Joseph Herrin (2-2-2016)
The photo above shows the prisoner letters I received last week. They were more than I could handle over the weekend when I normally attend to prison ministry. I am therefore taking some time this week to attend to all of them before returning to writing additional chapters of the book Lunacy and the Age of Deception. I anticipate a number of more chapters in that book before I wrap it up.
In the meantime I thought I would share some correspondence with men in prison. I was impressed with the weighty issues that arose in a number of the letters. I have selected letters from three men, and my responses to them to share in today’s blog post. The first letter below is from a man who received a 15 year sentence for Involuntary Manslaughter.
I’ve recently had the good fortune of being exposed to your parables and have to date read all of them which I could get my hands on. I find your writings very informative and a great help in my walk with our Creator. I would very much like to be added to your mailing list. Also, I’m told you will address specific topics when asked. I’ll tell you a little about myself and you can send what you think would help me.
I’m in prison, and have been for the past 10 years. I’m in here because someone lost their life because of my actions. It was not intentional, but regardless, a life was still lost. I’ve been saved since February 3rd, 2007, but I struggle with the fact that I took a life. Am I forgivable in the eyes of our God?
Anything you could do to help me understand better would be so greatly appreciated. I think you are a true prophet of God of our times and thank God for you.
Thank you for writing. I can appreciate the struggle you have in believing that God would forgive a man for taking the life of another person. There is no forgiveness in man’s justice system for such actions, and man originally based his legal system upon God’s laws. In the Old Testament we read in the Ten Commandments “Thou shalt not kill.” The penalty for injuring another person was an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, and a life for a life.
From the beginning of man’s creation, the penalty for ALL sin has been death. God told Adam and Eve to not eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge in the center of the garden, for on the day they ate of it they would die. Adam and Eve did not physically die the day they ate of the fruit, but they fell under the curse of sin and death that day. Death began working in them where it had not been present before. They eventually died as a result of their sin. Death is present in this creation because sin is present. If there were no sin there would be no death. The Bible tells us “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).
Russell, the penalty for sin has never changed. Every sin still results in a sentence of death before God. That may sound like bad news, but God who is rich in mercy had compassion on men. He does not delight in the death of any man. God could not cancel the penalty of sin, for all sin must result in a just penalty. So what God did was to provide a substitute for man. He sent forth His Son to receive in His body the penalty for the sins of every man, the penalty being death on a cross, that our sins might be paid for and we might live.
I Peter 2:24
He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross...
John the Baptist was sent as a prophet to prepare the way for the coming of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. In the Gospels we find John declaring the following.
The next day he saw Jesus coming to him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”
It was for this reason that Jesus Christ/Yahshua the Messiah came to Earth. He came to pay the penalty for all the sins of mankind that man might live. In a great exchange, Christ took upon Himself our sins and He imputed to us His righteousness.
II Corinthians 5:21
He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Russell, there was no sin of man that was not paid for by the sacrifice of God’s Son on the cross. Every murder, every act of adultery, every commission of rape, incest, child abuse, homosexuality, theft, maiming, torture, and anything else contrary to the righteousness of God was paid for by the death of God’s Son. It is quite natural for men to struggle with the evil things they have done, and to experience guilt and remorse over those things. However, it is an act of unbelief for any man to assume that his sins are too great for God to forgive him. Consider the message of the following passage.
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 Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God.
If men who were fornicators, adulterers, idolaters, homosexuals, thieves, drunkards, etc., can be washed by the blood of Christ, justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, then so too can men who took the life of another person. The Bible relates the story of numerous murderers whom God forgave, showing them mercy. Among them were King David and the apostle Paul. David committed adultery with a married woman and she became pregnant while her husband was away serving as a soldier in David’s army. To cover up his sin, David attempted to entice the woman’s husband to return from the battlefield and have sexual relations with his wife. When the man would not do so, David had the man killed by placing him in a very dangerous place in the battle and then withdrawing support from him. In God’s eyes, David killed this man using the sword of his enemies in battle.
II Samuel 12:9
You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword, have taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the sons of Ammon.
What David did was a great evil in the eyes of God. Yet God showed mercy to David because he repented of his evil actions, and fully owned up to what he had done.
II Samuel 12:13
And David said to Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord. And Nathan said to David, The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die.
The apostle Paul, before he was a Christian, was a Jewish Pharisee, and he was extremely enraged against the disciples of Jesus Christ. It was Paul who stood by granting his assent to the murder of the first Christian martyr Stephen as the people stoned that righteous man to death. I want you to consider this event, for it reveals something that relates to your own struggle to forgive yourself.
But [the Jews] cried out with a loud voice, and covered their ears, and they rushed upon [Stephen] with one impulse. And when they had driven him out of the city, they began stoning him, and the witnesses laid aside their robes at the feet of a young man named Saul. And they went on stoning Stephen as he called upon the Lord and said, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!" And falling on his knees, he cried out with a loud voice, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them!" And having said this, he fell asleep. And Saul was in hearty agreement with putting him to death.
Here are wicked men stoning to death a righteous man. Before Stephen dies he cries out to God to forgive those who are stoning him to death. Now, if God were unwilling to forgive murder, Stephen’s prayer would have been contrary to the will of God. Yet, God heard Stephen’s prayer and accepted it. Saul/Paul shared in the death of Stephen and many others. He confesses this in the following passage.
“So then, I thought to myself that I had to do many things hostile to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. And this is just what I did in Jerusalem; not only did I lock up many of the saints in prisons, having received authority from the chief priests, but also when they were being put to death I cast my vote against them. And as I punished them often in all the synagogues, I tried to force them to blaspheme; and being furiously enraged at them, I kept pursuing them even to foreign cities.”
The Bible informs us that not only did God forgive Paul, but he chose Paul to be an apostle of Christ. Paul would have been a very poor apostle if he had responded to God’s mercy by saying, “My sin is too great. I don’t believe God can really forgive me.” No! Paul understood the tremendous forgiveness he had been shown, and because of it he labored all the more to tell all men about the grace and forgiveness of God through Christ Jesus. The Son of God expressed a principle in the following words.
Then one of the Pharisees asked Him to eat with him. And He went to the Pharisee's house, and sat down to eat. And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil. Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he spoke to himself, saying, "This Man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner." And Jesus answered and said to him, "Simon, I have something to say to you." So he said, "Teacher, say it." "There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?" Simon answered and said, "I suppose the one whom he forgave more." And He said to him, "You have rightly judged." Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little."
Russell, because Christ has forgiven you great things, you have cause to demonstrate great love, gratitude, and appreciation for what He has done. Yet, if you doubt Christ’s forgiveness, you will always be hindered from expressing your love and appreciation to Christ. In another passage of Scripture we are told, “We love, because He first loved us.” This is a true statement, but consider what occurs if you doubt the love of Christ and His forgiveness. You will be hindered from loving God. For this reason you need to wholly embrace and accept God’s forgiveness which was purchased for you on the cross of Calvary.
In truth, every man and woman who has ever sinned is responsible for the death of the Son of God on the cross of Calvary, for if we had not sinned, He would not have needed to die in our place. In reality, every one of us are responsible for putting an innocent man to death. That innocent man is Jesus Christ/Yahshua the Messiah. Can we be forgiven for putting an innocent man to death? Absolutely. Consider also the words Christ spoke while He was being put to death.
And when they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left. But Jesus was saying, "Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing."
What was Jesus asking His Father to forgive men for? It was for causing the death of an innocent man. Did God accept His Son’s prayer? Absolutely! God has forgiven us all. Your transgression was laid on Christ’s back when He went to the cross. He accepted the penalty of ALL man’s sins that all men might be saved.
I Timothy 2:3-6
This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all...
How can Christ Jesus save all men, and how can He give Himself as a ransom for all, if murderers are not included? Paul wrote these words above. If he had meant to declare that those who are murderers (including himself) were not included, he would have had to write something different, like the following.
This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men (except those who murder) to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, (except those who have caused the death of another man)...
But that is NOT what Paul wrote. Every sin of man was covered by the blood of Christ. Russell, it is important that you accept the forgiveness of Christ. You need to make it a practice to confess your acceptance of, and gratefulness for, Christ having forgiven you for causing the death of another person. As you do so, you will find love for Christ welling up inside you. Receiving His love and forgiveness toward you, you will also experience a great love toward God and His Son. So embrace the forgiveness of Christ in faith, having the full assurance that there is no sin so evil that Christ’s sacrifice did not cover it.
May you be blessed with peace and understanding in these days,
Mr. Joseph Herrin,
How are you doing sir? I hope you are fine. I am sorry I haven’t been able to write you lately. I’ve been busy with my court case. Plus I’m an indigent inmate and couldn’t find no stamps. My parents don’t talk to me anymore.
I would like to thank you for the Amplified Bible and the Dictionary you sent me. They are greatly appreciated.
I have finally finished reading your book "Overcoming Addiction by the Spirit of Christ." Please send more about Christ.
I am proud to say that I have denounced my faith in Islam and am now a follower of Christ Jesus, the Son of God.
It’s gonna cost me some issue whenever I come off lock down because I am supposed to adhere to Shahada until death. I have already gotten a few death threats. But I believe everything will work out in due course.
The apostle Paul said, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” 2 Timothy 3:12 But like David said in Psalms 56:11, “In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid of what man can do to me.”
I’m putting my faith in Christ to protect me from my enemies. I also want to thank you for leading me and showing me the truth.
I’ve always had a passion for art. I LOVE to WRITE MUSIC and I LOVE to DRAW. I really do not like asking for things a lot because it makes me seem needy, but unfortunately you are the only person who really writes me. My family and I do not get along. My mother has given me up as her son.
I really like to draw old time medieval castle scenes, and angel wings, and angels. Is there any way you can print me some pictures off of Google images of some of those so that I can have some ideas to draw? I would greatly appreciate you. Also, I will send you something after I draw it.
Thank you for writing. I am blessed to hear of your commitment to walk with Christ even in the face of persecution. God will surely give you much help as you place your trust in Him. I encourage you to read the Psalms each day, as they are a tremendous source of encouragement, especially the Psalms of David. I am glad to observe from your letter that you are already reading the Psalms, for you cited a verse from Psalm 56. That is an excellent one.
David also knew many threats in his life, but he placed his trust in God and Yahweh protected and provided for him. I am sure you are familiar with David’s most famous Psalm.
Yahweh is my shepherd:
I shall lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He guides me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me.
Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil.
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and loving kindness shall follow me all the days of my life,
And I shall dwell in Yahweh's house forever.
David also wrote many more Psalms which spoke of his trust in God to protect him from evil men. Following is one that comes to mind.
Yahweh is my light and my salvation.
Whom shall I fear?
Yahweh is the strength of my life.
Of whom shall I be afraid?
When evil-doers came at me to eat up my flesh,
Even my adversaries and my foes, they stumbled and fell.
Though an army should encamp against me,
My heart shall not fear.
Though war should rise against me,
Even then I will be confident.
One thing I have asked of Yahweh, that I will seek after,
That I may dwell in the house of Yahweh all the days of my life,
To see Yahweh's beauty,
And to inquire in his temple.
For in the day of trouble he will keep me secretly in his pavilion.
In the covert of his tent he will hide me.
He will lift me up on a rock.
Now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me.
I will offer sacrifices of joy in his tent.
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to Yahweh.
Hear, Yahweh, when I cry with my voice.
Have mercy also on me, and answer me.
When you said, "Seek my face,"
My heart said to you, "I will seek your face, Yahweh."
Don't hide your face from me.
Don't put your servant away in anger.
You have been my help.
Don't abandon me,
Neither forsake me, God of my salvation.
When my father and my mother forsake me,
Then Yahweh will take me up.
Teach me your way, Yahweh.
Lead me in a straight path, because of my enemies.
Don't deliver me over to the desire of my adversaries,
For false witnesses have risen up against me,
Such as breathe out cruelty.
I am still confident of this:
I will see the goodness of Yahweh in the land of the living.
Wait for Yahweh.
Be strong, and let your heart take courage.
Yes, wait for Yahweh.
In your letter you mentioned an interest in art. I admire a talent for drawing in other people, for I do not have any talent in that area at all. I am going to send you some pictures as you requested, but I do not have a peace about sending you pictures of angels. In the Bible men are warned not to give worship to the angels, and the holy angels have always cautioned men against worshiping them as well. For this reason, I do have some concern about Christians putting too much attention on angelic beings. Doing so can lead to a form of idolatry which should be guarded against. Following are some passages to consider.
Then Manoah entreated Yahweh, and said, Oh, Lord, please let the man of God whom you did send come again to us, and teach us what we shall do to the child who shall be born. God listened to the voice of Manoah; and the angel of God came again to the woman as she sat in the field: but Manoah, her husband, wasn't with her. The woman made haste, and ran, and told her husband, and said to him, Behold, the man has appeared to me, who came to me the other day. Manoah arose, and went after his wife, and came to the man, and said to him, Are you the man who spoke to the woman? He said, I am. Manoah said, Now let your words happen: what shall be the ordering of the child, and how shall we do to him? The angel of Yahweh said to Manoah, Of all that I said to the woman let her beware. She may not eat of anything that comes of the vine, neither let her drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing; all that I commanded her let her observe. Manoah said to the angel of Yahweh, I pray you, let us detain you, that we may make ready a kid for you. The angel of Yahweh said to Manoah, Though you detain me, I won't eat of your bread; and if you will make ready a burnt offering, you must offer it to Yahweh. For Manoah didn't know that he was the angel of Yahweh. Manoah said to the angel of Yahweh, What is your name, that when your words happen, we may honor you? The angel of Yahweh said to him, Why do you ask after my name, seeing it is wonderful? So Manoah took the kid with the meal offering, and offered it on the rock to Yahweh: and the angel did wondrously, and Manoah and his wife looked on. For it happened, when the flame went up toward the sky from off the altar, that the angel of Yahweh ascended in the flame of the altar: and Manoah and his wife looked on; and they fell on their faces to the ground. But the angel of Yahweh did no more appear to Manoah or to his wife. Then Manoah knew that he was the angel of Yahweh.
The angel reproved Manoah for wanting to honor him. In the New Testament the apostle Paul reproved men in the church for fixating too much on angels.
Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind, and not holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God.
The apostle John was overwhelmed by the appearance of the angel who came to speak to him, and he would have worshiped the angel had not the angel forbid him to do so.
And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said to me, "Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus; worship God. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."
So I caution you to not put too much attention on angels. I am selecting some other pictures that hopefully will give you some inspiration of things to draw.
May you be blessed with peace and understanding in these days,
I hope this letter finds you in a blessed way. I wanna thank you so much for the articles you sent me based on Dragon Flood and Babylon Rising, and the calendar. I enjoy learning new things every day. It keeps my mind and time occupied.
Another thing I like is to study Astronomy. I like to learn about space and our universe. Mr. Joseph if it aint too much of a problem do you think you can send me some things based on astronomy. Pictures of astronauts, maybe, if you can, logos of NASA and the address to NASA. It would be a dream come true for me to become a astronaut. Thank you so much. May God bless you.
Thank you for writing. I am glad to hear that you have been blessed by the material I have sent you. You mentioned in your letter that you like to learn new things. I believe you will learn many new things as you read what I am sending you here.
The timing of your request to receive information on astronomy and NASA was quite good, for I am currently writing a book on NASA and the Apollo moon missions. I am sure you will be shocked by what is presented in this book. I am sending you what I have written so far. The book has not been finished. Unfortunately, you will not be able to watch the videos that go along with this writing, for they do add a lot of understanding.
You will actually be the first man in prison to receive this information, for I have not sent it out to anyone else yet. It is only posted on the Parables Blog website. I do plan to add it to the newsletters once the book is completed, so most men will have to wait until it has been put into newsletter format. I am making an exception for you since you expressed an interest in NASA and being an astronaut. You may change your mind after you read what I am sending you.
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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Montezuma, GA 31063