Saturday, October 20, 2018

The Remnant Bride - Part 3


The Bride as Seen in Esther

The Bible is full of images of brides. These images were given to provide understanding of the ultimate bride, which is the Bride of Christ.  In the book of Esther we read of a bride that was prepared for a king. Even so, the Bride of Christ is being prepared for her King.

The events of the book of Esther take place within the empire of the Medes and the Persians during the time of Israel’s and Judah’s exile. King Ahasuerus was a Mede. He was also known by the Greek name Xerxes. He reigned from 486 to 465 B.C..

 In the third year of his reign he gave a banquet and “displayed the riches of his royal glory and the splendor of his great majesty for many days...”” (Esther 1:4). On the seventh day of his great banquet he commanded his eunuchs “to bring Queen Vashti before the king with her royal crown in order to display her beauty to the people and the princes, for she was beautiful” (Esther 1:11).

The timing is important to note here. It was on the seventh day of the great banquet that the queen was commanded to come forth. We are told in scripture, “But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (II Peter 3:8). The world since Adam has experienced 6,000 years; 4,000 before Christ, and 2,000 since His birth. This equates to 6 days. We are just entering into the 7th millennium, or the 7th day.

King Ahasuerus, in this illustration, is a type of Yahshua the Messiah, the King of Kings. On the 7th day Yahshua will summon His Queen to come before Him, but because she does not revere Him as Lord, she will refuse to answer His summons, presented by His eunuchs (which equate to God's ministers or to the seven spirits of God).

Esther 1:12-13, 15
But Queen Vashti refused to come at the king's command delivered by the eunuchs. Then the king became very angry and his wrath burned within him. Then the king said to the wise men who understood the times... "According to law, what is to be done with Queen Vashti, because she did not obey the command of King Ahasuerus delivered by the eunuchs?"

Even so, let the wise men and women of our day, who discern the times, realize that this same event is being played out. Notice what was determined to be done to Queen Vashti due to her failure to revere King Ahasuerus as her lord and to respond in obedience to his summons.

Esther 1:19
"If it pleases the king, let a royal edict be issued by him and let it be written in the laws of Persia and Media so that it cannot be repealed, that Vashti should come no more into the presence of King Ahasuerus, and let the king give her royal position to another who is more worthy than she."

Due to disobedience, Vashti was no longer permitted to enter the presence of the king. Much of the body of Christ today also is failing in obedience to their King and they will be excluded from the honor of entering His presence. “Another who is more worthy” will be accorded this honor.
For all those saints who have been falsely taught that a confession of faith in Christ affords them all of the honor of heaven and access to God’s presence, as well as access to all of God’s most holy things, this is a wake-up call. It is those who are worthy who will be granted such honor.

It does not say that Vashti was killed, or imprisoned. She was simply stripped of her honor. How terrible to be betrothed to the king, yet denied access to his presence. Shame due to her folly followed her for the rest of her life. What tremendous grief she must have felt when her royal position was given to another. Many in the body of Christ are making the same error today. Shame and grief will be their portion as well.

Much of the body of Christ has been presented with a distorted view of God’s desire for them. They have been taught that expressing faith in Yahshua the Messiah to attain salvation is the pinnacle of what is set before them. Unknown to much of the church, salvation is only the beginning, it is not the end. Salvation is a loosing from the bondage to sin that we should forevermore become slaves to righteousness (Romans 6). We were formerly conformed to the ways of a fallen and sinful world, now we are to be conformed to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29). This conforming comes as a process. Forgiveness of sin is but the first step in this process.

Many saints today, having confessed faith in Christ for the remission of sin, are then assured by others that they can now continue on to pursue personal happiness much as they did before salvation. They are even taught that God will be there to help them achieve the selfish longings of their hearts. The Lordship of Christ is overlooked, or given very minimal attention. Such saints ultimately fall into the pattern of Queen Vashti. They love the honor of being wed to the King, but they see the King as existing to meet their needs. Obedience is foreign to them. They obey only when God’s desire for them coincides with their own desire.

When Yahshua calls those who have been betrothed to Him to respond in obedience in this hour, many will refuse. Yahshua will then respond as King Ahasuerus; He will restrict access to His presence to the disobedient ones. He will then search for another who is more worthy to be His Bride. This obedient Bride will be given honor and afforded access to His presence.

We are told that after the anger of King Ahasuerus subsided that he remembered his queen. He could not repeal the royal edict, so his advisers counseled him to have a new queen sought out. Beautiful virgins from all over his kingdom were gathered to his capitol and they were placed under the care of Hegai, the eunuch in charge of the king’s harem. Hegai was charged with the responsibility of preparing these chosen ones to meet the king. Esther was among those picked for consideration to become the bride of Ahasuerus.

Once selected, these beautiful young virgins were not immediately ready to go into the king’s chamber. A preparation process was required first. For these young women the process lasted an entire year.

Esther 2:12
For the days of their beautification were completed as follows: six months with oil of myrrh and six months with spices and the cosmetics for women.

It was only after the virgin went through a year of preparation that she was ready to be presented to the king. The first six months of this process was marked by the pronounced usage of oil of myrrh. Myrrh should be recognized by believers as a spice that was used in preparing bodies for burial. After Christ’s crucifixion we are told that His body was prepared for burial and myrrh is especially mentioned.

I think it is significant in the description of this event found in the book of John that it repeatedly states that Christ’s body was taken away and prepared. The Bride is a remnant portion of the body of Christ, and, as is seen in the book of Esther, a preparation with oil of myrrh is an important part of her being made ready.

John 19:38-40
And after these things Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Yahshua, but a secret one, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Yahshua; and Pilate granted permission. He came therefore, and took away His body. And Nicodemus came also, who had first come to Him by night; bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds weight. And so they took the body of Yahshua, and bound it in linen wrappings with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews.

Myrrh, for the virgin bride candidates of the king, represented death as well. The one chosen to be the bride of the king was to live for the king’s pleasure. She was to respond to his summons with quick obedience. No longer was her life her own, she belonged to another. Essentially, she was to die to her own life. In the same way the scriptures tell those betrothed to Christ that they are no longer their own, “For you have been bought with a price” (I Corinthians 6:20).

Death is the first step of preparation that those who would become the Bride of Christ must go through. Salvation is not an end. It is a beginning. Our salvation was purchased with the blood of Yahshua. The purchase price was exceedingly high, but it was paid. We are now no longer our own. We must die to our own desires, goals, and ambitions. Christ’s life must become our life, His will our will, His desires our desires.

This death process doesn’t come all at once, nor in a single moment of time. The flesh’s desire to seek after self is firmly entrenched in our being. It takes considerable time just to identify all of the ways in which we have sought our own welfare. Some forms of selfishness are very subtle. The scriptures teach us that even our righteousness, that which we deem to be good, is as filthy rags in God’s sight (Isaiah 64:6).

It is in this death process that obedience is learned and an end of personal initiative is brought forth. This time of preparation is designed to produce a suitable and compatible Bride for Christ. She must become like Him, conformed to His image.

Death to personal initiative was a characteristic of Yahshua. It was exemplified in His words at Gethsemane, “Nevertheless, not My will, but Thy will be done” (Luke 22:42). This was a characteristic which Vashti lacked, and it cost her that which was most precious to her. It is appropriate that this failure was the first thing addressed among those who would contend for the opportunity to replace Vashti. It will likewise be the foremost issue addressed among those who are called to be the Bride of Christ.

In the story of King Ahasuerus’ search for a suitable bride, we see some profound truths that are equally applicable to the Bride of Christ. The king’s first bride was rejected due to a failure of obedience. A more worthy bride was then chosen to replace the one who had disqualified herself. Those called to betrothal to Christ need to take this lesson to heart. As we will see in subsequent chapters, many are called, but few are chosen. Esther distinguished herself by her obedience. She listened to the voice of the king’s eunuch who was given charge over her, to prepare her, and she found favor in the eyes of the king.

Heart4God Website: http://www.heart4god.ws    

Parables Blog: www.parablesblog.blogspot.com    

Mailing Address:
Joseph Herrin
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063

Thursday, October 18, 2018

The Remnant Bride - Part 2



The Bride and the Butterfly

Look again at the cover of this book. Note how distinctly different the caterpillar and the butterfly are in appearance. They would seem to not be related in any way, yet they are one and the same creature. An awesome transformation takes place in the life of this amazing insect. The transformation is so radical and complete that this insect has two different names. At one period of its existence it is called a caterpillar. At another, it is called a butterfly.

In the same way, God has changed the names of men and women whom He has transfigured. Abram became Abraham. Sarai became Sarah. Jacob became Israel. Cephas became Peter. Their names were changed after they were transfigured by an encounter with God.

In these last days before the return of Christ, there is another amazing transfiguration which must take place. A Bride will be fashioned and formed; a Bride that is radiant; a Bride without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. This Bride will be awesome to behold. She will be a fit Bride for the Son of God.

The metamorphosis that must take place in order for the Bride to be revealed is no less radical than that of the caterpillar into a butterfly. The world will see the change and stand in awe. The Holy Spirit, even now, is at work to call forth a Bride out of the church, to wash her, to transform her, to make her ready.

Some who read of this transformation will be incredulous. They will look at the fleshly caterpillar that the church now resembles and balk at the prospect of a butterfly coming forth from her. Some will believe it is merely wishful thinking. Others will believe the timing is off; they will believe that the church will be transformed, but only after the saints get to heaven.

There will be those, however, who read and believe. There will be those who, being washed by the water of the word, find faith arising in their hearts. They will allow the transforming work of God’s Spirit to perform miracles in their lives. It is these who will receive a new name. They will be called “the Bride of Christ.”

It is appropriate that these receive a new name. They are in actuality a whole new type of creature. They will be as different from the mass of nominal church goers and half-hearted confessors of Christ as the butterfly is different from the caterpillar. They will not be content to remain in the Outer Court of the Tabernacle, satisfied with salvation and a promise of heaven. These will have a passion for knowing intimately the One who gave all for them.

It is this passion that will hold these faithful ones to the path of transformation. The path is difficult and comes at great cost, but the end is glorious and promises an assured habitation with the Son of God.

There is an in-between stage that occurs as a caterpillar begins the process of becoming a butterfly. This stage is most vital. The caterpillar will never become a butterfly without this period of its existence. The caterpillar fashions a cocoon around itself. This cocoon becomes a hidden chamber where the miracle of metamorphosis occurs, out of sight.

There doesn’t appear to be much activity in the cocoon. Caterpillars appear active. Butterflies appear active. But the cocoon seems to be lifeless. It appears as a sarcophagus of death. Those who desire the appearance of constant activity will not eagerly enter into the cocoon. Those who seek comfort above conformity to Christ, or who live for the opinions of men, will not willingly enter into this place. It is uncomfortable, confining, and does not make sense to the world, nor does much of the church understand its function. For these reasons, and others, many will shun this place of death and they will forfeit the greater glory and resurrection life that can be attained by no other way.

For the remnant portion of the Body of Christ who will follow wherever their Savior leads there is a cocoon stage, a death process, to which they must submit. This stage is vital and cannot be skipped over. It correlates to the wilderness portion of the trip from Egypt to the promised land of Israel. God will lead all of His children through this part of the journey, but few appreciate its significance. Some will not survive this part of the journey. Some will want to turn back. It is here that transformation takes place. It is here that flesh is stripped away and a spiritual being arises.

As with the butterfly, the Bride of Christ will be prepared in a hidden chamber. Her transformation will be veiled from the eyes of the world, and from much of the church, as well. These will see her emerge and will wonder at the miracle that has taken place. Yet, even in knowing, many will not submit to the process required for the glory of God to be revealed in them.

Our Savior’s invitation is to come and die; die to the flesh, die to self, die to the soulish powers of life. This death is not an end. It is a glorious beginning. After death comes resurrection life. After shedding the fleshly form of the caterpillar, the glorious butterfly emerges. What then will be the form of those children of God who allow the same process to work in them?

Their end will be glory.

Heart4God Website: http://www.heart4god.ws    

Parables Blog: www.parablesblog.blogspot.com    

Mailing Address:
Joseph Herrin
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063

Monday, October 15, 2018

The Remnant Bride - Part One


Foreword

A word of explanation is necessary at the start of this book. In this work you will find the writer using names in reference to God the Father and God the Son that are more faithful to their Hebrew original than the names and titles generally in use by the church today. The name Yah, or Yahweh, will be found in reference to God the Father, and the name Yahshua will be utilized when speaking of the Son.

This usage is not intended to be divisive, nor does it serve as a renunciation of the usage of titles such as Lord or God. Neither is it a condemnation of those who choose to call the Son of God Jesus. My intent as a teacher of the Bible is simply to illumine and instruct. There is great meaning in the Hebrew names of the Father and the Son, and these names are directly related to one another. Many of the people whose lives are portrayed in Scripture also serve as types and shadows of God, bringing to light truths that might otherwise be hidden.

For example, Joshua, the Israelite leader who led the people of God across the Jordan and into battle to take possession of the land of Canaan, bears the same name as the Messiah. They both were called Yahshua. Like Joshua in the Old Testament, the Son of God began His ministry at the Jordan River as He was baptized by John. Both men labored to establish a kingdom dedicated to Yahweh, the first external and natural, the latter internal and spiritual.

Yah is the name used in reference to the Father on forty-nine separate occasions in the Old Testament. Most Christians have utilized this name of God without knowing that they were doing so. Whenever the word hallelujah is uttered, the speaker is literally exclaiming “Praise Yah,” for this is the meaning of the Hebrew word from which it is derived. The longer name Yahweh is found an additional 6,828 times.

The name of the Son is likewise significant, for Yahshua is understood to mean ““Yah’s Salvation.” The Gospel writer indicates that this is the meaning of the name given to the Savior at His birth.

Matthew 1:21
“And she will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Yahshua, for it is He who will save His people from their sins.”

It has been the practice of this writer for many years to use these names, which more clearly represent their Hebrew originals. It is my hope that their employment in this book might aid the reader by bringing forth light on relationships that are obscured, as well as promoting an increased intimacy with God the Father by calling Him by His memorial name, instead of a title which men have substituted.

Introduction

The Lord Yahshua the Messiah is soon to return for His Bride; a Bride that has been prepared; a Bride that is suitable for Him. The conception in the minds of much of the church is that this Bride will consist of all believers. It is believed by many that the Bride will encompass the entire Body of Christ. Is this an accurate conception? I am convinced that it is not.

One does not have to look any further than the opening chapters of Genesis to begin to discern the truth of who the Bride is and where she will come from. In the first chapter of the Bible we are told that God created man, fashioning him after His own image. God declared that it was not good that this first man (Adam) should remain alone, so a suitable helper was sought for him. This helper was to become the very first bride, and she would be a model, or type, of a later bride who would come forth. This later bride would be the Bride of Christ.

The second chapter of Genesis gives a very clear description of the creation of Adam’s bride Eve. God saw fit to tell us exactly how she was formed and where the material was found from which she was fashioned. We are told that Adam was formed of the dust of the ground, but this was not so with Adam’s bride. Adam’s bride was fashioned from a remnant portion of his own body. We find this described in the following scripture.

Genesis 2:21-23
So Yahweh God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh at that place. And Yahweh God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. And the man said, "This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, because she was taken out of Man."

God fashioned a bride for Adam out of a portion, a remnant, taken from his own body. Eve was not formed from Adam’s whole body. She was indeed bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh, but it was from a remnant portion of his body that she was formed. In this description we have been given an illustration of how a Bride will also be fashioned for the last Adam, Yahshua the Messiah (I Corinthians 15:45).

How do we know that this first bride was a type of the Bride of Christ? The scriptures reveal a very clear correlation between Adam's bride and Christ's Bride. Immediately after we are given details of the creation of Eve we are told “For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). This verse is quoted in the New Testament as the apostle Paul speaks of the mystery of Christ and His Bride.

Ephesians 5:31-32
For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.

The scriptures also present a strong parallel between Adam and Yahshua. The first Adam is presented as a type of Christ, who is called “the last Adam.”” It is fitting then that the bride of the first Adam should be a type of the Bride of the last Adam, Yahshua the Messiah.

I Corinthians 15:45-49
So also it is written, "The first man, Adam, became a living soul." The last Adam [Yahshua] became a life-giving spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual. The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven. As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly. And just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.

God created a bride for the first Adam from a rib taken from Adam’s body. In similar fashion He is even now creating a Bride for the last Adam, Yahshua the Messiah. This Bride is not Christ’s entire body, even as Eve was not fashioned from Adam’s entire body. The Bride of Christ will be fashioned from a remnant of Christ’s body. This remnant will be a choice part, for being included in the Bride of Yahshua is a position of great honor.

As will be shown in this book, honor and reward are at the heart of the matter of determining who from among Christ’s body will be a part of the Bride and who will not. God does not bestow honor lightly. One must be worthy to receive the honor of the Father. Salvation is a free gift, but reward and honor are according to our deeds.

Revelation 22:12
"Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.”

To be a part of the Bride of Christ is to receive the highest honor. The Bride is given intimate access to the Bridegroom; the two will become one. This honor, however, is not given freely. It is reserved for those whose hearts beat with a passion for the Lord Yahshua the Messiah. It is reserved for those who have allowed the work of the cross to bring a cleansing and separation in their lives, removing that which is fleshly.

We are taught in God’s word that access to the presence of God and to His most holy things is based upon the worthiness of the individual. The Old Testament Levitical priesthood was a type of the kingdom of priests that the body of Christ is today. In the book of Ezekiel we read of God making a distinction among the priests, as to who could come into His presence and who could not. Access to His presence is a great honor, reserved for those who have kept themselves pure and free of idols.

Today the body of Christ consists entirely of priests (Revelation 1:6). Some will be granted access to God’s most holy things, and some will not. Some will have access to God’s presence, and some will not. Some will be accorded the intimacy and honor of being a part of the Bride, and some will not. The following words spoken to the Levitical priests will be applied to those within today’s kingdom of priests who have not cleansed themselves from the impurities of the flesh and the world.

Ezekiel 44:13-14
“And they shall not come near to Me to serve as a priest to Me, nor come near to any of My holy things, to the things that are most holy; but they shall bear their shame and their abominations which they have committed. Yet I will appoint them to keep charge of the house, of all its service, and of all that shall be done in it.”

How tragic to be a priest in the kingdom of God, yet not be allowed access to God’s presence or His holy things. This will be the portion of much of the church. However, there is a remnant who will allow God to purify and refine them; a remnant that is passionate for Yahshua and shuns the world and its idols. Of them it will be said:

Ezekiel 44:15-16
“But the Levitical priests, the sons of Zadok, who kept charge of My sanctuary when the sons of Israel went astray from Me, shall come near to Me to minister to Me; and they shall stand before Me... They shall enter My sanctuary; they shall come near to My table to minister to Me and keep My charge.”

Yes, being a part of the Bride is an honor accorded to a choice remnant. These will have access to the presence of God for all eternity. Many who are at ease in Zion will find much to grieve about when they stand before the King. “There will be weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 22:13).

Some might be concerned that a message of performance is being taught in this book. After so much has been written and preached about grace in recent years, many will undoubtedly be sensitive to anything that has the appearance of works in it. Works, however, are a valid concept in scripture. Many in teaching grace have climbed out of the ditch of legalism, and bondage to performance, only to fall headlong into the ditch on the opposite side of the road that is marked by license and careless living.

Salvation (deliverance from the penalty of sin) is by faith in Yahshua the Messiah. This faith is given to us by God. There is nothing a believer can do to add to this salvation. Christ’s work on the cross was perfect. There is nothing lacking to His finished work in making atonement for the sins of man. Paul told the Galatian believers that if they tried to add to this salvation by keeping the Law, or by adhering to someone’s list of rules and regulations, then Christ had in actuality become of no effect to them. Yahshua’s death was needless (Galatians 2:21).

There is a whole realm of work outside of deliverance from the penalty of sin, however. This is the area of sanctification, being conformed to the image of Christ. A part of this conformity  is the call to bear fruit in righteous and holy lives set apart unto God. Yahshua said that we are to bear much fruit and thereby glorify His Father (John 15:8). Whether we bear little fruit, or much fruit, we are still children of God by faith, but it is to our benefit to bear much fruit. When Yahshua returns with His reward in His hand, it will be rendered “to every man according to what he has done.”

Some in teaching the grace of God have erred in negating the importance of works and obedience in the life of the saint. Yahshua has not lessened the importance He attaches to these things. In the letters to the seven churches in the book of Revelation, Yahshua begins each one by stating “I know your works.”” He does not say “I know your faith,” or “I know your heart.” In truth, our heart and our faith are revealed in our works, and apart from our works there is no other way for them to be revealed. This is why Yahshua states that a tree is known by its fruit (Matthew 12:33).

My hope for you as you read this book is that you might be provided with some encouragement to more passionately pursue Yahshua the Messiah. Much of the current teaching of the church actually does much to discourage a sold out life to Christ. By neglecting the teaching of personal reward, or by teaching falsehoods such as that which asserts all believers will share the same honor and glory for eternity, the body has been lulled into complacency. After confessing Christ as Savior and Lord there seems to be little else that many Christians are encouraged to do.

Being born of the Spirit is but the beginning. This salvation corresponds to the Outer Court of the Tabernacle. The true glory is where the presence of God is found. This is in the Most Holy Place. Only those who have been purified and refined can enter into the Most Holy Place. Only those who have allowed the working of the cross to put to death the deeds of the flesh can abide in the presence of God. This is the calling of the Bride of Christ.

If you have a passion for the Lord Yahshua the Messiah, if you long to know what the Father is looking for in fashioning a Bride for His Son, then this book is for you. May you be challenged by these words and may your heart be stirred with a more passionate pursuit of the One who is pursuing you.

Heart4God Website: http://www.heart4god.ws    

Parables Blog: www.parablesblog.blogspot.com    

Mailing Address:
Joseph Herrin
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063

Friday, October 12, 2018

Hurricane Michael

Joseph Herrin (10/12/2018)


Hurricane Michael. Its story can be told now. The hurricane struck two days ago at about noon. October 10th, 2018 was the day of its impact. Moving forward at approximately 16 mph it did not spend much time over any area. It didn’t need to.

Hurricane Michael exceeded expectations. In the brief period of recorded history only 3 hurricanes had hit the Florida panhandle with winds of a Category 3. Hurricane Michael was 1 mph below a Category 5, being the strongest Category 4 possible with continual wind speeds of 155 mph. It was the strongest hurricane to hit the Florida panhandle and when it made its way to Georgia it carried with it 115 mph wind gusts to the city of Donalsonville.

A couple of facts about the storm were reported first by a sister named Ariane. Michael was the 13th  named storm of 2018 for the Atlantic hurricane season. It was the 7th named hurricane of the season and the 2nd major hurricane. The numbers are significant. 13 is the number of rebellion in the Bible. The first occurrence of the number is as follows.

Genesis 14:3-4
All these joined together in the Valley of Siddim (that is, the Salt Sea). Twelve years they served Chedorlaomer, and in the thirteenth year they rebelled.

The number 7 is symbolic of divine completion. The first chapter of Genesis is speaking of the 7 days of creation. The last book of the Bible speaks of the 7 churches of Asia Minor and the 7 spirits of God.

Revelation 4:5
Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.

This could be a symbol of the archangel Michael and his coming battle with Satan and his angels. Satan is the author of rebellion in the Bible and Michael represents the completion and fulness of God. The name Michael literally means “who is like God.” Like Michael, the hurricane came in a hurry and did not waste time with Satan.

In case some are concerned for my inconvenience by the passing hurricane, I lost power for the final time at 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday the 10th. My power was back on by 3:00 p.m. Thursday. It was off less than a day. Also, I no longer have Internet access at my home (this is a personal decision). I go to the local coffee shop to connect, which is where I am at now. The coffee shop is open. It has power and Internet. I come in Monday - Friday, which is the days they are open, and I go to the Starbucks in Perry on weekends, and sometimes to the Panera in Warner Robins. Its about 20 miles to Starbucks, 30 miles to Panera. I usually spend the morning at the coffee shop and spend the rest of the time around the house doing work.

We have lots of tree branches down at our house. George is pretty good at cutting up the branches and burning them. He started work on it yesterday and will have several days to go.

All around there are pecan trees with broken branches and some are uprooted and fallen over. There are lots of pecan trees around. I have seen lots of power and line crews out. Many people in this area are still without power. George and I got the easy part this time. It also cooled off delightfully. Before the storm we were running a constant 10 degrees above normal. Last night it really cooled off, down in the 50s. It was a minimum of 72 degrees at night before this. I opened the windows on my bus and left them open today with the AC off for the first time.

Reading about Panama City, Florida on the Internet, there will be places down there without homes and power for months. It was totally devastated in places. It is like a very large tornado had gone through. Some people are comparing it to a bomb going off.

I will be starting another book with my next post. The next book will be The Remnant Bride.

Heart4God Website: http://www.heart4god.ws    

Parables Blog: www.parablesblog.blogspot.com    

Mailing Address:
Joseph Herrin
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Montezuma Hurricane

Joseph Herrin (10/9/2018)


This time last year we also had a hurricane come through here. It gave a little more notice though. That was Hurricane Irma. It was in the midst of September, 2017. Hurricane Michael’s remnants should hit here around Wednesday night. It seems with so little hurricane news of late that Montezuma is getting it’s fair share. Last year’s hurricane came just after Harvey left Houston in a mess. This year’s comes after South Carolina got hit by Florence. It had been ten years prior to last years storm since a hurricane had made landfall in the USA.

We were without power for 3-1/2 days last year. Time will reveal if we are without power any amount of time this year. Whatever the case, Michael is a pretty powerful name. It is the name of the archangel that does battle with Satan and his angels. We read:

Revelation 12:7-9
And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

Michael and the angels with him cast Satan and his angels down to the Earth. Such an event is still in the future, but it is an occasion that every saint should rejoice at, despite the immediate peril of the church.

Revelation 12:10-14
Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, "Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time." Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child. But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent.

I don’t know that this storm will foretell anything about that struggle in the heavens between angels. We already have everything we need to know about the encounter, except the precise timing of it. Nevertheless, I may be interrupted by this storm.

At 4 P.M. Tuesday the 9th it had just become a Category 3 Hurricane. Category 3 and above are considered major hurricanes. By tomorrow morning Hurricane Michael should make landfall in Florida. By Wednesday night it should be coming my way.


The Georgia National Fair has been held for the past 29 years in Perry, Georgia, a city 20 miles from Montezuma. George Young and I had gone to visit the fair yesterday (Monday). It was George’s first trip to the fair, whereas I believe I have been there most of the years it has been going. I especially like viewing the arts, animals, and the building full of the unusual businesses of Georgia. I spent 6 hours there yesterday and I feel it everywhere in my body. Today I am hearing for the first time in 29 years that they are thinking about closing it for tomorrow.

I will keep you posted.

Heart4God Website: http://www.heart4god.ws    

Parables Blog: www.parablesblog.blogspot.com    

Mailing Address:
Joseph Herrin
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063

Thursday, October 4, 2018

My Daughter Kristin in Poland

Some saints have been asking me to keep them apprised of my daughter’s missionary venture in Poland. I am only too glad to do so. I love my daughter, and I very much appreciate her heart of love for people. She is in Poland for a two year period to teach the Polish the English language and to share the love of Yahshua with them.

She has been in Poland a couple of months now and she has started teaching students. It was not instant teaching. First she had to go with the other new teachers to a month-long course that would help them to answer very basic questions in Polish, or ask them. Polish is a very hard language. Each word can have dozens of endings. It is a good thing that her students don’t need her to speak Polish to teach her class. Polish has been rated by some people to be the most difficult language to learn. It has seven cases, seven genders, and very difficult pronunciation.

Below Kristin is the second from the left. She has graciously answered my request to write something. The following is all from her. Don’t worry, it is in English.


Two and a Half Months in Poland

This time has been rich with new experiences, new relationships, a new language, and learning many new things. In a way, it feels I’ve been here much longer- I think we humans in new places quickly seek to find routines and create “normalcy” wherever we find ourselves. But I have daily reminders that this place is new, especially when I want to communicate with people who don’t speak my language-

Like today, when I went to the library to return some children’s books (one of my attempts to learn Polish). I walked to the counter, mentally calculating what words are necessary to return books. Thankfully none were needed, except a simple “dziękuję" (thanks). Then I decided to grab a couple new books while I was there. Once more I walked to the counter, wondering if I would be asked any questions. I was greeted with “dzień dobry” (good day), which I returned. The librarian then scanned my books and my card, and returned them to me without any questions. I once again said “dziękuję” with my excellent vocabulary, and exited the scene. Whew, I made it. :D

Before I relaxed too much, I came to my next stop- The post office. I had found a slip of paper in my mailbox at home saying I needed to retrieve a package. Simple enough, right? Before I went I learned from a friend that it was necessary to take a number from a machine to get in line. Upon entering the post office, I quickly scanned the scene and found the machine. There were several options (buttons) for different desired activities. I hoped for the best and pushed the one labeled “paczki” (boxes).

When my number was called, I approached the counter, once more hoping no words were necessary for the desired package. “Dzień dobry” I handed the slip. The lady took it and marched into the back, looking for my package. So far, so good. After a couple of minutes she returned, but to my dismay there was no package in her hand. She sat down and started to type, obviously searching in her computer for information about my request. Then it happened- She started to tell me many things, apparently not finding my package. My mind scrambled, trying to understand what she was telling me. “Nie ma nic.” She said. I understood- They didn’t have my package. Now what. “Przeprasam, nie rozumiem,” (I’m sorry, I don’t understand) I said to her torrent of words. I was preparing to give my most valiant attempt to tell her I would return later with a friend who spoke Polish, when she saw something, and scooted away to check another place. She returned, this time holding my package. “Dziękuję” I said, and gratefully took the package and exited the scene.

These are common scenarios. It’s both difficult and rewarding, as I find myself gaining confidence and understanding a little more each week. I desperately want to be able to communicate with people on the street, but I know that will take time. Thankfully it’s not uncommon to find people who speak English, even though many are shy about it. I’ve discovered on numerous occasions that if I looked confused enough, English would pop out of people- It’s kinda cool. :D

On a more serious note, school is now in full swing. We’re in our fourth week, and it has been a really good experience. At the beginning, it seemed pretty big and slightly intimidating to plan lessons, but now that we are learning to know our students, much of that has become easier. One of the most difficult parts is learning the balance of planning group classes, where students range in personalities, and somewhat in their English levels. We try to match people to the proper groups on their levels as much as possible, but there is a certain amount of variety that seems unavoidable. I have really been growing to love my students, and can see that some of them are quickly becoming friends. This is exciting to me.

I was able to have a really special time with one student last week. She’s about my age, and very easy to converse with. We were talking about a variety of things, and somehow in our conversations started to share some experiences we had been through in life that were difficult. We discovered we had both gone through some similar things, and I could tell it really meant a lot to her to have someone to talk with. As she shared, she began to cry, and throughout the rest of our class would alternate from talking and crying. When it was time for her to leave, she was still wiping tears, so I asked her if it would be ok with her if I prayed for her before she left. She gratefully accepted, and I said a simple, heartfelt prayer for God to minister to her heart. After I prayed, she looked up at me and said, “My faith is not as strong as yours- I pray every day, but only texts that I have to read. I do not know how to pray from my heart like you do.” I shared with her a little bit about prayer, and about God desiring us to bring our hearts before Him and to have fellowship with us. I could tell she was very interested, and she told me she would like to pray like I do. If you think of this dear soul, please pray for her, that God would lead her in truth, and that she would come to truly know Him.

I have met some really special people here. I love the small church family, and the people I am working with at the school. I feel like there are so many stories and so many things to learn from people around me, and I am really looking forward to many of these relationships deepening.


Kristin With a Special Friend, Karis

Thanks so much for all of the prayers that have been prayed, and all the support. I’m so grateful to know I have people behind me who are ready to lift me up in prayer and encourage me onward in what the Lord is leading in.

Kristin

Heart4God Website: http://www.heart4god.ws    

Parables Blog: www.parablesblog.blogspot.com    

Mailing Address:
Joseph Herrin
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Christ in You - The Hope of Glory - Part 10

This is the last part of Christ in You - The Hope of Glory.


Everyone Who Has This Hope

The world did not recognize that Yahshua was the Son of God. In the same way the world does not recognize that there are sons of God walking around among mortal men in this hour. There are those who have been born of holy seed dwelling among those who have known only the birth of the corrupt seed of the first Adam. Consider the magnificent message in the following words of the apostle John.

I John 3:1
Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called sons of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.

The Scriptures relate the story of Yahshua being born of a virgin as the Holy Spirit overshadowed her. Mary conceived a son of holy seed.

Luke 1:35
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy offspring shall be called the Son of God.

The same Holy Spirit now moves upon Adamic men and causes offspring to come forth in the likeness of God. The Holy Spirit moves upon mankind and a holy seed immediately begins to grow into the same image as the firstborn Son of God.

I Peter 1:23
For you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and abiding word of God.

I John 3:9
No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

The same holy seed has been placed in those born again of the Spirit that was placed in Mary. It is the seed of God. God does not have many kinds of seed. He has only one type of seed, and that is seed that contains all the genetic information to form a being fully and completely after His own image and likeness. Yahshua became the full expression of God in man. This same seed has been placed in you (if you have been born again) that you too might become the full and complete expression of God.

Ephesians 4:13
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.

Yahweh has the heart of a father, and as a father He longs to have many sons after His own image. The destiny of these sons in the ages to come is glorious. What Yahweh has prepared for His sons is beyond our present capacity to comprehend. We shall be like the firstborn Son of God in His glory. After stating these awesome truths, John declares:

I John 3:3
And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

If you truly have a vision of all that the Father has determined for His sons in the ages to come, then you will purify yourself. Does not the current impure condition of the church reveal that there is no such vision? Many are living as beasts, focused on consumption, living to satisfy their bellies. Christians are seeking things of a fallen world, a world that is passing away and whose glory is fading. They do not discern the high calling of God in Christ Yahshua. They do not see that they have an inheritance which is “imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away” (I Peter 1:4).

Certainly a lack of vision impacts Christian’s lives negatively today. Low living is the fruit of low thinking. King Solomon understood the relationship between vision and actions.

Proverbs 29:18
Where there is no vision [no redemptive revelation of God], the people perish...
Amplified Bible

The word for perish is the Hebrew ‘para’ and it comes from a root word meaning ‘to loosen.’ It is often translated as ‘uncovered,’ or ‘naked.’ Solomon understood that when the people have no mental sight, dream, or revelation, they begin to act in a loose manner that is akin to being naked. Such imagery is repeated in the New Testament.

Revelation 3:17
"Because you say, "I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing," and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked...

Revelation 16:15
"Behold, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who stays awake and keeps his clothes, so that he will not walk about naked and men will not see his shame."

When men and women do not have a vision of the hope that is set before them, when they become focused on this present world and the pursuit of it, then they begin to uncover themselves. They expose their flesh rather than putting it to death. Because they have no vision of the glory before them, and they do not see that they risk forfeiting an inheritance of surpassing value, they walk carelessly and are led into many sins and numerous transgressions of the will of God.

The overcomers in Christ demonstrate a different attitude. Paul spoke to the saints in this way:

II Corinthians 7:1
Therefore, since these great promises are ours, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that contaminates and defiles body and spirit, and bring our consecration to completeness in the reverential fear of God.
Amplified Bible

What are the great promises to which Paul is referring? The previous verse tells us.

II Corinthians 6:18
And I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.

Yes, we have a future before us to walk as the sons and daughters of the almighty God! We will share His glory! We will walk in great authority! We will be as gods, being the sons and daughters of Yahweh! We will have access into His presence, and we will be partakers of His most holy things! If we have a vision of what awaits us then we will “cleanse ourselves from everything that contaminates and defiles body and spirit.” We will seek to be completely consecrated to God.

During this brief period of our life on earth, it is not readily apparent what we shall be. Yet all throughout the Scriptures our Father has given us indications of the glorious future that lies ahead for the sons of God. We are told that “for a little while” it is man’s lot to be lower than the angels.

Hebrews 2:6-7
But one has testified somewhere, saying, "What is man, that Thou rememberest him? Or the son of man, that Thou art concerned about him? Thou hast made him for a little while lower than the angels...

The day is coming, however, when men will judge angels.

I Corinthians 6:3
Do you not know that we shall judge angels?

What kind of people should we now be? Should we walk as beasts; coveting, lusting, fighting, seeking temporal pleasures and possessions? If your life is focused upon the temporal pursuits of this life, then you have far too narrow a view of your life and future destiny. Look up! Raise your eyes! Observe what great things the Father has planned for His sons! And seeing all these things, purify yourself! Walk as one who is called to the image and likeness of God with a destiny to share His glory.


May you be blessed with peace and understanding in these days.

Heart4God Website: http://www.heart4god.ws    

Parables Blog: www.parablesblog.blogspot.com    

Mailing Address:
Joseph Herrin
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Christ in You - The Hope of Glory - Part 9


The Father’s Work

Yahweh has designed this present world in such a way that His sons might know His ways, and walk in an understanding manner before Him. One thing that has been common to all men is having a vocation or occupation. Although there have been some very affluent and decadent societies where men have received entitlements and given themselves to a pursuit of leisure activity, such has been an exception and not the norm.

Throughout the Scriptures, and particularly in the Old Testament, we find that almost without deviation sons were trained in the same vocation as their father. This was necessary in many instances, for the sons stood to inherit all that their father possessed. If a man was the owner of flocks and herds, then it was necessary that his sons be trained in animal husbandry. This pattern is readily seen in the life of Jacob (Israel) and his sons.

Genesis 37:2
Joseph, when seventeen years of age, was pasturing the flock with his brothers while he was still a youth, along with the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father's wives. And Joseph brought back a bad report about them to their father.

Genesis 37:12-14
Then his brothers went to pasture their father's flock in Shechem. And Israel said to Joseph, "Are not your brothers pasturing the flock in Shechem? Come, and I will send you to them." And he said to him, "I will go." Then he said to him, "Go now and see about the welfare of your brothers and the welfare of the flock; and bring word back to me."

We see in these verses that not only were Jacob’s sons trained to perform the work that Jacob formerly did in his youth, but they were called to give an accounting of their performance. Jacob’s sons were not faithful in their duties, and Joseph brought back an evil report of their conduct. This caused Joseph to be hated of his brothers.

As sons of God, we are similarly called to share in our Father’s work. We will also have to give an account of our performance.

II Corinthians 5:10
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

Much will be required of those who have been made partakers of the Spirit of Christ and who have received the word of God.

Luke 12:48
And from everyone who has been given much shall much be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.

The message of having to give an account of the stewardship of the things entrusted to the sons of God is found profusely throughout the Bible. Many Christians are deceived in thinking that they are not called as ministers of the Gospel of Christ. They have been deluded by the lie of the clergy/laity doctrine. The Scriptures plainly reveal that the work of ministers is to prepare the body of Christ to do the work of God.

Ephesians 4:11-12
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...

If you are not called to function in one of the ministries named above, then you are called to perform “the work of service.” What is the work of service? It is doing whatever God has appointed as your particular work, for He has formed all of His children to fit into the body of Christ as a functioning part of the whole, each one providing what is lacking in the other members of the body.

Ephesians 4:15-16
Speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.

God did not place any of His children in the body to simply consume those things that others supply. There is a job assignment, a proper functioning of each individual member. Will not God be right to judge severely the vast number of idle members of the body who are paying no regard to that which they have been called to supply to the rest of the body? Please read the following parable of Yahshua carefully. He is speaking of the day of His return, and the recompense of all those who are in His household. If you are a child of God, then you are pictured somewhere in this story.

Matthew 25:13-30
“Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour [of the Lord’s return]. For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own slaves, and entrusted his possessions to them. And to one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey. Immediately the one who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and gained five more talents. In the same manner the one who had received the two talents gained two more. But he who received the one talent went away and dug in the ground, and hid his master's money. Now after a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. And the one who had received the five talents came up and brought five more talents, saying, 'Master, you entrusted five talents to me; see, I have gained five more talents.' His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful slave; you were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things, enter into the joy of your master.' The one also who had received the two talents came up and said, 'Master, you entrusted to me two talents; see, I have gained two more talents.' His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful slave; you were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.' And the one also who had received the one talent came up and said, 'Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed. And I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the ground; see, you have what is yours.' But his master answered and said to him, 'You wicked, lazy slave, you knew that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I scattered no seed. Then you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest. Therefore take away the talent from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents.' For to everyone who has shall more be given, and he shall have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. And cast out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

There are no members of God’s household who have not been entrusted with a deposit by which they can bring increase to the kingdom of God. All who have been born of the Spirit of Christ have received the Spirit of God to indwell them. They have each been allotted a measure of faith.

Romans 12:3-8
God has allotted to each a measure of faith. For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. And since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let each exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

You may discern that you are not gifted to the same degree as another. This may be true enough, for each is granted a measure of faith and grace. You may have the equivalent of one talent of gold, while another has five talents. You as surely have the Spirit of Christ indwelling you as every other member of the body of Christ. Will you be as the wicked servant and take this treasure and bury it in the earth of your flesh, bringing forth no return for the King? You should tremble at Christ’s parable. He calls such members of His household “wicked” and “lazy.” Heed the advice that Paul gave to Timothy.

I Timothy 4:14
Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you...

II Timothy 1:6
For this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you...

In other words, employ that which God has given you. Stir yourself up. Arouse yourself from slumber. Do you not know that you will give an account of your stewardship of the gift of God? Do not allow yourself to be lulled to lethargy by the dullness of others. God will bring you to account for that which has been entrusted to you. Do not allow yourself to be cast into the outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Your Father in heaven is set about a work at this time. He is seeking to bring His sons and daughters to maturity, to the perfect image of His firstborn Son. He has called all in His family to enter into this work. Perhaps your part in this work is not a front line ministry. Will you say because you are not an eye that you are not a part of the body? All parts of the body are vital, and the body suffers when a part does not perform its allotted task.

One of the biggest killers among mankind is cancer. There are a wide variety of cancers. There is breast cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, cancer of the brain, of the lymph nodes of the prostate. There are so many types of cancer that I would weary you naming them all. Do you know what causes cancer? Cancer occurs when a cell ceases to perform the function it was intended for, and it begins to draw away the body’s resources for other purposes. One cancer cell begins to replicate other cancer cells just like it. They are not performing any helpful bodily function, but begin to disrupt the bodies proper functioning. These independent cells continue to replicate until they spread so far throughout the body that sickness and death occurs.

Cancer is a spiritual parable of what is occurring in the body of Christ. There are multitudes of God’s children who are living independent of the purpose for which God created them. They demonstrate no concern for the rest of the body. They are focused only upon self. They are not submitted to the design of the One who created them. Each day they arise and go about whatever activities they have chosen for themselves. They are without concern that their independent actions are acting as a drag on the rest of the body of Christ. Perhaps they are surrounded by other Christians who are living identically, and like a cancer cell in the midst of many others, they compare themselves among themselves and judge that they must be alright for all others appear just as they do.

What will the Great Physician do when He comes and finds this sickness in the body of Christ? He will cast out these worthless members of His body into outer darkness.

As a Christian there is a specific work appointed to you. You have been given a deposit of the Spirit of Christ, a measure of faith and grace. You have been entrusted with some gift whereby you can supply what is lacking in another part. Yahshua understood from a very young age that as a son He was called to be about His Father’s business.

Luke 2:49
And He said to them, How is it that you had to look for Me? Did you not see and know that it is necessary as a duty for Me to be in My Father's house and occupied about My Father's business?[Amplified Bible]

Yahshua revealed through His words that He recognized that it was His duty to be doing the work of His Father.

John 4:34
“My food is to do the pleasure of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.”

John 5:17-18
But He answered them, "My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working."

John 6:38-39
"For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.”

John 17:4
"I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do.”

John 5:36
"But the witness which I have is greater than that of John; for the works which the Father has given Me to accomplish, the very works that I do, bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me.

John 9:4-5
"We must work the works of Him who sent Me, as long as it is day; night is coming, when no man can work.”

It is certain that our heavenly Father has a specific work for each of His sons. As disciples of Yahshua we are to be as focused upon apprehending exactly what that work is, and accomplishing that work, as was He. The Scriptures reveal that Yahweh has a very specific work for each son. None are to decide for themselves what this work will be. The Spirit of God will reveal it.

Acts 13:2
And while they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”

Ephesians 2:10
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Yahshua for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Consider the natural example of a son who is being trained by his father to perform a job with skill, integrity and mature responsibility. A young boy may enter into his father’s workshop to learn the trade of cabinet making. At first he is enthused by all the equipment and the thought of creating a masterful work that others will admire. He may want to jump right in and get to work, but there is much he must learn first. There are foundational principles to be learned, such as understanding the mathematics of cabinet work. He must learn how to measure all things precisely, and to calculate angles and understand basic geometry. He must learn the proper operation of all the tools in the cabinet maker’s workshop. He must understand proper safety procedures, and know how to cut and sand and shape wood without damaging it, or creating unnecessary waste.

The young man must also learn the discipline of patience, for a professional job cannot be rushed. A piece of wood must be sanded and stained. It must be varnished and sanded again, and then more varnish applied. All things must  done at a proper time, in the right sequence, or the work will be marred. If the second coat of varnish is applied before the first has had time to dry, the finish will suffer in quality and appearance.

A young boy will not naturally be willing to exercise the patience necessary to do a job correctly, nor does he yet have the skill which comes only from experience. Should his father let him enter the work too soon, he will produce a flawed piece of work, and will inevitably meet with disappointment. If the son doesn’t share the same spirit as his father who is a master craftsman valuing quality, beauty and integrity, he will not be willing to submit to the discipline required to acquire the skill manifested by the father.

Many of God’s sons today do not value things as He does. Their hearts are filled with another spirit. They are seeking pleasure and ease and comfort and things for self. Accomplishing the work of the Father is not something that grips their heart. Due to this, they are unwilling to submit to the preparation which is necessary for their equipping. There is much that seems tedious, difficult, and dreary to them. They reason, why should I make my life a drudgery when others are enjoying many pleasant pursuits?

Whatever the Spirit would direct us to do now in this age is merely preparatory for the greater works to come. Do you think any who walk in careless disregard for the Father’s will in this age will be automatically transformed by the process of death and resurrection and be counted among the faithful in the ages to come. I tell you they will not. Those who resist the discipline of sons now in this age, will disqualify themselves for the crown that could have been their in the age to come.

Revelation 3:11
“I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, in order that no one take your crown.”

Several decades ago Bill Britton related a vision he had that brings forth the truths in focus here, making them easily understood.

The Harness of the Lord (Bill Britton)

There is a terrific operation of the Spirit going on today to bring the Sons of God into an absolute confinement to the perfect will of God. This is the Day of His Preparation, the day in which He is preparing the channel through which He shall pour forth His Glory for all the world to see. This channel is His Body in the earth, that glorious company of people who are being conformed through much tribulation and fiery tests to the Image of the Son of God. This is His "battle axe and weapons of war" with which He shall subdue kingdoms and overcome all His enemies. This is His "mighty and strong One" to whom He shall commit the work of judging this world. This is His Overcomer, His "great army" with which He shall bring the nations into submission. The weapons of their warfare are not carnal, natural weapons, but they are mighty weapons, mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds. These are those who shall "be strong and do exploits."

But before God can commit this great and tremendous ministry into their hands, they must submit themselves to the discipline of the Lord, letting Him truly be the Lord of their entire lives. We have long since dealt with the question of open sin, but now God is dealing with the inward rebellion of our own wills. Some good Christians are not now being so dealt with, for they are not in this Firstfruits Company, but nevertheless there is a real dealing of God going on within those who are called into the High Calling of God. This is a very real thing, and is the work of the Refiner’s Fire. To those who are going through it, some of its aspects are horrible, but very necessary, and the end result thereof is glorious as we are brought into absolute and complete submission to the will of our Lord.
It was in a minister’s conference and convention in Tulsa, Oklahoma that God gave me a vision which I want to share with you concerning this harnessing of our own wills. There were more than 30 ministers present in this particular Thursday morning service, and God, the Father of spirits, was present to deal with His sons, to correct them and discipline them to absolute obedience to His will. There was such a stern dealing in the Spirit that no one could go to the pulpit and minister, there was a reluctance among the ministers to say anything except that which was directly ordered by the Spirit. And as those men of God sat there in the awesome presence of Almighty God, some of them having many years of ministry, some missionaries, all of them capable of getting up and preaching a powerful sermon, I was impressed by the way they responded to the discipline of the Spirit. And in the midst of this terrific dealing of God with our spirits, the Holy Ghost gave me a vision……

I Saw the King’s Carriage

On a dirt road in the middle of a wide field stood a beautiful carriage, something on the order of a stagecoach, but all edged in gold, and with beautiful carvings. It was pulled by six large chestnut horses, two in the lead, two in the middle and two in the rear. But they were not moving, they were not pulling the carriage, and I wondered why. Then I saw the driver underneath the carriage, on the ground on his back, just behind the last two horses’ heels, working on something between the front wheels of the carriage. I thought, "My, he is in a dangerous place; for if one of those horses kicked or stepped back, they could kill him, or if they decided to go forward, or got frightened somehow, they would pull the carriage right over him." But he didn’t seem afraid, for he knew that those horses were disciplined and would not move till he told them to move. The horses were not stamping their feet nor acting restless, and though there were bells on their feet, the bells were not tinkling. There were pom-poms on their harness over their heads, but the pom-poms were not moving. They were simply standing still and quiet, waiting for the voice of the Master.

There were Two Young Colts in the Field

As I watched the harnessed horses, I noticed two young colts coming out of the open field, and they approached the carriage and seemed to say to the horses: "Come and play with us, we have many fine games, we will race with you, come catch us……" And with that the colts kicked up their heels, flicked their tails and raced across the open field. But when they looked back and saw the horses were not following, they were puzzled. They knew nothing of harnesses, and could not understand why the horses did not want to play. So they called to them: "Why do you not race with us? Are you tired? Are you too weak? Do you not have strength to run? You are much too solemn, you need more joy in life." But the horses answered not a word, nor did they stamp their feet or toss their heads. But they stood, quiet and still, waiting for the voice of the Master.

Again the colts called to them: "Why do you stand so in the hot sun? Come over here in the shade of this nice tree. See how green the grass is? You must be hungry, come and feed with us, it is so green and so good. You look thirsty, come drink of one of our many streams of cool clear water." But the horses answered them with not so much as a glance, but stood still, waiting for the command to go forward with the King.

Colts in the Master’s Corral

And then the scene changed, and I saw lariat nooses fall around the necks of the two colts, and they were led off to the Master’s corral for training and discipline. How sad they were as the lovely green fields disappeared, and they were put into the confinement of the Corral with its brown dirt and high fence. The colts ran from fence to fence, seeking freedom, but found that they were confined to this place of training. And then the Trainer began to work on them, with his Whip and His Bridle. What a death for those who had been all their lives accustomed to such a freedom! They could not understand the reason for this torture, this terrible discipline. What great crime had they done to deserve this? Little did they know of the responsibility that was to be theirs when they had submitted to the discipline, learned to perfectly obey the Master, and finished their training. All they knew was that this processing was the most horrible thing they had ever known.

Submission and Rebellion

One of the colts rebelled under the training, and said, "This is not for me. I like my freedom, my green hills, my flowing streams of fresh water. I will not take any more of this confinement, this terrible training." So he found a way out, jumped the fence and ran happily back to the meadows of grass. And I was astonished that the Master let him go, and went not after him. But He devoted His attention to the remaining colt. This colt, though he had the same opportunity to escape, decided to submit his own will, and learn the ways of the Master. And the training got harder than ever, but he was rapidly learning more and more how to obey the slightest wish of the Master, and to respond to even the quietness of His voice. And I saw that had there been no training, no testing, there would have been neither submission nor rebellion from either of the colts. For in the field they did not have the choice to rebel or submit, they were sinless in their innocence. But when brought to the place of testing and training and discipline, then was made manifest the obedience of one and the rebellion that lay hidden in the heart of the other. And though it seemed safer not to come to the place of discipline because of the risk of being found rebellious, yet I saw that without this there could be no sharing of His glory, no Sonship.

Into the Harness

Finally this period of training was over. Was he now rewarded with his freedom, and sent back to the fields? Oh no. But a greater confinement than ever now took place, as a harness dropped about his shoulders. Now he found there was not even the freedom to run about the small corral, for in the harness he could only move where and when his Master spoke.  And unless the Master spoke, he stood still.

The scene changed, and I saw the other colt standing on the side of a hill, nibbling at some grass. Then across the fields, down the road came the King’s carriage, drawn by six horses. With amazement he saw that in the lead, on the right side, was his brother colt, now made strong and mature on the good corn in the Master’s stable. He saw the lovely pom-poms shaking in the wind, noticed the glittering gold bordered harness about his brother, heard the beautiful tinkling of the bells on his feet…… and envy came into his heart. Thus he complained to himself: "Why has my brother been so honored, and I am neglected? They have not put bells on my feet, nor pom-poms on my head. The Master has not given me the wonderful responsibility of pulling His carriage, nor put about me the golden harness. Why have they chosen my brother instead of me?" And by the Spirit the answer came back to me as I watched. "Because one submitted to the will and discipline of the Master, and one rebelled, thus has one been chosen and the other set aside."

A Famine in the Land 

Then I saw a great drought sweep across the countryside, and the green grass became dead, dry, brown and brittle. The little streams of water dried up, stopped flowing, and there was only a small muddy puddle here and there. I saw the little colt (I was amazed that it never seemed to grow or mature) as he ran here and there, across the fields looking for fresh streams and green pastures, finding none. Still he ran, seemingly in circles, always looking for something to feed his famished spirit. But there was a famine in the land, and the rich green pastures and flowing streams of yesterday were not to be had. And one day the colt stood on the hillside on weak and wobbly legs, wondering where to go next to find food, and how to get strength to go. It seemed like there was no use, for good food and flowing streams were a thing of the past, and all the efforts to find more only taxed his waning strength. Suddenly he saw the King’s carriage coming down the road, pulled by six great horses. And he saw his brother, fat and strong, muscles rippling, sleek and beautiful with much grooming. His heart was amazed and perplexed, and he cried out: "My brother, where do you find the food to keep you strong and fat in these days of famine? I have run everywhere in my freedom, searching for food, and I find none. Where do you, in your awful confinement, find food in this time of drought? Tell me, please, for I must know!" And then the answer came back from a voice filled with victory and praise: "In my Master’s House, there is a secret place in the confining limitations of His stables where He feeds me by His own hand, and His granaries never run empty, and His well never runs dry." And with this the Lord made me to know that in the day when people are weak and famished in their spirits in the time of spiritual famine, that those who have lost their own wills, and have come into the secret place of the most High, into the utter confinement of His perfect will, shall have plenty of the corn of Heaven, and a never ending flow of fresh streams of revelation by His Spirit. Thus the vision ended.

Interpretation of the Vision

"Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it." (Habakkuk 2:2) "Harness the horses: and get up, ye horsemen" (Jeremiah 46:4). I’m sure that many of you who can hear what the Spirit saith to the Church, have already seen what God was showing in the vision. But let me make it plain. Being born into the Family of God, feeding in the green pastures and drinking of the many streams of the unfolding revelation of His purposes is fine and wonderful. But it is not enough. While we were children, young, undisciplined, limited only by the outer fence of the Law that ran around the limits of the pastures, (that kept us from getting into the dark pastures of poison weeds), He was content to watch us develop and grow into young manhood, spiritually speaking. But the time came to those who fed in His pastures, and drank at His streams, when they were to be brought into discipline or "child-training" for the purpose of making them mature Sons.

Many of the children today cannot understand why some of those who have put on the harness of God cannot get excited by the many religious games and the playful antics of the immature. They wonder why the disciplined ones run not after every new revelation or feed on every opportunity to engage in seemingly "good and profitable" religious activities. They wonder why some will not race with them in their frantic efforts to build great works and great and notable ministries. They cannot understand the simple fact that this Company of saints is waiting for the voice of the Master, and they do not hear God in all this outward activity. They will move in their time, when the Master speaks. But not before, though many temptations come from the playful colts. And the colts cannot understand why those who seemingly appear to have great abilities and strength are not putting it to good use. "Get the carriage on the road," they say, but the disciplined ones, those in God’s harness, know better than to move before they hear the voice of the Master. They will move in their time, with great purpose, and great responsibility.

And the Lord made me to know that there were many whom He had brought into training who had rebelled against the discipline, the chastising of the Father. And they could not be trusted with the great responsibility of mature Sonship, so he let them go back to their freedom, back to their religious activities and revelations and gifts. They are still His people, still feeding in His pastures, but He has set them aside from the great purposes for the end of the age. So they revel in their freedom, feeling that they are the Chosen ones with the many streams of living water, not knowing that they have been set aside as unfit for His great work in this end of the Age.

And He showed me that though the chastising seemeth grievous for the time, and the discipline hard to endure, yet the result with all the glory of Sonship is worth it all, and the glory to follow far exceeds the suffering we endure. And though some lose even their lives in this training, yet they will share alike in the glory of His eternal purposes. So faint not, saints of God, for it is the Lord that doth bring thee into confinement, and not thine enemy. It is for thy good, and for His glory, so endure all things with praises and thanksgiving that He hath counted thee worthy to share His glory! Fear thou not the whip in His hand, for it is not to punish thee, but to correct and train thee, that thou mightest come into submission to His will, and be found in His likeness in that Hour. Rejoice thou in thy trials, in all thy tribulations, and glory thou in His cross, and in the confining limitations of His harness, for He hath chosen thee, and He hath taken upon Himself the responsibility of keeping thee strong and well fed, so lean thou upon Him, and trust not in thine own ability and thine own understanding. So shalt thou be fed, and His hand shall be upon thee, and His glory shall overshadow thee and shall flow through thee as it goes forth to cover the earth. Glory to God! Bless the Lord, He’s wonderful! Let Him be Lord of your life, friends, and complain not at that which He bringeth to pass in your life.

Plenty in the Time of Famine

For in the hour when famine sweeps the land, He shall feed by His own hand those who are submitted to His perfect will, and who dwell in the secret place of the Most High. When terror stalks the land, those in His harness shall not be afraid, for they shall feel His bit and bridle and know the guidance of His Spirit. When others are weak and frail and fearful, there shall be those who shall be strong in the power of His might, and shall lack for no good thing. In the hour when the traditions of the religious systems have proven false, and their streams have dried up, then His Chosen ones shall speak forth with the true Word of the Lord. So rejoice, Sons of God, that you have been chosen by His grace for this great work in this last hour.

The fence which kept the colts in their own meadows and their own pastures mean nothing to the team in the harness, for the gates open to them, and they go forth pulling the king’s carriage into many strange and wonderful places. They do not stop to eat the poison weeds of sin, for they feed only in the Master’s stable. These fields they trample under their feet as they go forth on the King’s business. And so to those who are brought into absolute subjection to His will, there is no Law. For they move in the Grace of God, led only by His Spirit where all things are lawful but not all things are expedient. This is a dangerous realm for the undisciplined, and many have perished in sin as they leaped over the fence without His harness and His bridle. Some have thought of themselves as being completely harnessed and submissive to Him, only to find that in some avenue of their life there dwelled rebellion and self-will. Let us wait before Him until He puts His noose around us and draws us to His place of training. And let us learn of the dealings of God and the movings of His Spirit until at last we feel His harness drop about us, and hear His voice guiding us. Then there is safety from the traps and pitfalls of sin, and then shall we abide in His house forever!
[End of Vision by Bill Britton]

Our Father has a work for each one of His sons in the age to come. We are prepared for this work as we submit that work He has entrusted to us in this present age. We must submit to the discipline necessary to perform our assigned task with a spirit of excellence and maturity. Those who choose personal liberty over the confinement of a Spirit led life will find themselves disqualified and shut out of the mighty works of God which He has prepared beforehand for His sons. Let us apply all diligence to follow hard on the heels of our Savior, not turning aside to the left or to the right. Let us heed the voice of the Spirit who declares, “This is the way. Walk in it.” Then at the end of this journey we can declare with the apostle Paul:

II Timothy 4:7
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith...

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Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Christ in You - The Hope of Glory - Part 8


Heart of a Son

I want to draw your attention to the last two verses of Malachi. They are the final verses of the Old Testament. Placement is significant in Scriptures. First occurrences and last occurrences alike hold a particular meaning. That which is last speaks of the goal, or the end result of a matter. So it is with these words. The Old Testament concludes with that which is most upon the heart of God, Who is the Father of mankind. His heart is turned toward His sons, and He wants His sons hearts to be turned toward Him.

Malachi 4:5-6
Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of Yahweh. And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the sons, and the hearts of the sons to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.

Malachi prophesied that Elijah the prophet would come prior to the great and terrible day of Yahweh. Elijah’s entire ministry would be focused upon restoring fathers and sons. Although there is certainly an earthly application of this verse, it also stands as a parable of the ultimate relationship between Father and sons, between Yahweh and His offspring.

For too long the hearts of Yahweh’s children have been turned away from Him. Mankind has occupied himself with many vain pursuits. Even in his religious pursuits man has seldom manifested a heart after God’s own. The Davids have been far outnumbered by the Sauls.

The Old Testament opens with God creating man with the express intent of providing God with sons in His own image and likeness. The Old Testament ends with the thought uppermost on Yahweh’s mind. He wants His sons’ hearts to be turned toward Him.

Next we find the New Testament opening with the story of Yahshua, the firstborn Son of God. He was the first son born of woman and born of God. He set the pattern for the sons who would follow, for His heart was always set upon His Father. He lived to do the Father’s pleasure. His very meat, that which sustained Him and gave Him life, was the opportunity to do His Father’s will.

John 4:34
“My food is to do the pleasure of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.”

Hebrews 10:7
“Then I said, 'Behold, I have come - in the volume of the book it is written of Me - to do Your pleasure, O God.'”

Yahshua revealed the kind of heart that endears a son to the Father. Of this firstborn Son, the Father declared:

Matthew 3:17
This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

This relationship of the Father’s heart turned to the Son, and the Son’s heart turned to the Father, both in perfect devotion to one another, is a pattern for that which Yahweh desires with all of His sons. He wants sons who live for one purpose alone: to do the pleasure of the Father who created them.

Revelation 4:11
Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

Consider the implications of the following words of the apostle Paul:

I Corinthians 7:32-35
But I want you to be free from concern. One who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, is concerned about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband. And this I say for your own benefit; not to put a restraint upon you, but to promote what is seemly, and to secure undistracted devotion to the Lord.

Forget for a moment that Paul is speaking of whether one should marry or not marry. The underlying theme of his words is “to promote what is seemly, and to secure undistracted devotion to the Lord.” The word seemly in the Greek means “well formed, attractive.” Who is the judge of what is attractive? God is the judge. What does He esteem to be attractive in His sight? It is to have sons who have an undivided devotion to their Father in heaven.

Yahweh’s sons, even in this late hour, are not undivided in their devotion. They have many other concerns in this world. This is not His desire and will. The harvest is at hand. It is time to loose oneself from all entanglements; to be free from all that competes for our devotion to Christ.

II Timothy 2:4
No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.

II Corinthians 11:2-3
For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin. But I am afraid, lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds should be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.

The apostle evokes an image of the saints being espoused to Christ as a pure virgin. The church is to have eyes for no other loves or lovers. Her heart should be manifesting a singleness of devotion for the One who gave all to purchase her.

This message of Yahweh desiring sons whose hearts are totally devoted to His will and pleasure is everywhere throughout Scriptures. Yet how divided have been the hearts of God’s sons. If things remain as they are Yahweh will have to come and strike the earth with a curse. To prevent this, Yahweh will send Elijah before the great and terrible day of His judgment. Elijah will turn the hearts of God’s sons back to Him. Elijah came before the firstborn Son of God was revealed to the world, and Elijah will come again before the end when the full number of the firstborn sons of God are revealed.

The Elijah ministry will be one of casting down all idolatry in the hearts of God’s saints. Even as Elijah confronted the children of God at Mount Carmel, telling them to choose who they would be devoted unto, Yahweh or Baal, he will come again and demand that the people of God choose. It is unacceptable unto Yahweh that His sons should have divided hearts. He will not allow any son to enter into the glory of the firstborn who has a divided heart.

I Kings 18:21
And Elijah came near to all the people and said, "How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If Yahweh is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him."

Today the Holy Spirit would declare, “If Yahweh is truly your Father, then present to Him an undivided heart. Have no other ambition than to do Yahweh’s pleasure.”

Matthew 22:37-38
“‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment.”

Yahweh is seeking sons with fiery hearts that yearn to do His will and bring Him pleasure. He wants sons who esteem all the allure of the world as refuse; its possessions, its pastimes, its entertainment, its idols. He wants sons who will not be sucked into the pursuit of things which will perish, but who will jealously guard against any thing that would distract them from a pure devotion to their Father.

The churches are filled today with Christians who call God “Father.” Yet these ones do not have undivided hearts of devotion toward Him. They give themselves to a life chasing after houses and lands and cars and entertainment. They spend their hours in front of the television. They go to ball games and car races and spend endless time and money shopping for things they think will bring them happiness. All the while the Father waits for them to turn their hearts toward Him.

If you would attain to the first resurrection and the glory of the firstborn sons of God, then you must have a single eye, a focus upon satisfying the heart of the Father who created you. The Spirit is present within the sons of God, crying out “Abba, Father,” yet the voice of the Spirit has been quenched and grieved as God’s children have been turned aside to other pursuits.

Yahshua is the model, the standard, and pattern for all other sons to emulate. Observe the depth of devotion to the Father in His words:

John 5:30
"I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.”

John 8:28-29
"When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me. And He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him.

John 14:31
“But so that the world may know that I love the Father, I do exactly as the Father commanded Me.

John 17:4
"I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do.”

Yahshua did not come to earth to serve himself or to pander to the desires of men. He came to fully satisfy the desire of the Father. As much as Yahshua loves mankind, He does not have a man-centric viewpoint. Yahshua lives to do the will of the Father. In another place He said, “I was always beholding the Father.” In declaring this, Yahshua was letting His disciples know where He placed His focus. He was not living for man. He was not living for self. He was living for the Father.
If we would be conformed to the image of Christ then we must also adopt such a view. This is not usually how the saints are presented with the gospel. The gospel presentation today is predominantly man-centered, and in order to grow to maturity the saint must lay aside this selfish perspective and begin to seek the will of the Father above all other things.

To become God-centered in our thinking we must have our minds completely overturned. No longer can we judge all matters by what is in it for us. We must discern what Yahweh’s desire is concerning every event. This is true of salvation and the gospel of Christ as well. Salvation is almost always viewed from a man-centered perspective, but we must realize that Yahshua went to the cross out of obedience to the Father. Although Yahshua loved mankind, He loved His Father more. The Father had a desire that He longed to see fulfilled. He had a work for His Son to accomplish, and out of love for the Father, Yahshua went to the cross. Though salvation touches man deeply, it primarily exists to fulfill a desire of the Father. Yahweh wanted sons after His own image and likeness.

If we are to “put on Christ,” then we must have the same attitude that was in Christ. We must seek the pleasure of the Father above all else. As we already read in Scripture, all things were created for Yahweh’s pleasure, man included. The New Testament is filled with verses that reveal the call to bring pleasure to God as the chief duty of man. This message of the sons of God having a focus on the pleasure of their Father is everywhere, but it has been obscured by poor translation of certain Greek words.

The word for pleasure in the Greek is ‘thelema.’ The King James Version of the Bible has translated this Greek word three different ways, as ‘desire,’ ‘pleasure,’ and ‘will.’  ‘Pleasure’ is the most appropriate rendering in the majority of occurrences. Sadly, the popular English translations have most often chosen to translate this word as ‘will.’ Doing so changes the entire complexion of what is being spoken. It is one thing to say man is called to do God’s will. It is quite another to say He is created to do God’s pleasure.

Consider the following verses and how the entire complexion of the verse is changed by translating this word correctly.

Matthew 6:9-10
After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

Now let’s substitute the word pleasure:

Matthew 6:9-10
After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy pleasure be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

Is it not accurate to say that Yahweh’s pleasure is done in heaven? The Son does not simply live to do the will of the Father, but He lives to do the pleasure of the Father. He is now seated at the right hand of the Father, and He ever seeks the Father’s pleasure. We read where Christ said, “I always do those things that are pleasing to Him” (John 8:29). Yahshua was not merely a dutiful servant of the Father. He was a loving Son who longed to bring pleasure to His Father.
Let us look at another verse:

Matthew 12:50
For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.

By using the word “will” in many of these Scriptures, we often form an image of something that is done as an act of the will alone. It is easy to form a picture of some slavish subservience that is done merely as an act of obedience. But let us view this same Scripture using the word “pleasure.”

Matthew 12:50
For whosoever shall do the pleasure of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.

When we use the word pleasure, this verse now takes on a more emotional meaning. No longer do we picture something that is simply an act of the will, but now it is a matter of delight and privilege. When we consistently render this word “thelema” as pleasure throughout the New Testament, many Scriptures take on a new vitality. Now we are able to see the satisfaction of the Father in the word of God, and it becomes more apparent that man has been called to not merely bring a dutiful obedience to God, but to provide Him great pleasure. This is the role of sons, to bring pleasure to their Father.

I am going to list more Scriptures that contain this Greek word for pleasure. As you read them consider the desire the Father has toward you as His Son. We are to live for His pleasure, for our love for Him is to be undivided.

Matthew 7:21
"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the pleasure of My Father in heaven.”

John 4:34-35
Yahshua said to them, "My food is to do the pleasure of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.”

John 5:30
I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own pleasure but the pleasure of the Father who sent Me.

John 9:30-31
Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His pleasure, He hears him.

Acts 13:22-23
He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, 'I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My pleasure.'

Romans 12:2
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect pleasure of God.

I Corinthians 1:1
Paul, called to be an apostle of Yahshua the Messiah through the pleasure of God...

Ephesians 1:5
Having predestined us to adoption as sons by Yahshua the Messiah to Himself, according to the delight of His pleasure...

Ephesians 5:17-18
Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the pleasure of the Lord is.

Ephesians 6:5-6
Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters..., not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the pleasure of God from the heart...

I Thessaalonians 4:3
For this is the pleasure of God, your sanctification...

Hebrews 13:21-22
Now may the God of peace... make you complete in every good work to do His pleasure, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Yahshua the Messiah, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

I Peter 4:1-2
Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the pleasure of God.

I John 2:17
And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the pleasure of God abides forever.

The witness of the Scriptures are clear. As sons, we are called to seek the pleasure of our Father. What are you seeking in your life. Are you living for the pursuit of your own happiness, satisfaction and pleasure?

I Timothy 5:6
She who lives in pleasure is dead while she lives.

Have you become entangled in the affairs of this life? Are you spending time, energy and money on things which have no bearing on your relationship to the Father and your call to accomplish the work He has appointed unto you? If so, then now is the time to disentangle yourself. Now is the time to wrest yourself free from all that has divided you from a pure devotion to your heavenly Father.

James 4:8
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

As the offspring of Yahshua, we have the opportunity to be like Him, a son devoted to the pleasure of the Father. What an awesome thought! Consider how men love to bring delight to some honored person, an employer or supervisor, some wealthy acquaintance, someone who is famous or admired. Men and women are often beside themselves with a sense of their accomplishment when they have brought delight to such a one. Some person may spend the rest of their life re-telling a story of how they were of service to the Queen of England, or how they once impressed some admired individual. But we have an opportunity to bring delight to the God of the Universe. We can bring joy to the heart of the One who spoke and the worlds were framed. Before us is set the possibility of satisfying the inner longing of the One who is the great I AM.

This is the magnificent opportunity set before the sons of God. We have been created for God’s pleasure!

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Mailing Address:
Joseph Herrin
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Montezuma, GA 31063