Joseph Herrin (11-1-2014)
In this post you will find two recent testimonies of disciples of Christ who are manifesting courage in the face of threats and trials. Having recently posted two writings on Christians being overwhelmed by fear, I believe it will be profitable to demonstrate how important it is to face our fears now and to overcome them. Those who are overcoming fear now on a daily basis will be more likely to walk victoriously in the coming days when many men’s hearts will fail them for fear.
I have found both of the following testimonies to be quite moving emotionally. Testimonies of men and women who are disciples of Christ overcoming their fears and manifesting faith in Yahweh is something very dear to my heart. It is a subject even more dear to the heart of God. I have no doubt that He is tremendously moved as He observes His children making themselves vulnerable, looking to Him alone to save them, guide them, and provide for their needs. One of my all time favorite Scriptures is the following.
II Chronicles 16:9
For the eyes of Yahweh move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.
What the prophet is conveying in these words is that Yahweh is ever intently looking for those who will entrust themselves wholly into His care. His eyes are seeking out those men and women who will manifest faith in Him. Only those who are courageous, who refuse to be daunted by what their eyes see and their ears report, but who reckon according to the presence, power, and love of God which cannot be observed by human senses, will be able to overcome the many fearful experiences that are the portion of all who would be Christ’s disciples. It is those who make themselves vulnerable, casting their entire lives into the care of their Creator, who will experience the grace and power of God loosed on their behalf.
Regular readers of this blog will remember previous posts regarding a young woman from England who was led of the Spirit of Christ to travel to Mexico to minister the life and love of Yahshua to the people there. Eliana has experienced numerous trials as she has walked as a single young woman in the midst of a land that is populated by many evil men. She has spent time in areas where drug cartels operate with impunity. She has been dependent upon Yahweh to guide, protect, and provide for her to a degree that most Christians in Western nations have not experienced. She followed the Lord to Mexico having no missions organization or church to support her. Her provision has come from her heavenly Father, oftentimes as He has moved upon the heart of some member of the body of Christ to send her financial support in a time of need.
Eliana Preparing Tomato Salsa
Eliana has faced threats from men with evil intentions. She has been mistreated and taken advantage of by false brethren. She has encountered numerous perils so that I am reminded of the following words of the apostle Paul.
II Corinthians 11:26
I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren...
Recently, Eliana has been facing a new type of peril. This being confrontation and warfare with spiritual forces of darkness. Following is a portion of her testimony from her most recent newsletter.
This month I had some experiences in my work with Tonia that I can only describe as stepping deeper into the realms of spiritual warfare.
I have needed to strengthen my inner man and step up to these new challenges of engaging in higher-level spiritual warfare as a true warrior and soldier of Yeshua haMashiach...
Tonia asked me this month if I could go to pray at her house especially for her 15 year old teenage daughter, whose name is Briselle... (or Bris for short, which is what Tonia calls her)... Tonia felt the need for me to anoint her daughter and 11 year old son Cheppe, and their whole house.
This month Tonia´s (ex)husband returned to Las Margaritas, and arrived at Tonia´s house asking to see his children... Tonia left her husband before she became a believer, because he became involved in witchcraft and wanted Tonia to join him in making their living in this. When Tonia refused, he told her he would seek out another woman, and so she left him and her community and brought her children to Las Margaritas. It has been 11 years since this man has been practising witchcraft, and Tonia told me that from what she has heard he is now involved in some way in organ trafficking, which he was drawn into because of a need for money. We are discussing here a man entangled in Satanic realms of activity at a deep level, and Tonia has told me that she knows he has placed curses upon her and their children. Tonia believes that the Father has liberated her from much spiritual oppression as a result of these curses, but that her children, not being believers, are still under their influence.
Tonia shared with me this month some of the spiritual struggles that Bris (her 15 year old daughter) has been experiencing now for a long time. There was a period where she was involved with a gang of other girls in Las Margaritas, and almost living on the streets with them. Tonia told me that after many months of prayer, Bris returned home and chose to leave the gang.
Bris has had many experiences of demonic involvement in her life. These are some of the things she and Tonia shared with me:
• Many nightmares of beings attacking her, invading her, dehumanising her.
• She once woke in the night to see a presence in her room, like a dark shadow, which moved towards her bed. Bris wanted to move but felt unable to. This thing then went under her bed and began scratching the bed from below. Bris felt frozen in her bed but terrified. After a while this thing moved out again from under her bed and across the room and towards her bedroom door. At this point Bris in her mind called out to Yeshua, and she was able to move again.
• Bris has had many other experiences of seing or sensing beings in her bedroom at night.
• The family have a laminate roof which has some holes in it. Bris tells me that a black cat regularly climbs onto the roof of her bedroom when she is lying in her bed, and puts one eye to the hole, and watches her. She tells me this never happens when Tonia is in the house, but only when she goes out.
• Bris had a dream this month that her father was pursuing her with an axe. She was running away from him in the dream, until she arrived at a door that was locked shut, so that she could not escape. As her father drew closer, he changed into an animal with chicken like claws and began attacking her and scratching her. Bris was finally able to force the door open and kept running, at which point the animal turned into her father again. She then woke up, and the next day in the shower noticed she had scratch marks on her chest and stomach. I only saw some scratch marks on her chest, but Tonia had seen the scratch on her stomach, and told me it was quite long.
I told Tonia that I would go and pray for Bris, and anoint her and the home, if Bris would accept this.
Bris with her mother Tonia, and Tonia´s grandson Alex
It was interesting and quite incredible to see all the ways that haSatan tried to place obstacles to this event taking place. I am going to list them here:
• Firstly, on the day I was originally due to arrive, Tonia received a last minute call to attend a meeting as part of some government aid she receives in terms of small food packages and other occasional things. Therefore we rearranged for me to come the following day.
• When I arrived the following morning (Bris and Cheppe (her younger brother) go to school at 1pm in the afternoon), the neighbour living opposite Tonia had unexpectedly asked the children to help him load some things onto his pick up truck, and help him deliver them. This delayed the prayer for another hour or so
• While Bris and Cheppe were with the neighbour, I felt that I should pray just with Tonia first, before praying with the children, and read some scriptures. I brought with me a mp3 audio Bible in Spanish called a Mega Voice that I have, which I have begun to use with Tonia. She is learning to use it, and with time, I hope to give it to her, if I can be sure she will use it.
When we began to listen to the first scriptures, there was an extremely loud noise that hit against the laminate roof, and reverberated in echoes, which startled us both. A few moments later, Bris came into the kitchen, and we asked her if she knew what on earth the noise we just heard was, and Bris was holding in her hand a small metal bullet. She said someone had just been walking by with a pistol, which they fired, and after it hit the laminate roof, it fell near to where Bris was standing by her neighbour´s house, which is how she saw it and picked it up. If Tonia had not been there, my jaw would have really dropped!
• When Bris and Cheppe finally returned, I told the children that my visit that day was for the purpose of praying for them. Before I could say much more, Cheppe began to complain, and said he did not want to be prayed for, and he actually ran out of the house, and did not return at all while I was there! Tonia told me that the day before she had been talking to her son about the need to draw closer to Elohim, and he had told her that he was ‘in embrace with the devil’ and so could not draw near to the Father. Cheppe is actually a sweet and affectionate kind of boy, and both children are quite loving towards their mother; they are not aggressive. But there is clearly a spiritual barrier in Cheppe´s life too, and Tonia believes that it is related to the curses placed upon them. When some time ago I showed a film about the Gospel of Luke at my house, Bris came, but Cheppe did not want to see the film. Tonia tells me that when they go the congregation, he often falls asleep in the services, or is fidgety and easily distracted.
• So without Cheppe, Bris, Tonia and I were ready to begin praying. At that moment, Tonia´s phone rang, a further distraction.
Before I began praying I spoke with Bris and asked her about her spiritual experiences. I asked her direct questions, and sensed even that she may have had experiences with demonic beings trying to have sexual relations with her, which is actually quite common, and she confirmed that she had. We spoke openly and she told me that the only help she has found when such experiences happen, is to call on the name of Yeshua (it is actually the Hebrew name she uses, as this is the only name Tonia´s congregation are taught to use). She knows the power that His Name wields in the spirit realms, but I explained that she must surrender her life to YHVH through repentance and faith, to receive true spiritual freedom and life, now and in the world to come.
Tonia and I moved over to Bris, and we both began praying. I had brought with me an oil I had prayed over the day before and that morning, and labeled with the word Ruach in Hebrew, meaning Spirit. When we finished praying I began anointing the house- all the doorways, windows, and beds, while praying in the name of Yeshua haMashiach, and in the authority He has given us. I repeated certain scriptures in ownership of that authority, such as Yeshua´s words in Luke 10.19:
Behold I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you...
Tonia related to me that the night after I had prayed and anointed the house, Bris woke up around 2am in the morning to a foul smell that filled the house, like garlic but worse. When Tonia awoke in the morning, she smelt it too, and it lingered for the whole morning before gradually dissipating. It had no obvious source, and I believe it was some kind of physical manifestation of the presence or departure of demonic beings in the house.
I can see how YHVH is using me in Tonia´s life and the lives of her children, and haSatan is attacking this. So many times when Tonia and I have had plans to do something, there has been some kind of disruption of our plans, and we have often had to rearrange. Tonia has also noticed this too, and she keenly senses how the enemy is trying to stop us spending time together.
Even though I have never met her husband, just the fact that I am waging war in the name of Yeshua haMashiach places me in opposition to her husband, and is an offense to whatever ways he has tried to exert Satanically derived power and strongholds over the family. At the time of writing, this man is still in Las Margaritas, and I too have felt the need to pray for YHVH´s complete covering and spiritual protection against the enemy´s attacks.
You can find the complete monthly newsletter, as well as past posts, at the following link:
It requires courage for a young woman to travel to a foreign land, to have no ministry or organized church to support her, to yield herself to go wherever Yahshua leads and to do whatever He commands, all the while looking to God to provide and protect. It requires faith in God to allow Him to guide her to encounters with people who need the love, power, and deliverance of Yahshua in their lives. Satan does not yield territory willingly. Consequently, it also requires faith and boldness to intercede for others in order to see them set free from the cruel slavery of the adversary. Please pray for Eliana that she might be strengthened daily to continue in faith, finding peace in the abiding presence of Yahshua.
I want to share also a recent experience that Nicholas, a young man released from prison last year, has had, for it too concerns overcoming fear.
Nicholas and Champ Last Year
Nicholas was sent to prison at the age of 16 for a sexual offense. He spent four years in prison, with an additional two years of parole which will last for about another year. While in prison Nicholas committed himself to living for the Lord, and his life has been radically transformed. I am put in mind of the following Scripture.
I Corinthians 6:9-11
Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Yahshua Christ, and in the Spirit of our God.
Nicholas began receiving the newsletters I send to men in prison about two years before his release. He also began corresponding with me, and I came to know him quite well. I could sense the sincerity of the changes that had occurred in his life, and noted a sensitivity to the leading of Christ’s Spirit as well as an earnest desire to please God that are rare in this hour. This being coupled with humility and an eagerness to learn, made corresponding with Nicholas both an honor and a pleasure.
I have observed the difficulty of men reintegrating into society once released from prison, for even those who have been transformed by the Spirit of Christ remain stigmatized by society. Nicholas had difficulty in finding employment, something that is a requirement of his parole. A number of businesses either refused to hire him, or let him go upon learning of his prison record. Through it all, I have not heard Nicholas complain. He has only given thanks when God did provide him with a job.
It is quite natural for someone in this position to experience hesitancy, or fear, of telling others about their past. Even when an employer has a legitimate interest in a potential employee’s background, the person may be reluctant to disclose their past due to the possibility of rejection. This fear can be especially heightened when there is pressure placed upon the individual to meet expenses and satisfy the requirements of parole.
Yahweh has allowed me to remain in close contact with Nicholas since his release from prison. Although he has been living about 2 hours away, we have spoken on a nearly weekly basis, and during the past three weeks Nicholas has made the drive to see me, spending Sundays with me and getting to meet my daughter Kristin as well. I have been blessed to be used of the Lord as a spiritual father figure in Nicholas’ life, and I have sought to counsel and encourage him, while holding him up before the Father in prayer.
I had noted a growing reluctance in Nicholas to be forthcoming with others regarding his past. I can sympathize with wanting to move beyond the sins of the past. Nicholas is truly not the same youth he was at the age of 15 or 16. He will observe his 22nd birthday on November 4th, and he has grown tremendously in the Lord in the intervening years. I certainly believe a person should be discerning in regard to the matter of sharing past transgressions with others, but there are some occasions when we are expected to do so, and I believe our heavenly Father would have us to do so as well. One of these occasions is when we are seeking employment.
There are actually issues of faith and trusting God involved in this matter. If we believe Yahweh will provide for us the necessary employment to meet the needs of life, then we need not compromise truth or honesty in an attempt to secure work. We must believe that as we walk in integrity before God, doing the right thing by being forthright with people, that He will remain faithful to open the doors He wants to be opened.
A couple months back Nicholas was seeking work where he is locally. He went to apply at an air conditioning business, but they did not have any immediate openings. When he exited the business he saw across the street a propane business and sensed the Spirit of Christ directing him to go over there and see if work was available. The owner hired him on the spot.
I remember when Nicholas called and told me about his new employment. I asked him if he told them about his prison record. He replied that they did not ask, but he was sure they would discover it on their own as businesses do background checks on employees. I did not say anything else about the matter at the time, but it remained upon my mind.
On his own, Nicholas experienced thoughts of whether he should have been up front with his new employer about his background. He spoke of his concerns to an aunt who lived in the area. She has at times provided counsel to Nicholas that is not in harmony with the mind of Christ. She told Nicholas he need not speak of this matter to his employer for they already knew about it. She stated that a relative was friends with Nicholas’ employer, and she was confident this relative had told them about Nicholas’ past and how he is a changed person now. Nicholas had some doubt that this conversation actually took place, but he decided not to pursue it further.
Two weeks ago the people whose home Nicholas has been living at since his release from prison informed him that he would need to find a new place to live as they were selling their home and moving to another town. They told Nicholas that he should plan to find another place in two weeks time. As Nicholas began to consider where he might move, an opportunity arose for him to share a rental home with an older man he worked with at the propane business. This man rented a three bedroom home from the owner of the propane company, and lived alone. He told Nicholas that he could move in, and gave him a price that was quite good for the area, including both rent and utilities.
This opportunity, however, caused the issue of full disclosure of Nicholas’ past to once more be raised. Nicholas is required to have a telephone land-line as the parole office contracts a business to call parolees at various hours to make sure they are home and following their curfew guidelines. Nicholas was concerned about the man he would move in with finding out about his past, and the information getting back to his employer in the chance that he actually did not yet know about his prison record. Additionally, the parole guidelines said Nicholas could not live with someone on probation or parole, though his parole officer had discretion in the matter. The man Nicholas would be moving in with was on probation due to a driving under the influence charge.
The job Nicholas was in was the first good job he had obtained since being released from prison, and he also had a deadline to find a new place to stay. This put pressure on him. Consequently, he was loathe to tell the man he would move in with about his background, but he saw it as potentially unavoidable since he would have to get a land-line which is quite unusual in this hour when people generally use only cell phones. Nicholas was wrestling with these issues the past two weeks when he came to visit me. He had to contact his parole officer and inform her he was needing to move. She would have to inspect the place he was moving to and approve the location before he could move in. In his first contact with her on this matter, he did not tell the parole officer that the man he would be sharing the house with was on probation.
Then an unusual thing happened. Last Sunday after Nicholas had left from visiting with me and was making his way home, he saw a traffic stop ahead of him in a small town about an hour away. There were lots of cars lined up, and numerous patrol cars, and, not wishing to be delayed from getting home, Nicholas looked to see if there was an alternate route. Not being familiar with the town, he was unsure where the various streets led, and decided it would be best to turn around and backtrack to find another route. He did not realize that in doing so the Sheriff would pull him over and ticket him.
The Sheriff’s department was checking to make sure all driver’s had their license, insurance, and were not driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Nicholas was driving legally, with no violations, but because he had turned around rather than going through the traffic stop, the officer wrote him up for hindering and obstruction of an officer. The ticket was $700.
Nicholas called me shortly after this occurred and I sought to console him, while also urging him to seek the Lord to know if there might be some spiritual message in this. As soon as I hung up the phone the spiritual understanding of the event came to me. The officer was essentially charging Nicholas with avoiding a confrontation, even if the confrontation might prove he was doing nothing illegal. Yahweh was signifying that Nicholas needed to quit trying to avoid confrontation when there was a legitimate purpose for it. I spoke to Nicholas later when he had arrived home and shared with him what I was discerning. I encouraged him to contact his parole officer the next day and let her know that the man he was planning to move in with was on probation. I also encouraged him to pray about sharing his background with his employer, and asking Yahweh to give him opportunity to do so.
I know what it is to live in dread of something being disclosed about our background. We often subject ourselves to unnecessary torment and worry by not being forthright about some matter. It is better to follow our conscience and the conviction of the Spirit, than to live in dread. What I shared bore witness with Nicholas, and he committed himself to no longer avoid legitimate confrontations. The next morning he contacted his parole officer and informed her of the probation status of the man he wanted to move in with. Later the same day Nicholas found himself in the office alone with his supervisor, the office manager of the propane business, and he shared openly with her about his past. It was revealed that his past was not known to her, or the business owner, and it was suggested that Nicholas should not delay in informing the owner.
The office manager evidently sensed some reluctance in Nicholas to approach the owner over this matter, and she asked if he would like her to do so. Nicholas said he wanted that to be her decision, and she then volunteered to speak to the owner. She was with the owner about 30 minutes, and when the owner saw Nicholas a little later he did not mention the matter. That afternoon Nicholas’ parole officer called and said it would not present a problem for him to share a home with the man on probation, as his charges were unrelated to Nicholas and his situation. It appeared that Yahweh was giving Nicholas grace, and Nicholas shared with me that he felt that he had passed a spiritual test.
For the next three days Nicholas’ boss said nothing about the matter, but on Friday the man finally spoke to Nicholas and said he was letting him go that day. He said he would give him a good reference for future employment as he was a good worker, but he was terminating him due to his background.
Earlier in the week Nicholas and I had discussed an experience in my life where I also capitulated to fear and withheld information in an attempt to avoid a conflict. It was in 2003 when my family and I were about to relocate to Montezuma, Georgia. Although the Father had indicated that this was His will for us, I was tested quite severely. I had to be out of the home I was in by a set date, and we arranged for a group of people from a church we had recently started attending in Montezuma to come move us on the morning we had to leave. The day before we were to move I still had no leads on a place to move my family. In the afternoon I was informed of a possibility and was told the owner of the home would be available to talk that night around 9 P.M.. If all went well I could move in the next morning.
That afternoon as I awaited the time to make the phone call I was tossed about by worry and fear. I considered that if this home possibility did not work out that I had no other options open to me. I considered the embarrassment of all the people showing up and my not having a place to move. Also, without a place to stay, my family and I would essentially be homeless. Things looked promising, but then I remembered that nothing had been said to the people renting the home about our having two dogs. I considered that if they did not permit dogs that we would be in a very bad situation. Out of fear I decided to not mention anything about the dogs unless they specifically asked. When they called, they did not ask.
Yahweh is not glorified when we walk in fear. Fear is antagonistic to faith. I was not manifesting faith in God, and the Scriptures inform us that “without faith it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6). Because of this, Yahweh made sure that I would have to face the test again until I passed it. Quite unexpectedly the situation changed with our landlords as a recently married son decided to move back home and the owners needed the home we were renting for their son and his wife. At the same time my financial provision dried up so that I was unable to pay rent. I was forced to have to move after only two months in this location. Interestingly, Nicholas was only two months into his new job when he was terminated.
I faced a similar time pressure in moving to the next home in Montezuma, but this time I determined to be up front with the landlords. I told them at once that I had two dogs, and that we were accustomed to keeping them indoors. Amazingly, the landlords told us that they had no problems with us having indoor dogs. They only would not permit outdoor dogs as they had dogs of their own that roamed free outside on an adjacent property.
At this point, I am sure some readers are saying, “What about Nicholas?” Wasn’t he obedient in choosing to no longer hide information from his parole officer and his employer? Why is he being terminated from his job? Is Yahweh punishing Him? As radio personality Paul Harvey would always say, “Now, for the rest of the story.”
Nicholas had been sharing with me during his visits the past three weeks that he had been seeing the number 14 a lot in significant ways and sensed the Lord was speaking to him about transition coming. (14 is a number denoting transition in the Bible.) I had mentioned to my daughter on several occasions during the past year that I believed Nicholas needed more than a job and a place to stay. Nicholas had never known close fellowship with other believers, especially young people who love God and are sincere in their determination to honor Yahweh with their lives. The only group of young people I knew of who fit this description are found at the church my daughter attends.
I found the timing of these events very interesting. Nicholas had been out of prison for more than a year, but had never traveled to visit with me until this month. Additionally, my daughter invited Nicholas to attend church services with her this Sunday (tomorrow) so that she could introduce him to some of the young people here. They talked about this last Sunday prior to Nicholas receiving a traffic ticket and all the ensuing events. Not only this, but there is a dinner and social gathering to be held right after the church service tomorrow which will afford Nicholas a great opportunity to meet people.
Yesterday (Friday), the day Nicholas was let go from his job, I had no plan to go to town. However, with Nicholas coming Sunday I felt I needed to have some groceries on hand and the forecast for Saturday was for a significant temperature drop so that I did not relish the thought of riding my trike the 30 mile round trip to town in the cold. I decided suddenly to go yesterday, and since it was near lunch time I thought to call my daughter and ask if she wanted to have lunch with me at the local Mennonite restaurant. We were eating lunch together when Nicholas called and informed me of being let go from his employer. When I informed my daughter, she volunteered that it would be nice if Nicholas could find work and a place to stay in this area locally so he could attend church and be able to visit with me more readily.
I made this a matter of prayer and meditation afterwards. I considered that if Nicholas had merely been told that he needed to find another place to stay that he would not have considered leaving the town he was in as he had a very good job. Similarly, if he had lost his job, but still had a place to stay, he would have not thought of looking elsewhere. But by needing to find a new job and a new place to stay at the same time, he was free to consider other possibilities including other towns.
Consequently, what initially may appear to be a setback and a very negative response to Nicholas’ decision to disclose matters fully to his employer may end up being something very positive. Yahweh is certainly honored by Nicholas’ decision to make himself vulnerable and place the outcome of his life decisions in the Father’s hands. Therefore, I have an anticipation of some very good things resulting from this act of obedience. Although there is no physical evidence to lend credence to my optimism, my confidence rests upon the knowledge of Yahweh’s character and His ways in dealing with His sons. I don’t know where the job will come from, or where Nicholas would move to, or how things would work out with his parole officer, but Yahweh has power and authority over all of these details.
If you have read this post to this point, I encourage you to pray for Nicholas. Sunday he will meet with a group of young people who love the Lord, something that should bless his heart greatly. He will also have the possibility of meeting with some people who may need an employee, or know of others who need an employee locally. For my part, I will continue to pray, and I will provide an update as soon as there is something to report.
In closing, I would mention that the experiences of these two young disciples of Christ should be the normal Christian life, but they are in fact quite rare in this hour. How will the majority of believers face the things coming on the earth with faith and obedience if they are not facing their fears victoriously now? These are practical matters for all of us as Yahweh’s children. Press forward in obedience and faith my brothers and sisters. Be courageous!
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