Vincent, the brother in Christ from Australia mentioned in the previous blog post, wrote a response to all the people who contacted him. I share it here:
With brother Joseph's permission I would like to say thank you to the many people who have commented and encouraged me for the letter that was shared expressing my present feelings and circumstances and add a few extra thoughts of my own.
I appreciated many of the links forwarded to me by brother Joseph from others especially A.W. Tozer, The Saint Must Walk Alone, and the messages of T. Austin Sparks. I had read previous writings from these men of God in the past but it is always necessary to be reminded that my experiences are not unique, but are a part of the painful process of growth.
I greatly respect the sharing and teaching of brother Joseph Herrin who knows the word of God so thoroughly unlike anyone I have ever previously encountered and is able to teach and share the deep truths of Gods word, and does so patiently and freely, especially to those laboring in prisons throughout the US.
I have read in scripture about the many years of Joseph who was sold into slavery by his brothers and endured many years in prison being falsely accused. I have read about Moses who was raised in Egypt by Pharaoh only to later need to flee and spend 40 years tending sheep in a nomadic land. There is very little written about their questions and complaints during what most people in the world around them would judge as wasted years.
We now know in hindsight these years were not wasted as God later elevated and used them for his purposes once they came to the surrender of not my will, but thy will be done. I am sure there are many people that God takes through the 'wrongly perceived' wasted years to train and mold them, but they do not come through the training and ultimately give up.
I am going through my own wasted years at present. I wish I could say I was handling it well and flying through but that would not be true. I have insecurities, questions, anxiety and a number of other emotions that I am trying to deal with and get victory over including at times anger, frustration, disappointment, loneliness, rejection and the list goes on.
Knowing and identifying something is the first step, getting victory over it sometimes takes a little longer.
As I had a quite difficult childhood I grew up with a lot of insecurities and quite poor. After a serious accident in my late teens I was told I would never have use of my left hand again which added to the insecurities. A few years of determined self rehabilitation proved this prognosis wrong. On becoming a Christian I began my faith walk in following God and God blessed me immeasurably. I became successful both materially and in the Christian world. My goals were genuinely to obey God and seek his will.
On reaching this reasonably successful level in Christian circles which enabled me to meet many denominational and church leaders my eyes began to be opened to a great many things. I became disillusioned with church Christianity and found I could no longer continue in the ministries I was involved in.
I have often wondered how Solomon, who was given such great wisdom by God such that their would never be another like him, and also God appeared to Solomon twice personally, yet he could eventually fall.
1 Kings 9: 1-3 1Now it came about when Solomon had finished building the house of the LORD, and the king's house, and all that Solomon desired to do, 2that the LORD appeared to Solomon a second time, as He had appeared to him at Gibeon. 3The LORD said to him, "I have heard your prayer and your supplication, which you have made before Me; I have consecrated this house which you have built by putting My name there forever, and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually
1 Kings 11: 5-7 5For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians and after Milcom the detestable idol of the Ammonites.6Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, and did not follow the LORD fully, as David his father had done. 7Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the detestable idol of Moab, on the mountain which is east of Jerusalem, and for Molech the detestable idol of the sons of Ammon
I think a significant part of how Solomon fell is through compromising. He was probably worn down over the years allowing small compromises that eventually led to major compromises that also eventually resulted in him doing evil in Gods sight.
I know Solomon's initial problem was not following the instructions of God in marrying foreign women. But it was not until his latter years after probably many years of minor compromising to appease his foreign wives that he eventually built altars to the foreign Gods of his wives, exactly as God had forewarned.
1Kings 11: 1-2 1Now King Solomon loved many foreign women along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, 2from the nations concerning which the LORD had said to the sons of Israel, "You shall not associate with them, nor shall they associate with you, for they will surely turn your heart away after their gods." Solomon held fast to these in love
When we begin to compromise on small things it eventually leads to bigger things if we do not address them quickly enough. I think the plan of Satan for those sincere followers of Christ is to wear them down until they eventually make small compromises that can appear quite innocent and incidental. But once you do allow any compromising your shield is brought down and part of your spiritual armor is removed.
I am aware compromise is disobedience, but it sometimes is packaged in a quite innocuous and misleadingly innocent way.
Genesis 4:7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it."
Christianity today is full of compromise. You can easily get fooled into thinking, well Joe Smith is doing this or that and so I am going to allow myself this small compromise. Over and over and over again we have read the scriptures where a new king arose in Israel and didn't walk in the ways of his fathers in following God.
I have no doubt that all the Christian denominations 'are and will' fully compromise with the world and accept all the sinful practices that God abhors. We live in a world today of compromise and those unwilling to compromise are labeled radical fundamentalist extremists.
On my personal level my fall started with compromise. I observed how false and empty was the true state of denominations and those leading them, and I started to allow compromise into my life. This is no attempt at justification but only an example, which in this case is my own, of how allowing compromise into your life can even allow the wisest man like Solomon to fall.
I am now enduring more of those “perceived wasted” years in the wilderness where you ask yourself, does God still love me? Am I forgiven? Can I forgive myself? While I am afflicted and buffeted on every side will their ever be better days ahead? Do I have the strength to keep climbing these spiritual mountains that I have been climbing my whole life? I'm too old, weary and tired now, I just want to rest.
All these emotions and physical ailments afflict me. I am a misunderstood outcast from all former friends and things I was once involved in. While it is true God wanted me out of Babylon I replaced it with compromise and let the walls down. The race is not over yet and like Nehemiah demonstrated, the walls can be rebuilt.
I would encourage everybody who reads this blog of Brother Joseph's to be on your guard against allowing compromise in your life. It enters gradually and subtly. As the world grows darker and more sinful, and Christianity falls into greater and greater deception, if your going to hang on in there till the end, then be aware compromise is one of your greatest enemies.
Thank you for allowing me to respond further brother Joseph. I am not a prolific writer like brother Joseph so please understand if I don't respond to a number of letters forwarded to me personally.
I do have a question also for brother Joseph if he feels led to respond. We have heard that God is preparing a First Fruits at this time and many scriptures confirm this. As you wrote in response to my letter these are a minority of people God is preparing.
I have read the scripture where it says...
1 Corinthians 3: 12-15 12Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. 14If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. 15If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
Would these be considered as part of the First Fruits and could you expand some sharing on who are the First Fruits if you haven't already done so in previous writings. My reason for asking this is because I believe there are many people today who struggle through various trials, and we also know Christianity is entering into a time of great deception and compromise. If therefore people have greater understanding that God is at this time preparing the First Fruits, they will have greater faith and hope to endure the trials and those coming upon the earth.
Thank you and blessings to all
Joseph's Note: I do have a writing that addresses the question of firstfruits. For those interested, there are two chapters in the book Christ in You - The Hope of Glory which lay out the subject of Yahweh preparing a firstfruits group of believers at this time who will attain to the first resurrection. Those chapters are titled:
The Number of the Firstborn
Each in His Own Order
These chapters can be accessed directly from the Index page of the book.
Heart4God Website: http://www.heart4god.ws
Parables Blog: www.parablesblog.blogspot.com
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