143
(Click on image to view larger)
The Bible uses the number 144 to signify those who are overcomers in Christ. The number 143 falls short of 144. Some wrote to me at the time asking if I might be mistaken. They asked that if I was not an overcomer, then what chance did they have of being one? Many have read of the various ways in which the Father has guided me. They have observed that I have followed, often at great personal cost, incurring loss in this world and suffering various things. Yet, at the end of 2011, as now, I am aware of areas in my life that have not been brought under subjection to the rule of the Father. I have not completed all obedience that the Spirit has made known to me to be the will of Yahweh.
For I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God. Remember therefore what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent. If therefore you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come upon you.
Brothers and sisters, being numbered among the overcomers who appear with Christ on Mount Zion is an exceedingly high calling. John wrote that “blessed and holy” are those who attain to the first resurrection (Revelation 20:6). To be counted worthy to attain to this premier resurrection is the prize the apostle Paul wrote of striving toward. He stated that he was focused on the goal, comparing himself to an athlete running a race. He said that he buffeted his body and kept it under subjection lest after having preached to others he should himself be disqualified.
This same peril stands before me. Having proclaimed the crucified life, and set before the saints the need to live a life yielded to the rule of the Spirit of Christ, I can myself fall short. One thing I have struggled with all my life has been bodily discipline. I have indulged the flesh. One outward manifestation of this has been that I have been overweight much of my adult life. I have given my flesh what it desired, rather than what it needed.
I have made much progress in this area in recent years, having even gotten down to the weight goal the Father gave me of 165 pounds on a couple of occasions. However, I have not maintained my weight under 165 pounds. At one point in the mid 1990s I hit a high of 285 pounds. I am nowhere near that now. I estimate that I am around 190 pounds. The Father will not be satisfied until I rule over all of my appetites, becoming fully conformed to the image of Christ.
Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fulness of Christ.
Some years back, when I weighed 235 pounds, the Holy Spirit made known to me that the Father desired me to get down to 165 pounds and remain below that weight. When Yahweh sets a goal before us, we can either attain it, or fall short of the mark. He will not tell me “Well done” when I have fallen short. He will not move the finish line so that I can indulge my flesh. Rather, He would stir me up to exercise the discipline and focus of an athlete who has his eye set on attaining the prize.
A week ago, as I approached the end of another year, the Father once more indicated to me that I am still falling short of walking as an overcomer in Christ. Following is an image revealing the manner in which the Holy Spirit chose to communicate this to me.
Parables Blog Archive
Down the right hand side of the Parables Blog there is a menu of all posts separated by year and month. A week ago I posted the final writing for the year, notifying readers of the passing of my father. I stated in that post that I would not be writing another post until after the new year had begun. Upon posting that notice my attention was drawn to the total number of posts for the year 2012. There had been 143 posts. When I saw this number I immediately sensed again the witness of the Spirit that I have been falling short in some areas of my life. I have not completed that obedience the Father has laid upon me.
Getting my weight down to under 165 pounds is not the only area in which I sense the Father’s conviction. I have indulged the flesh in other ways. To most Christians these things would seem petty, but they are not petty in God’s sight. He is looking for full stature sons who are fully conformed to the image of Christ.
For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren.
We are not called to be partially the image of Christ. Our Father will not be content for His sons to be somewhat spiritual and somewhat fleshly. He desires spiritual sons in His image. We do err when we compare ourselves to other men. Christ Yahshua is our pattern and goal.
II Corinthians 10:12
But when they measure themselves by themselves, and compare themselves with themselves, they are without understanding.
When I observed that there were 143 posts to the blog in 2012 the temptation came to my mind to add one more. However, I had already stated that I would write no more until after the new year, and I knew it was the Spirit of Christ that had guided me to make that declaration. Posting another writing would not have made me an overcomer. It would have only given testimony that I desired to appear good in the eyes of men. I rejected the temptation. Yahweh resists the proud and gives grace to the humble, so let all my readers know that I am not yet perfected in the eyes of God. I am falling short in some areas. My desire, however, is to arrive at that place where my life is fully satisfying to the Father. I want to walk in the knowledge that I have completed every obedience the Father has laid upon me. I need His grace to do so, and I would choose humility in order to obtain this grace.
My determination is that when I arrive at the end of 2013 I will have a different testimony. I desire that at the end of this year that I will have fulfilled every obedience the Father has laid upon me. I am determined that those things that change in my life this year will lead to a greater conformity to Yahshua. Let the world grow more rebellious in 2013, but let me grow more submissive to the Father. Let the nations descend into darkness, but let my life reflect the glory of Christ to a greater extent. As the people are enslaved more to the flesh, and descend into depravity and abominations, let my life become more pure, more discipined, and show forth the righteousness of the Son of God.
I John 3:2-3
We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
A week or two ago a sister in Christ sent me a wall decoration she thought I would enjoy having. She said she thought of me when she saw it. I am delighted with her choice and her sensitivity in sending this gift.
There is a quotation from poet Carl Sandburg in the lower left corner. It states, “Nothing happens unless first we dream.”
Notice that the image above the quotation is that of a caterpillar. We all begin life as caterpillars. It is the Father’s will that we undergo a metamorphosis and come forth as heavenly creatures of great grace and beauty. Many Christians remain caterpillars to their last days. They never embrace the dream of becoming a butterfly. Such a radical and complete transformation seems too improbable. Being a fleshly caterpillar is comfortable. Caterpillar’s are consumers, and so too is the Adamic man.
It is not by happenstance that one of the foremost issues facing me is to change my eating habits and to decrease the amount of flesh I am carrying about. These things are parables. Christ’s first temptation after He was baptized by the Spirit in the Jordan was to turn the stones into bread and fulfill His fleshly appetite when His body was hungry. Yahshua chose instead to do the Father’s will.
I have a dream of choosing always the Father’s will over the desires of my flesh. It is necessary to nurture such dreams, to hold onto them, to not let them slip away. My bus is named The Dreamer, and at the front of my bus inside is the following wall decoration:
Joseph’s brothers referred to him as “that dreamer.” May my brothers and sisters know me as a dreamer too.
Will you dare to dream the dreams Yahweh has given you for 2013? Nothing happens unless first we dream.
May you be blessed with peace and understanding in these days.
P.S. Thank you to all who wrote to share your words of comfort and consolation upon the passing of my father. Your prayers availed much. I experienced much grace on my trip to Mississippi and back. My sincere appreciation also goes out to those who sent financial gifts at this time as they helped out greatly in meeting every need and enabling me to rent a car for travel and pay for accommodations while away.
Heart4God Website: http://www.heart4god.ws
Parables Blog: www.parablesblog.blogspot.com
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063