Joseph Herrin (08-06-2015)
From my vantage point as a minister with an Internet presence who receives correspondence from hundreds of Christians from across the world, I have been able to observe patterns of behavior that others may not see from their particular position. One common and disturbing behavioral pattern I am witnessing is that of Christians who are paralyzed into inaction. They seem to be frozen in place. Part of them wants to move, to act, to respond, but their mind and emotions are hindering them. The following words were sent to me recently by a sister in Christ.
I'm digging through your past posts about preparation and such. As a mother of 3 children, I can't seem to make peace with these days to come, as many (many!) are prophesying. It seems my common sense is screaming to be ready, but my mind is constantly blocking this reasoning as absurd.
In recent blog posts I have been addressing the issue of hesitation, of overcoming the incredulity that arises as we are confronted with the evidence that life as we know it is about to change drastically. In the writing Hesitating in Sodom, I wrote of the plight of that righteous man named Lot. Even when angels visited his home, warned him that God was about to destroy the city, and they urged him to hastily take his family and flee, Lot hesitated.
The angels urged Lot, saying, "Up, take your wife and your two daughters, who are here, lest you be swept away in the punishment of the city." But he hesitated.
If Yahweh had not shown grace and mercy to Lot by having the angels take him and his family by the hands and lead them out of the city, they would surely have perished for their inaction. There are various reasons that people find themselves unable to act when a situation calls for immediate action. One factor contributing to this state of hesitation is information overload. There are so many people speaking about what the coming days will hold, and giving advice on how to prepare, that some have been frozen by the paralysis of analysis.
Others are plagued by doubts. What if none of the horrible things predicted occur? What if the economy doesn’t crash? What if the dollar doesn’t fail? What if the signs people are seeing are just their imagination?
There are an abundance of voices both inside and outside of the church who are speaking of some very dark days ahead. Following is a very small sampling.
8 Financial Experts That Are Warning That A Great Financial Crisis Is Imminent
Lindsey Williams Video
Marc Faber Blog
The Daily Coin - Economic Meltdown November?
The Last Days of ‘Normal Life’ in America
Then there are the spiritual signs that have been given, a subject I have addressed at much length in my blog posts. Following is an excerpt from a past post that lists just a few of the signs which have been given.
Sign after sign is being given of the impending division and destruction of the United States. Most recently, during game 3 of the World Series between the Kansas City Royals and the San Francisco Giants, a huge U.S. flag being paraded upon the field was torn asunder.
This follows the flag going up in flames at an Atlanta Braves game earlier in the season as the National Anthem was being played.
This happened in April, the opening month of the baseball season. It served as a bookend to the ripping of the flag during the closing days of the baseball season. These events also find a parallel in the U.S. flag falling during the 2012 Olympics during an awards ceremony at the very moment that the words “our flag was still there” would have been sung.
The Lord has not been stinting in signifying to His people what is coming. Last month I reported on the symbolism of the SS United States Conservancy reaching a critical point where they would have to decide whether to sell this once great ship for scrap. Thus far, no announcement of a “savior” coming forth to rescue the United States has been forthcoming.
A brother in Christ from the Atlanta area was traveling on business just a few days after this blog was posted. He found himself within blocks of the location of the ship. He deemed that significant and took the following photographs. (Click on images to view larger.)
These pictures of the SS United States symbolize clearly that this nation is in its final days. Her glory is gone. She is derelict and will soon be thrown on the scrap heap of history.
It is yet to be seen what terrors will be used by Satan and his servants to bring about the destruction of the government and nation of America. A person could speculate, and there is no shortage of possibilities. Observing all the fearmongering of the press, and the draconian laws passed by Congress and executive orders being signed by the President, one can safely surmise that something profoundly evil and calamitous is coming. A great conflagration is creeping steadily closer to the living spaces of all Americans even as the lava in Hawaii is moving steadily toward the homes that stand in its way. It will consume and destroy all that is in its path. The only safety is in fleeing.
In the previous post I wrote about a young woman named Christian Faith who died of heart failure at a terror theme park called Land of Illusion. News reports suggest that she may literally have been scared to death.
Following is an excerpt from one news site.
Warren Country Coroner Russel Uptegrove told Cincinnati.com that being extremely scared by the conditions inside the haunted house attraction might be a possible cause of death for Christian.
According to Uptegrove, there were no signs of trauma or foul play during Christian’s death. She was also cleared from drugs during initial investigations. Uptegrove did notice a “significant abnormality of the heart.”
“That’s the $20 million question. It’s something we may never know for sure, but because her death involved heart problems, the fear in places like that could have ‘pushed her over the edge’ so to speak. It’s possible, but I can’t say that definitively”
Doyle Burke, chief investigator for Warren County, also hinted on “heightened sense of fear” as a possible cause for Christian Benge’s death.
“Is this something that occurred because she had a heightened sense of fear? Or is this something that she could have been walking down the street and this occurred? We may never know that, but there’s really no way to medically pinpoint that.”
These words lend themselves quite naturally to interpretation as a parable. The coroner stated that Christian Faith “had a significant abnormality of the heart.” He then stated that “because her death involved heart problems, the fear in places like that could have ‘pushed her over the edge.’” Similarly, the chief investigator for Warren County remarked that a “heightened sense of fear” may have been the trigger that precipitated her sudden death.
The Bible uses the heart as a symbol of a person’s soul. When the people of God turn away from Yahweh and embrace idolatry and wicked ways as America and the church within her borders has done, He will give them trembling hearts.
Moreover, Yahweh will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other end of the earth; and there you shall serve other gods, wood and stone, which you or your fathers have not known. And among those nations you shall find no rest, and there shall be no resting place for the sole of your foot; but there Yahweh will give you a trembling heart, failing of eyes, and despair of soul. So your life shall hang in doubt before you; and you shall be in dread night and day, and shall have no assurance of your life. In the morning you shall say, 'Would that it were evening!' And at evening you shall say, 'Would that it were morning!' because of the dread of your heart which you dread, and for the sight of your eyes which you shall see.
I believe an hour is near at hand, and is being signified by the death of this young woman, where many of the people of God who have defects of heart will be overcome with sudden terror. The Scriptures testify the following regarding the last days before the return of Christ.
“And there will be signs in the sun and moon and stars and on the earth, distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men's hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth...”
When will we see these things occur? The Lord has not given me a revelation as to the specific time, but I sense it is drawing near. As the Lord directs me to stand in readiness, making such preparations as the solar power system in my bus, I believe these days are not far off.
Recently, Carter Conlon, the head pastor of Times Square Church, shared the conviction that God was revealing to them that something very calamitous is coming to this nation.
Similarly, Anne Graham Lotz, daughter of Billy Graham, launched the “MAYDAY Prayer Intiative,” calling for 9 days of fasting and prayer in the month of May. It was billed as “A Distress Call For Prayer.”
Many Christians are viewing these witnesses as some type of titillating theater. It is entertainment to them. It is like watching CSI:NY. It is the old “ambulance chaser” mentality. It gives a thrill; it causes a person to feel alive to hear doomsday reports. There is a mental and spiritual disconnect as these witnesses and reports become a spectator event, rather than a participatory engagement. The Bible states:
A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself, but the simple pass on and are punished.
I can understand the perplexity, and inability to act, that some are experiencing. If the things being forecast are truly coming, it will require radical alterations in a person’s life to meet the challenge and pass through it victoriously. Half-measures are insufficient. What is coming is not a temporal hiccup in the financial markets, or a few days of civil unrest. No! The plans of Satan, and of his human subjects who comprise the global elite, include the complete destruction of the present world order that a new world order might be constructed from the ashes. How does one plan for such an experience apart from receiving a clear commandment and direction from their heavenly Father? The answer is “They cannot.”
Herein lies a great clue regarding how to escape the paralysis of analysis. It was never intended by Yahweh that His sons and daughters figure things out for themselves. It is not His will that they analyze the data, make an informed judgment about what is coming, and then devise a strategy to prepare for it. This is how the people of the world make life decisions. The ways of God are very different. They are both much simpler, as well as highly challenging.
I speak from experience when I share on this subject. Some people observe my life: they see that I do not own a home. I have taken a 1972 Carpenter school bus and converted it to a motorhome. I have a 16 foot trailer behind it that contains a grain mill, a roller/flaker, a 12 volt DC freezer, and more than forty 5 gallon buckets filled with grains and legumes. My bus has a wood burning stove for a back-up heat source. I have a solar auxiliary power system, and other items that make it possible for me to live off-the-grid and survive interruptions to the banking and commerce systems of a nation. Many see these things and conclude, “He must have foreseen that calamitous days are coming, and formed a plan to prepare for it.” This is NOT the case, however.
The reality is that I find myself in this position today, not because I foresaw trouble coming and planned for it, but simply by surrendering my life back in 1999 to go WHEREVER Yahweh directed me, and to do WHATEVER He commanded me to do. I did not choose to sell my home, my furnishings, my custom van, and to exit the typical life of an American Christian back in 1999. The Father chose this experience for me. He challenged me back in 1999 to surrender my will, and the direction of my life, to His leading. This led to a season of intense wrestling. I had great fears about what He might ask me to do. There were a great many experiences I did not want to go through. I dreaded what other people might say about me, but I had to choose whether I would fear God or fear man. I had to determine whether I would accept the invitation of the Father to yield my life’s direction to His Spirit, or whether I would shrink back and continue to hold the reins of my life in my own hands.
I was thinking NOTHING about preparing for days of calamity and distress back then. What I was faced with was whether I would accept the cost of Christian discipleship, or whether I would turn back from it.
“If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost, to see if he has enough to complete it?”
"So therefore, no one of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his possessions. Therefore, salt is good; but if even salt has become tasteless, with what will it be seasoned? It is useless either for the soil or for the manure pile; it is thrown out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear."
Brothers and sisters, THIS is how I was led to this present walk and life. Christ came to me in 1999 and spoke to me. He said that He had taken me as far as possible with the limited surrender I had given to Him. I understood that there were major areas of my life that I had not yielded to His control. I was 38 years old in 1999, having been baptized at the age of 10. During those years I attended church. I put money in the offering plate. I was in church every time the doors were opened. I participated in outreach, and in church ministry. I was a Sunday school teacher, a deacon, an elder. I preached in the pulpit. But I had never given Yahshua carte blanche with my life. I never asked Him if He wanted me to live in a nice house in town filled with the good things of the world. I never asked Him what life He would choose for me if I agreed to accept any life of His choosing.
During those early years of my Christian walk, an absence of teaching on the cost of discipleship, coupled with my fears and covetous desires, prevented me from entering into the experience of one who is truly a disciple of Yahshua. I did not hate my own life (psuche - soul). I rather liked being in charge of the direction of things. I had never surrendered all I am, and all I possessed to Yahshua’s direction. In 1999 He brought me to a point of decision. He informed me that I would not make any further spiritual progress in my life unless I yielded all to Him. He informed me that I would in fact begin to lose ground spiritually.
I knew what He was requiring of me, and I was terrified. My flesh recoiled in horror. Yet an even greater fear was that I would lose the favor and fellowship of God in my life if I did not surrender. After 6 weeks of intense spiritual wrestling, I confessed to Yahweh my willingness to let Him hold the reins of my life. I confessed with fear and trembling that I would go where He said go, and do whatever He required of me. This began a journey that has completely transformed every aspect of my life.
When I read the New Testament I find that Christ frequently invited people to leave everything behind and begin a new life as His disciple. Peter, John, James, Andrew, and others left behind their businesses as fishermen. They said goodbye to family and friends. They gave up boats and homes. They agreed to follow Christ wherever He led them.
Peter began to tell him, "Behold, we have left all, and have followed you." Yahshua said, "Most assuredly I tell you, there is no one who has left house, or brothers, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or land, for my sake, and for the sake of the Good News, but he will receive one hundred times more now in this time, houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and land, with persecutions; and in the age to come eternal life. But many who are first will be last; and the last first."
Christ said “no one” who has given up such things would lose their reward. With these words He revealed that the invitation was not just for the 12, but for all who would hear His voice and follow. Christ gave the same invitation to the rich young ruler, to the scribe who said he wanted to follow Him, to the aspiring disciple who entreated the Lord to be able to first go back and bury his father. In the book of Acts we read of the early believers in Jerusalem selling houses and lands and laying the proceeds at the apostle’s feet to be distributed to those in need. These ones’ lives were radically changed when they came to faith in Christ.
Yet, here in America, and in other modern nations, it is never taught that Yahshua requires such a radical surrender of one’s life and possessions in order to be His disciple. Is it any wonder that the church is so carnal, so weak, so plagued with sin? The church has become as salt that has lost its savor. It is neither useful for the soil, or for the manure pile.
Upon surrendering to the Lord, He commenced a great stripping of my life. I was led to surrender my nice home on 3/4 acres of land in town with detached garage filled with the overflow of goods that would not fit in our home. I was directed to leave my job of 14 years as a computer professional. Yahshua instructed me to be led of His Spirit wherever He should lead, and to occupy myself with whatever work He entrusted to me. He called me to begin writing books and shorter writings and to post them on the newly burgeoning Internet.
Those first years were at times excruciating experiences for me as I was reproached by family, friends, church members, and lost all esteem in the eyes of the world. I was a man without possessions, without home, without a career, and this made me a reproach in the eyes of those who found their value, and the value of others by such measures. Daily I was tested as the Father forbid me to seek secular employment. I often did not have a nickel in my pocket while having a wife and two children to provide for. Every day was a test of faith to see if I would wait on Yahweh’s provision. I was tossed about by fears, doubts and insecurity while dealing with the censure of all those around me. Yet, God never failed. Every day my family had food to eat, and a roof over our heads. We experienced the reality of the words Christ taught His disciples to pray, “Give us THIS DAY our DAILY bread.” Rarely did I have two days worth of provision on hand. Each day I had to look to God to provide, or we would perish, and every day He did provide.
After four years of my wife hating this lifestyle, she chose to leave me. She wanted to go back to Egypt. She wanted to live as other American Christians. She wanted to retain control of the direction of her life, and choose for herself what sacrifices and offerings she would make to God. The rigors of discipleship were not what she had envisioned when she became a Christian in the First Baptist Church of the town she grew up in as a child. A year after leaving me, according to the waiting period required by Georgia law, my wife filed for divorce. That was in 2004. For the past 11 years I have walked alone.
It has been a costly walk. There have been numerous sorrows along the way, but there has also been fellowship with God. When I made that decision back in 1999 that I would choose the favor and fellowship of God over my own fears and desires, Yahweh honored that choice. He has never withdrawn His fellowship or favor from my life. It has frequently been a difficult journey, but the Son of God who walked His own path of sorrows has always been present to encourage me to keep on going, to not stop. He has protected, provided, guided, and instructed.
In 2009 after Yahweh led me around the nation for my first series of speaking engagements to small groups of saints in city after city, He brought me back to Georgia and directed me to buy a school bus that was for sale on Craigslist. I thought I was buying it for a sister in Christ who resided in New York. I obeyed the Father, and the bus sat until the next year when I returned from my second trek across the nation. At this time in 2010 this sister in Christ informed me that her son had also purchased her a bus, and it was in New York, so she felt that I was to keep the one I had purchased for her. The Father confirmed this to me, and instructed me to convert the bus to a motorhome.
A brother in Christ whom I had met on my journey across the nation had a 3 year old motorhome that he had purchased after it had been wrecked. He thought he might be able to repair it, but the frame was bent. He generously offered for me to salvage anything off of it that I could use in my bus conversion. I stripped it of everything I could possibly use: Plumbing, lighting, air conditioner, appliances, potable water system, waste holding tanks, bathroom shower and toilet, dinette, and storage cabinets. All this was given to me free. After three months of steady work, the bus was ready to move into. I drove it to an RV park in Perry, Georgia on January 1st, 2011, and it has been my full-time residence since then.
I share this in order to demonstrate to my brothers and sisters in Christ that it is not up to us to try to figure out what is coming and how we are to prepare for it. What Yahweh truly desires is for His sons and daughters to surrender the reins of their lives to Him. If they will yield their will, their desires, the very direction of their life, to His direction, He will guide them with skillful hands to insure that they are ready for whatever experiences they are going to pass through.
What I would convey to you is that Christ’s invitation is indeed one that will lead to radical changes in your life. However, these radical changes are NOT arrived at by evaluating what alteration of your life and circumstances would best fit you in order to weather the coming troublous days which are surely coming. Such an approach leaves YOU in control of the direction of your life. What Yahweh wants is for His children to place the reins of their lives in His hands.
When I bought my bus, I did not even know I was buying it for me. When I converted it to a motorhome I was only thinking that Yahweh wanted to bless me with a larger living accommodation so that I could carry forth the ministry He had appointed to me. I did NOT enter into these works because I wanted to be prepared for a coming day of calamity. Yahweh, however, knows the future. He discerns our needs, far better than we do ourselves. You will never go wrong by letting Him hold the reins of your life.
If you find yourself stuck, rendered motionless, unsure of how to prepare for the disruptions to society and chaos predicted by so many, understand that it is not up to you to analyze the situation and determine a course of action. Yahshua wants to deal with you at a much more basic and foundational level. He does not merely want to inform you how to prep for societal unrest. He wants to ascend to the position of Lord of your life. He is inviting you to bow before Him, to lay down your will, your desires, your dreams, and all your ways at His feet. As you present these things to Him, He will accept them as a precious gift. He will then begin to guide your steps. He will say, “This is the way. Walk in it.”
Yahshua’s invitation is not complicated. There is nothing to figure out. However, it is costly. Will you count the cost today? Will you lay the reins of your life into His hands and agree to go wherever He says go, and to do whatever He requires of you? This is where discipleship begins.
Heart4God Website: http://www.heart4god.ws
Parables Blog: www.parablesblog.blogspot.com
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063