Joseph Herrin (06-07-2015)
From the time American Pharoah won the Kentucky Derby, the first of three competitions that comprise the Triple Crown of American horse racing, I sensed there was a prophetic message present that Christians needed to pay attention to. After the Kentucky Derby I posted a writing titled American Pharaoh.
Now that American Pharoah has won all three races of the Triple Crown, a feat not accomplished during the previous 36 years of horse racing, there is a need to delve more deeply into the significance of this event and what it portends for mankind in general, and Christians in particular.
Before I begin an analysis of this event I want to share some information relating to my own life that has a relationship to this story. The purpose in sharing this personal information is not to magnify myself, or the calling Yahweh has appointed to me. As I have understood that patterns are being played out in my life, patterns of a divine design, it has served to impress upon me the reality of the things which are coming upon the earth. I am sharing about my life with the hope that the recognition of divine influence and patterns present might have a similar effect upon the reader, causing them to take seriously what is being revealed by the signs all around.
Back in 1999 the Father called me to begin a ministry of writing. I wrote my first book, The Remnant Bride, at that time. Upon completion of the book I was faced with the decision of what name to list for the author. My parents named me Joseph Bradley Herrin when I was born in 1961. From childhood, until that date in 1999, family and friends had called me by my middle name. Most knew me as “Brad.” It seems odd to me now to even write that name as it seems foreign, as if it belongs to someone I once knew, but whom I can only dimly remember.
As I reflected on the matter of placing a name on the book, the Spirit of Christ spoke clearly to me, indicating that I was to use my first name, Joseph, on this book and all of my future writings. The Spirit affirmed that the name had been divinely chosen for me, and it was significant to my life. At the time I had no idea what that meant, but I was obedient to the Holy Spirit’s instruction and I have since identified myself on all my writings as Joseph Herrin.
Back in 1999, when the Spirit of Christ communicated these things to me, I was one of a group of ministers at a church in Georgia. Around this time I began to experience conflict with the other ministers as they were acting in ways that were worldly, carnal, lacked faith, and were setting a poor example of a Spirit led life before the flock of Christ. My heart was burdened by these issues and as I discussed them with my brothers I began experiencing hostility from them. Within a year this led to my fellow ministers casting me out of their midst as they voted and determined that I could no longer remain among them.
In hindsight I understood this to be a parallel to the experiences of Joseph, the son of Jacob. Joseph also had brothers who were shepherds of their father’s flocks. Joseph saw his brothers acting wickedly when they were tending to the flocks of their father, and he brought back a bad report of their behavior. This embittered the brothers of Joseph against him, as they were already envious of the favor their father showed to this son who was younger than them all. I too was the youngest among the ministers at this church.
Joseph’s brothers ended up casting him out from their midst, some even suggesting that they kill him. In a stunning parallel, one of the ministers at the church I was at who was known to be temperamental, spoke to me three times during our final minister’s meeting and said to me, “I could care less whether you die!” None of the other ministers reproved him for his outbursts, as they all agreed that I had to go.
Before this meeting occurred, however, during a church service some months earlier, a couple came to visit from a city in another part of the state. I did not personally know this couple, but some of the ministers and their wives knew them well. The wife of this couple was known to have a gift of prophecy. When the head pastor of the church saw them in the congregation, he greeted them from the pulpit and asked the woman if she had a word from God to share with the body that morning. She said that she did indeed have a word from the Lord, but it was specifically for the leaders and she wanted to share it with us after the service.
After most of the congregation had departed, the ministers and a number of their wives gathered up from. This woman with the prophetic gift stood in our midst. She said, “The Lord has a word for the leaders this morning, but it is specifically for you.” With these words she turned and pointed directly at me. She then said, “God says, ‘Promotion is coming to you.’” That was all she said the Lord had given her.
My wife was speaking with someone else at the moment, and was not present when the woman spoke these words. However, this woman came over to us a few minutes later and said the Lord had given her a word for my wife as well. She spoke to Tony (my wife) and told her “ The Lord says you are to get behind your husband and support him.” She then prayed for Tony, praying specifically against a spirit of divorce.
Again, I did not recognize the significance of these events at the time, but in hindsight things have become much clearer. All of my fellow ministers knew me by the name Brad, and I doubt if most of them even knew that my first name was Joseph. Neither did this woman with the prophetic gift know my first name. Yet, what she declared was the same thing Yahweh revealed to Joseph in his dreams. Joseph was giving dreams of promotion, and this became one more source of jealousy to his brothers who hated him.
In my naivete I anticipated that good things would begin happening in my life at once. Little did I consider the pattern of the life of Joseph. Between the time he received his divine dreams of promotion and their fulfillment more than a decade later, he would experience many sorrowful experiences, demotion, rejection, reproaches, false accusations, tribulation, and loneliness. This was also to be my path. Just a few months after receiving this prophetic word I would be rejected by my brothers whose occupation was shepherding just like the brothers of Joseph of old. In the ensuing years I had many bitter experiences, poverty, humility, and frequent reproaches, while my brothers continued to enjoy a comfortable material life of ease and honor. This too follows the pattern of Joseph’s life.
One of the most bitter experiences occurred four years later when my wife experienced a crisis of faith and determined that she would no longer walk with me as I followed the Lord. Our son Josiah was 14 at the time and chose to remain with his mother as she had an invitation to stay with a wealthy family who had boys his age. They had all the material possessions this world affords; an in ground swimming pool, four wheelers, a pool table and game room, large screen televisions, video games, and a large vacation home on Hilton Head Island.
My own experiences from the time they left were increasingly lonely and humble, even as were the experiences of Joseph as he found himself a slave, and later a prisoner, in a foreign land. Eventually, Yahweh led me to an inner city Rescue Mission where I became the resident manager. I had a small 8x12 room in the men’s dormitory, and I oversaw the men in the drug and alcohol recovery program, working 7 days a week, and logging 80-100 hours weekly, while earning $100 a week plus room and board. After a year in this position I was asked to take another role as a manager at the Mission’s thrift store. I continued there for another 2 years before the Father called me back to the ministry of writing and teaching in February of 2008.
Like Joseph, I too have been thrown in jail over an issue of conscience when I was asked to do something that would require me to dishonor Yahweh. Yet through the experience of being cast in jail (twice) I was introduced to the plight of men who are locked up as I saw the great spiritual need there. This has led to a growing ministry to men in prison. This too is a parallel to the life of Joseph.
There are many more parallels I could write about that demonstrate the fulfillment of that word Yahweh spoke to me back in 1999 when He told me to begin using my first name. Yahweh has in a similitude to Joseph, given me understanding of signs, symbols, and parables whereas Joseph was given the understanding of dreams. Many of the parables Yahweh has caused me to understand relate to a great judgment coming upon the whole earth, and the call for the people of God to prepare for it. This stands as a parallel to Joseph being given understanding of Pharaoh’s dreams of the 7 year famine to come. I too have been led of the Father to store up grain, both physical and spiritual grain, in anticipation of the things to come.
Physical Grain in Storage
Sacks of Wheat
Although I perceive remarkable patterns in my life which were appointed by divine counsel, I do not regard my life as exceptional for a child of God. In truth, I believe all the sons and daughters of God should be observing similar patterns and a divine ordering of their lives. I believe it is unbelief, a pursuit of other things, or something which hinders spiritual life, which prevents many from experiencing the extraordinary character of life in Christ. Irregardless of whether my life is unusual or should be the normal Christian experience, as I observe what Yahweh is doing, and consider the divine ordering of my life, I am aware that there were some things present in Joseph’s life when the hour of his promotion arrived. One was that he was faithfully ministering to men in prison. Another is that there was a Pharaoh ruling over the land. The conditions were ripe for the enslavement and subjugation of a once free people.
For some time, I have recognized that my being entrusted with a ministry to men in prison is one more parallel to the life of Joseph. Yet, only now am I becoming aware of the imminent presence of America being ruled over by a Pharaoh, an American Pharaoh. The appearance of an American Pharaoh alerts me to the proximity of a time of great distress to fall upon the nations. In the day of Joseph, the distress caused by the worldwide famine wiped out the middle class and caused a great impoverishment and subservience of the people. They gave all their money to Pharaoh, then all their cattle, then all their land until Pharaoh owned all possessions and the people became his vassals.
“Behold, I have today bought you and your land for Pharaoh; now, here is seed for you, and you may sow the land...” So they said, “You have saved our lives! Let us find favor in the sight of my lord, and we will be Pharaoh's slaves.”
Brothers and sisters, for the past 16 years I have pondered Yahweh’s words to me regarding my name being appointed by God as a testimony and a pattern. Yet, I never considered until recent weeks that there would be a Pharaoh to complete the pattern. Yahweh has drawn my attention to this spectacle of the horse named American Pharoah in an unusual way. Even yesterday, as the race was being run, I was able to view the race under unusual circumstances. It was as if Yahweh had appointed me to watch it.
I don’t have a television, or cable, or access to network television. I saw online that the Belmont Stakes, the final race of the Triple Crown, would be broadcast on NBC Sports Network. I did not note that the channel broadcasting it was out of Chicago, so when the article said that American Pharoah would be coming out of starting gate 5 at 5:50 P.M., I assumed it was a reference to Eastern Standard Time, the time zone I am located in.
I was quite busy yesterday and did not intend to watch the race, but I determined that I would check the results as soon as the race had been run. At 5:55 P.M. EST I went to the NBC Sports website and clicked on the link for the live Internet broadcast. I was surprised when the video came on and it became evident that the race had not yet been run. Various NBC reporters were interviewing owners, jockeys, and spectators before the running of the race. It looked like it would still be a while before the race began because the jockeys were not yet ready and the horses had not been brought out. I was informed by a box below the video that I was being given a 1 hour free preview of NBC Sports and the connection would terminate at the end of the free hour.
I kept checking the screen from time to time to see if the race was about to begin. Finally, with less than 3 minutes left on my free preview time, the horses and their riders entered the starting gates. I thought, “I wonder if the video will cut off just before the race ends, or will I be able to see it to the victory?” I had my fingers ready on the keyboard and did a screen grab right as American Pharoah crossed the finish line. When I examined the image I was amazed to see that I had only 1 second left on my free preview. You can verify this in the image below.
(Click on Image to View Larger)
Where it says “LIVE STREAM PREVIEW” you can see that there are 0 minutes and 01 seconds left. The time in the lower right corner of my computer screen is 6:55 P.M.. At that moment, American Pharoah crossed the finish line and entered the record books.
This served to reinforce to me that Yahweh intended for me to see this, that it bears great significance for the body of Christ and for my own life, and that He desires that we understand what these events portend.
I began pondering these events even before the race was run. I prayed to the Father for a spirit of revelation and understanding, for as Joseph of old testified, “It is not in me” to be able to understand enigmas and divine symbolism. It is Yahweh who must give us understanding.
I began collecting information and writing down various significant details and their meaning yesterday, but I had not yet understood the main theme of these events. I temporarily titled the file holding my notes as “Belmont Stakes.” I did not have the understanding of the message, so I was unable at that time to choose a title for this series of blog posts.
Late last night the thought came into my mind that the overriding theme of these events, the message they were sending, and the title for this writing, should be “Unleash the Beast.” I previously reported that Monster Energy Drinks became a paid sponsor for American Pharoah for his most recent race at Belmont. This was an unusual sponsor partnership because people who are horse racing enthusiasts are not your typical demographic group to purchase energy drinks. There is much more to this sponsorship than business. Satan is broadcasting a message of what he is about to do as the god of this world (II Corinthians 4:4). The corporate slogan for Monster Energy is “Unleash the Beast!” (More on this in the following post.)
This theme was given a second witness this morning when I went to the window of my bus/motorhome and looked out to check on my dog Champ. I saw him sitting very calmly right next to the side of the bus, in a place that is common for him to sit and keep an eye on the world. As I looked, however, I saw something unusual. The orange, coiled cable that I use to attach Champ to his runner was broken. A section was hanging from his collar. The rest of the 16 foot cable was down at the other end of the runner where it had broken.
Champ’s Broken Leash
As soon as I saw this, the phrase came to my mind again, “Unleash the Beast” and I said aloud, “Someone has unleashed the beast.” Happily, Champ after being unleashed, did not run wild. In fact, when I went outside to reattach him to the runner with another cable, he was unusually docile. He did not try to evade me. He came right over when I called him, and he waited patiently while I clipped his collar to a new lead. The passage of Scripture that keeps coming to mind is the following.
II Thessalonians 2:3-10
Let no one in any way deceive you, for [the appearing of Christ] will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God... And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he may be revealed. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. And then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.
Brothers and sisters, signs are being given of events close at hand. I have not yet disclosed what those signs are, or their meaning, but it is my intent to do so in the follow-up posts to this writing. Yahweh has drawn my attention to this event in an unusual manner. He has shown me that it is relevant to the people of God. There is a message in it of which the body of Christ needs to be apprised. I have not yet received the full understanding of the message, but I trust that it is the Father’s will to give that understanding and enable me to share it.
Joseph, when he stood before Pharaoh, being bidden there to interpret Pharaoh’s dreams, was confident that God would provide the interpretation, and he stated such. He spoke with this confidence before he had even heard the content of Pharaoh’s dreams.
Joseph then answered Pharaoh, saying, "It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer."
I believe Yahweh has drawn my attention to this event because He wants to explain it. He desires to give an answer to those who seek understanding. I ask the readers to pray that Yahweh might pour forth a spirit of revelation and understanding that the answer might come forth with clarity.
To be continued...
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