Joseph Herrin (09-17-2015)
In this post I am going to share some recent letters from men in prison. Some letters will be followed by my reply to the men who wrote to me. Readers have been writing to tell me that they find these correspondences profitable and they have encouraged me to continue to post them. May you be blessed as you read them here.
Greetings and God Bless You All At the Parables Bookshelf Ministry,
If I’ve been told wrong, then please just ignore this letter. I was told that you allow an impoverished prisoner like me, without any family or past-friend support, to receive your Parables Bookshelf Series of Biblical explanations on many important things, FREE OF COST due to my embarrassing monetary indigentcy. I’ve been in prison 32 years, and I am 65 years old, and I love to learn new insights into Christian-based spiritual things.
If you can’t afford this now, then that’s okay. But if there’s any way you could afford me as such a burden, I WOULD BE VERY GRATEFUL.
God and Jesus Bless You All,
P.S. I was told that you’d start at the beginning of the series and work up to the present. But if this is not the way you do it, then that’s okay. I’ll be glad to learn anything and everything.
Greetings Beloved Pastor Joseph Herrin,
Glory! Pastor Herrin, Sir, truly only God could actually justify how grateful I am daily, for these past 3 years He’s blessed the manifestation of the anointing over your ministry He’s continuing to flourish for His edification. Pastor, I’m no longer at Ware State Prison, Sir, I’m now at Riverbend Correctional Facility.
Shout Halleluyah! Pastor Herrin, I’ve been incarcerated the past 20 years of my life & I can sincerely say ever since I’ve been Redeemed & Delivered & Sustained, only by our Blessed Holy Lamb of Jesus Christ’s Blood at Calvary, there’s not another Pastor God has given me besides you!
I accepted Christ in ‘09 & I would like & pray that God grants you to forward your Parables Bookshelf Series Bible Studies to me here in Jesus name Halleluyah! Thanks!
P.S. Pastor, I thank you for your daily prayers for me & please know that I’m praying for God to daily bless your ministry, & upon my liberty in the next 2 years on 6/11/17 I will by God’s will be very supportive of your mission outreach God has given you to build my walk up 2 help all my spiritual sons & nephews in Christ behind these walls these past 3 years! Thanks Pastor. Love you in Christ.
Dear Mr. Herrin,
First, I’d like to thank you for sending me information to help me understand the parables used by God through the dietary laws in the Torah. A memory came to mind after reading about the divided hoof and chewing the cud as it relates to rightly dividing the word of God by meditating on it. I’ll continue to pray and listen to the Voice of God through His Spirit regarding the other foods, or rather creatures listed. At any rate, I am no longer condemned or bound, so that’s good. You know, you’ve been really helpful to me and another (Michael B.) who is also an inmate here. We appreciate you.
Mr. Herrin, as I write you this letter, I have to confess that my heart’s a little heavy. Some of the things that happen within these walls are purely evil. Only in prison have I ever encountered “fallen mankind.” I mean, on the outside, I guess I had it good. I didn’t experience or see a lot of violence or evil toward one another. Maybe, a heated conversation, border-line fight, but the things that happen here are... well, sad, really sad Mr. Herrin. I often ask myself, where is the love of God, the fear of God, the reverence for God.
I’ve never seen anywhere else where Gangs rule and men submitted so eagerly to another without any desire to submit to the Creator of all. Here the creature worships another creature, and it should not be that way.
I’m grateful that God’s presence is even here. Our “troop” is small, but when we meet for fellowship and Bible-study we find that God’s blessing touches each and every one of us daily. There’s always something to praise Him for and to thank Him about. I’ve yet to find myself hungry, even on the weekends when we only are fed breakfast and dinner. I guess I just hate to see sinfulness in so many & senseless beatings & stealing & drug use, & sometimes a complete disregard for God.
Please pray for us, especially those in the most holy faith.
Cordially in Christ,
P.S. I’ve been reading Laying Down the Law. It’s superbly written and powerful. I’m sharing it with an observant Jew, so I’ll let you know how that’s going later.
Hello Christopher (C.J.),
It was good to receive your letter. Thank you for taking the time to write and share your experiences in prison with me. I know that the violence you observe there, as well as the other wicked behavior, is hard to bear. It is tragic to observe so close at hand the power that Satan has to debase mankind, causing men to act like brute beasts. It makes the sacrificial work of Christ all the more precious as we see that the Son of God is able to take the most vile man and transform him into a spiritual being in the image of God.
It is a blessing that Yahweh has a remnant even in the dark environment of prison. I am honored to play a role in bringing light into a very dark spiritual place. I am encouraged when I hear of men such as yourself who are being instructed and encouraged through these writings.
One thought I would encourage you with is this. Even as you are observing in prison a greater darkness ruling over the lives of men than you ever saw outside the walls of the prison, make it your purpose to manifest to those around you a greater light than they ever observed outside of a prison.
Men who do not have Christ in their lives are going to act selfishly. Make it your aim to act selflessly. Where others are violent, show yourself to be a man of peace. Where others act with hate, demonstrate through your life the love of Christ. Let your light be greater than the darkness around you. You may be surprised to see how this begins to change the environment of the prison you are being held at.
May you be blessed with peace and understanding in these days,
P.S. I am enclosing an additional writing in the envelope.
To Whom it May Concern,
My name is Bobby L. I am an inmate at Coastal State Prison in Savannah, GA. Someone gave me a copy of your Parables Bookshelf Bible Study Series 1.1.6, Overcoming Addiction by the Spirit of Christ, chapters 15-16. I am asking to PLEASE be added to your mailing list. I am indigent and am hoping there is no cost for me. I’ve included my contact information here at the bottom. Thank you, and God bless you.
P.S. Please send me the Overcoming Addiction Book Series. I need the guidance in your book to overcome my addiction, coming back to haunt me! I’m trying to get my spirit and life back together.
Thank you and may God bless you.
Peace & Blessings to you and yours! I just finished reading your book “Attractive Deception.” I’m blown away not just by all the influences Satan has implemented, because I got blown away by that when I first started studying Hebrew Roots. I’ve prayed for Yahweh to bless me with truth and understanding. Let me start by saying that I have Life w/o Parole in prison. I’ve been mad & confused for so long & I choose to believe that this was not just some accident. I thought maybe I’m cursed & just made for destruction, but I hope not!
I’ve a Christian background, not the best, but I came from a family that went to church. Well, my mom & both grandmas did. My family also observe all the holidays that Satan has defiled with pagan idolatry. One of the books I read while studying was by a Messianic Hebrew Israelite named Lew White called “Fossilized Customs.” It blowed me away how Satan has tricked everybody. My granddaddy, may he rest in peace, was one of the best men I’ve ever known. He believed in Jesus and went to church faithfully! I mean and he had a Christmas tree in his house! Satan really has deceived the whole world & I’m worried for the future of my loved ones. This beast system is on its way and I can feel it.
I’m grateful for your insight into this situation (Hebrew Roots). Now, one of the most important things that jumped out at me was in the chapter “Hebrew Roots - Choosing Style Over Substance.” You referenced Luke 14:25-35, and I’m gonna quote you, “They must follow Christ/Messiah to places their own soul despises. They must accept whatever life and experiences Yahshua chooses for them.” Man that’s deep.
It took me a little time to finish. I didn’t want to write until I had & I have a few things I wanted to ask. There is two books you made mention of that I would like if possible for you to send. They are: “Laying Down the Law” & “Yahweh’s Book.” Also, I have become so mad with the different versions of the Bible & how they have replaced the true name of our Creator with other titles that doesn’t give Him the honor or glory He is entitled to. I have a Sacred name Scripture by Halleluyah Scriptures. They say that they replaced the original Holy names of Yahweh and Yahshua and other pagan words with the Hebrew words. I’m familiar with the Bible & I must say that to my knowledge it’s a great translation. Can you check into it for me & please keep me and my family in your prayers.
Later my friend & Brother in Yahshua!
Thank you for writing. In this packet I am including the book titled Yahweh’s Book that you requested. You also asked that I might send you Laying Down the Law. That book is part of the newsletter series that I send out, so I marked your account so that it will be the very next book sent to you through the newsletters.
In your letter you mentioned having read Lew White’s book titled Fossilized Customs. I am familiar with that book. It contains some truth, but also has much error. I first was given a copy of Lew White’s little book titled Fossilized Customs about 14 years ago. I have re-read it since then as I have had people write to me and make reference to the book, or ask me my thoughts concerning it. To summarize, I find that some of the things Lew White has written are true, such as his statements concerning Christmas and Easter being pagan holidays, and the Julian and Gregorian calendar months and days of the week being named after false gods. However, there is much that Lew White is in error about. Some of his “facts” are false, but his main error is when he begins to draw principles and conclusions from the data he has presented. Lew White would place all men back under the Law of Moses. This is tremendous error. I do not have space to go into this subject here. You will find this matter discussed thoroughly when you begin receiving the book Laying Down the Law. Following is an excerpt from a letter I wrote to a sister in Christ about two and a half years ago regarding Lew White’s book.
Thank you for writing. I am familiar with the book by Lew White. I used to have a copy of it, and have read it. Although much of his historic information is correct, his conclusions and instructions to believers are seriously flawed. It is very easy to climb out of the ditch on one side of the road only to fall into the one on the other. Sadly, this is what many very sincere Christians do when they begin to discern the error and apostasy of the Christian religious system today.
I commend you for your determination to press forward to discern truth. There are precious few in the church who are doing so today. Ultimately, we must spend much time being taught of Yahweh for the majority of teachers today are not expressing the mind of Christ when they seek to point out apostasy and lead people to truth. For example, you will not find in Lew White's book that the Hebrew Old Testament uses the word "baal" in reference to Yahweh. It is a perfectly legitimate word, as it means lord or master, and Yahweh is both of these.
Also, regarding the aversion to using the term "Lord" in reference to Yahshua, you will not discover in Lew White's book the origin of this English word. In Old English the word was hlafward. In modern parlance the term would be "loaf ward." The loaf ward was the steward in a nobleman's house whose task it was to provide bread to the servants. This was a position of importance. Yahshua is our "loaf ward," for He said:
John 6:35, 51
Yahshua said to them, "I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he shall live forever; and the bread also which I shall give for the life of the world is My flesh."
And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me."
I can think of few English words that are more appropriate as a title for the Son of God than "Lord." He is truly the loaf ward of the Father's house. You can read more on the usage of divine names in an article I have posted on this topic.
As I mentioned in this letter to Victoria, Yahweh actually uses the Hebrew word “baal” as a reference to himself. You will find this in Jeremiah 3:14. I have had a writing explaining my usage of divine names in my writings for many years. I first wrote it about 14 years ago, partially in response to the errors of Lew White’s book, but also to correct that extreme views of some who call themselves “Name Keepers.” These are individuals who profess to be disciples of Yahshua who take extreme positions on what names can be used to refer to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I am also going to include the writing titled The Usage of Divine Names in this packet of writings I am sending to you.
Let me demonstrate how men like Lew White are going beyond the instruction of Christ and His apostles when they declare that it is evil to speak names of false gods today, even going so far as to refuse to say the days of the week or months of the year. You could, and should, test such positions as set forth by Lew White by studying the Bible and asking Yahweh to guide you to the truth. This is what I do at all times, and I encourage those who read my teachings to do the same. Truth is not afraid of being tested or questioned. It is error and deception that does not like to be tested or exposed to the light of honest examination.
Let us consider whether Lew White is correct in suggesting that it is a sin in Yahweh’s eyes for men to speak the name of a false god today. He bases this claim upon certain Old Testament Scriptures that were part of the Law of Moses. Those who are disciples of Christ, born again of His Spirit, and walking according to the leading of the Spirit within, are no longer under the Law, so we must search the mind of Christ and the testimony of the New Testament to arrive at the correct understanding of the will of God for us today.
But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.
One thing I have used to lead others to truth in this matter is to have them consider what the practice of the church was when someone who had a name given to them at birth became a Christian. What if that person was named after a false god? Did the apostles instruct such men and women to change their names? Were these men and women told that they were sinning to continue to use their birth names? The answer is “No!” Following are the names of certain believers in Yahshua who were given names of various Greek gods when they were born. These believers did not change their names, but continued to be called by the same names, when they were born again.
• Apollos - Named after the god Apollo
• Hermes - Named after the god of the same name, also known as Mercury. (Romans 16:14)
• Hymenaeus - This was the name of the god of marriage. A wedding song was called a Hymenael song since it was sung in honor of Hynenaeus. This is where the word “hymnal” comes from. (I Timothy 1:20, II Timothy 2:17)
• Olympas - This was the name of a Christian woman. It is taken from the dwelling place of the Greek gods that was called Mount Olympus. (Romans 16:14)
• Nereus - In Greek mythology, Nereus was the eldest son of Pontus (the Sea) and Gaia (the Earth). This is the name of a Christian brother whom Paul greets in Romans 16:14.
These are just some of the examples of Christian men and women whom the apostles mentioned by name in their letters to the churches. We can see very readily that there was no prohibition against speaking these names due to their association with pagan gods. It should be noted that Apollos was also a minister of renown among the churches, and may have been considered an apostle like Paul and Peter (Cephas), for we see him named with both of them. (See I Corinthians chapters 3 and 4).
Clinton, we can see from these examples that there was no prohibition among the churches from speaking the names of foreign gods. The prohibition was only in worshiping foreign gods. Consequently, it is going beyond the counsel of Christ and His apostles to suggest that we should not use the common calendar today because of its pagan origins. It would be very difficult for a Christian to live his life and never mention the name of the month or day of the week. How would you ever agree with people in this world about the setting of dates?
I also find it to be misguided to suggest that using the term “Christian” is evil. The Bible clearly tells us when the name first began to be used to refer to disciples of Yahshua. You will find nothing in the passage to indicate that this term was discouraged, or viewed in any negative way.
And it came about that for an entire year they met with the church, and taught considerable numbers; and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.
The apostle Paul even referred to himself as a Christian.
And Agrippa replied to Paul, “In a short time you will persuade me to become a Christian.” And Paul said, “I would to God, that whether in a short or long time, not only you, but also all who hear me this day, might become such as I am, except for these chains.”
With these words above we find the apostle Paul identifying with the term Christian. This is not surprising considering that Paul dwelt for a long time in Antioch, and that was where Yahshua’s disciples were first called Christians.
In the Greek, the word Christos, or lower case christos, simply means “an anointed one.” The Son of God was an anointed one, so He is properly called “the Christ.” Those who are His disciples are also anointed ones, for they have received the anointing of the Holy Spirit. It is therefore proper to call them “Christians.”
I John 2:27
And as for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.
Clinton, I will not spend time refuting every error in Lew White’s book. I will, however, share with you some troubling things regarding Lew White’s character. He does not live as a person who is a disciple of Yahshua. Lew White has for many years been the owner of a Head Shop in Louisville, Kentucky. If you are not familiar with the term “Head Shop,” this is a store that sells drug paraphernalia. In addition, his store sells many products related to the Rock and Roll/Hippie culture. The name of his store is Electric Ladyland. The store name is taken from the title of a Jimi Hendrix album.
Lew White operated this store at the same time that he was selling copies of his book Fossilized Customs, and other books he has written. You could even purchase these books in his store right next to Hard Rock and Acid Rock albums that were promoting drug use and immoral sex. Underneath the counter on which his books were displayed there were drug smoking pipes that were priced at several hundred dollars. Lew White has even sold items in his store relating to wizardry and the occult. There are a number of Internet websites that reveal the hypocrisy of the life Lew White was living, all the while proclaiming himself to be a Nazarene, and a disciple of Yahshua. These are NOT the things a disciple of Yahshua would be doing. I would include some of the web pages from the sites exposing the sordid lifestyle and deceptions of Lew White, but some contain images of the albums he has sold that border on the pornographic.
In your letter you asked for me to give my thoughts regarding the Halleluyah Scriptures. I don’t have a copy of this Bible Translation, but I do own The Scriptures produced by Institute for Scripture Research out of South Africa. The two translations are very similar, and I have watched the video on the Halleluyah Scriptures website to see where they differ from other Bibles.
Sadly, the editors of the Halleluyah Scriptures make some of the same fundamental errors as Lew White. The most serious error is in believing and promoting the idea that Christians must keep the Law of Moses (Torah). Once you have had opportunity to review the book Laying Down the Law, you will be able to test this subject yourself. I don’t ask any man to take my word on a subject. I always refer to the authority of the Scriptures and the witness of the Holy Spirit. As I mentioned previously, truth does not object to being tested.
One of the errors that both Lew White and the editors of the Halleluyah Scriptures make is in concluding that every word that is in any way related to false religions should not be spoken, or included in the Bible. The Bible actually names the names of the false gods worshiped by the nations that surrounded Israel. Yahweh’s prohibition was that the people not worship these false deities, or use their names in some oath (like “By Jove...”). It is misguided, however, to remove every word from English usage that has ever had any connection to false worship. By banning words such as “holy,” “Lord,” “priest,” “prophet,” etc., and placing the Hebrew word in its place, the editors produce a Bible that is very difficult for the common person to read. Yahweh never mandated that all converts to Christianity learn the Hebrew language to be able to read the Scriptures. From the very earliest days of the church when Greek was the common language of the people, the Bible was translated entirely into the Greek language without any of the tests placed upon translation that were used by those who produced the Halleluyah Scriptures.
Also, the argument, that a man placing his name on a translation somehow steals glory from Yahweh, is a false argument. Most of the books of the New Testament bear the names of the men who wrote them. Even though these men were inspired by the Holy Spirit to write, it is the name of the men, not the name of the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) that identifies these books.
In the video the producers of the Halleluyah Scriptures also argue that there should never be any marginal notes in a Bible. They base this argument on a few Scriptures, including those in the New Testament that say that believers do not need any man to teach them, for the anointing of the Holy Spirit teaches them all things. This too is a false argument, for these same Scriptures testify plainly that Yahshua has given teachers to the body of Christ until all have come to the fulness of the stature that belongs to Christ.
And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; 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.
Men teach from the Scriptures all the time. Even the editors of this Bible translation are doing so in their videos. Consequently, they are violating their own prohibition. Certainly some have erred by producing study Bibles that are teaching falsehood, but I do not believe that it is a sin against God for a man to include study notes in a Bible, especially if he is distinguishing what words are Yahweh’s and which words belong to man.
To sum up, I don’t think it hurts to use a Bible like Halleluyah Scriptures in ones reading, but the reader should be aware of its bias and shortcomings as well. The ads for the Halleluyah Scriptures are some of the most prideful I have ever seen as they declare it to be the best Bible translation ever produced in English, and the most faithful to the will of Yahweh. I sincerely doubt this is true. There are no perfect Bible translations. They all suffer from the influence of the men who worked on them.
Personally, I like the WEB (World English Bible) as a sacred name Bible. It has restored the name of Yahweh to the Old Testament, though it still uses the name Jesus in the New Testament. It is based upon the American Standard Version of the Bible from 1900, which is regarded as a very good translation. It certainly reads much more naturally to an English speaker than the Halleluyah Scriptures, as it uses all English words.
May you be blessed with peace and understanding in these days,
Heart4God Website: http://www.heart4god.ws
Parables Blog: www.parablesblog.blogspot.com
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