Saturday, February 24, 2018

God is Our Health


There was a real atmosphere of excitement and anticipation at this church called Living Faith when we first began attending there. The praise and worship was fresh and heartfelt, and the teaching and preaching was challenging. There was an expectation that God was going to lead the body into ever increasing experiences of His presence, and into the blessings that come to those who walk by faith.

There was one minister at this body who received all of his financial support from the church, and there were a couple others who were bi-vocational, receiving a limited support for their ministry. There was much talk among them about walking by faith, and my hopes were exceedingly high that this church would succeed where the last one had failed.

The ministers would go off once a year with their wives to a cabin in the mountains of North Georgia to have a time of fellowship, prayer and sharing about God’s vision for the body. My family and I had been attending here for about six months when the ministers went off on one of their annual retreats. They asked me to preach while they were gone, and they had asked some of the young people to lead in the praise and worship.

The Spirit gave me as the subject of my first message at this church the matter of stepping out in faith, and I used the Scripture of the priests placing their feet in the water’s of the Jordan as my basic text. The time of praise and worship preceded the message, and the last song the youth led the congregation of believers in was “Step Into the Water.” This was not arranged between us, for we had not spoken to one another prior to this gathering, but it was a witness to me of God’s desire for this message to be preached, and for the people to walk in the reality of it.

When the ministers arrived back from their retreat they shared with me that the Spirit had revealed to them that I was to be ordained as a minister among them. As I shared previously, they also agreed to pay me $100 a week, and it was at this time that God indicated He would heal my son, and that I was to cancel all his government SSI benefits. I did not realize it at the time, but God had arranged for my first act as a minister at this body to be stepping into the waters myself, and to thereby provide an example of faith for other’s to follow.

God’s voice was rich to me at this time, and He revealed that He wanted to lead the body of Christ into their inheritance. As I have already shared, He revealed that His names described the inheritance of the saints, for He is that good land of promise that is set before us. David understood this, and he wrote of it in one of his Psalms of praise and worship to Yahweh.

Psalms 16:5-6
Yawheh is the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You support my lot. The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me.

David used an allegory that looked back to the time that the Israelites cast lots to see which tribe would receive the various portions of the land that had been surveyed. The lines had already been drawn up and a map made, and all that remained was to cast the lot to see what portion each family would receive. David, of course, had not been born when this event occurred, for it was hundreds of years earlier. Using a poetic allusion to this event, he said that when the lot was cast for him to receive his portion, that God supported his lot and gave him the very best part of all. God gave David Himself as his inheritance.

David actually describes the priestly inheritance that went to the Tribe of Levi, for God said they would not receive an inheritance of land, for God was their inheritance. David chose for himself this priestly inheritance, preferring God to all other worldly possessions.

As the Spirit spoke to me of this, He revealed that He wanted to lead the body of Christ into their inheritance, and that He would do so one portion at a time. I was made to understand that at Living Faith the first two areas He would lead us in to possess were Yawheh Rophe - Yahweh our healer, and Yahweh Yireh - Yahweh our provider.


The way that God leads us into our inheritance is the same way He led the children of Israel into their possessions. We must do battle. There are enemies in the land, and they must be driven out. We must take a stand in this land of promise, and defend the plot of land. As Paul said:

Ephesians 6:13
Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

God showed us as a family where He wanted us to stand, and the first place was to trust Him for Josiah’s healing. Before another six months went by, the Spirit was speaking to me of the next place He wanted us to stand. He wanted me to trust Him next for the health of my entire family. He spoke to me and said, “I have been your son’s source of healing, now I want you to trust Me for your entire family.” I was working at a local hospital at this time, and I had excellent health insurance at very affordable rates. We had used this insurance often, and now God was asking us to give it up and look to Him to be our source of health.

I understood that as a minister to the body of Christ that what God was asking me to do was to provide an example that others might follow Him wherever He would lead them. What He was requiring of us was not for our family alone, but for an example to the children of God. I shared with my wife what God was speaking to me by His Spirit, and she was not at all pleased with this. She had a lot of fear, and she expressed many worries about what we would do if someone in our family became sick or injured. My only reply was that we would have to trust God to meet every need.

I determined to cancel my health insurance, and Tony after a struggle agreed. When I went to the office at work where such matters are handled, I was told that there was only one opportunity a year to make changes to benefits, and it was in the month of December. December was several months away, so I told the Lord that when the date arrived I would do as He had instructed me.

As we walk with the Lord and see Him prove His faithfulness before us, He will ask us to do things that are progressively more challenging. God leads us on into ever increasing acts of trust and reliance upon Him, and He will allow the situations to become more difficult with each passing test. This increased difficulty is not given to torment us, but to produce a greater faith in us, which is a very precious thing in God’s sight.

I Peter 1:6-7
In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Yahshua the Messiah...


The Lord was to subject me to a more intense trial this time, that my faith might be purified further by the fire it was subjected to. As the date approached where I could cancel my health insurance, but was still a couple months away, I began to experience the symptoms of diabetes. I had constant thirst and frequent urination. My mouth felt dry and cottony, and at times I experienced blurred vision and even dizziness. These symptoms persisted and began to increase in their frequency and intensity.

One day while I was performing my job as the hospital’s personal computer manager, I was working on a system in the ER when I became very dizzy. I was forced to lean against a wall to keep from falling down. Since I was already in the emergency room, I thought that I had better get myself checked out to see what the problem was. Blood tests were run and they revealed that my blood sugar level was 370 when it should be no higher than 120. The ER doctor told me that I was diabetic and that I needed to go see a family physician and get started on a diabetic regimen.

It was now less than a month before the date when I could cancel my health insurance. I considered this matter, and it struck me as more than coincidental that I should experience this trial at this time. Yet, God allowed me to be tried further. Certain nurses, whom I knew at the hospital, who worked with diabetic patients, and were involved in diabetic education, had heard about my diagnosis. They began seeking me out and urging me to go see a doctor immediately. They told me horror stories of patients who had gone blind from this disease, and others who experienced organ failure and amputated limbs. They would place brochures in my hands that proclaimed this same fearful message. These nurses told me that they had patients in the hospital at that very moment whose blood sugar level was no higher than mine, and they were on intravenous insulin drips.

When my wife learned of my condition she was no longer desirous of canceling our health insurance. It seemed that on every front I was meeting resistance to this commitment I had made before the Lord. My symptoms persisted. I was accustomed to sleeping through the night without getting up a single time, but now I was getting up five or six times a night due to my frequent need to urinate, and I would then guzzle more water to slake my thirst. I was becoming somewhat rattled in my trial, and one day while driving with my family I pulled out in front of an oncoming car that I did not see. I only avoided a collision when my wife screamed, leading me to slam on the brakes. It may have been partly due to diabetes’ negative effect on peripheral vision that I did not see the car, but it was also partially due to my own anxious state.

I spent much time thinking about this matter of trusting God for our health, and I held off from going to see a family physician. Despite all the negative pressure I was receiving, and the report of my senses, I still had a witness in the spirit that God wanted me to trust Him and cancel health insurance on our family.

As I considered it, I could go to a doctor and begin treatment for diabetes, a treatment I would most likely be on for the rest of my life, or I could cast myself wholly over onto the Lord and trust Him to bring complete healing. The prospects of being healed, when compared to lifelong diabetic management, knowing that there is no medical cure for diabetes and the condition usually worsens with age, caused me to prefer entrusting myself to God with anticipation of complete healing.

Perhaps the greatest factor that weighed in my choice to trust God was that I considered what life would be like if God could not be trusted. I considered what the years ahead would hold if I devoted my life to serving a God who would not, or could not, meet my needs. The prospect was horrendous. I decided that I would rather die of diabetes than to spend the rest of my life not knowing whether God would be there for me in my hour of greatest need. Life to me was not worth living if God could not be trusted. The only fulfillment and satisfaction I could envision in life was in entrusting myself to a heavenly Father who genuinely cared for me and who would not abandon me when I placed my life in His hands. How unbearable it seemed to me to serve a God I could not trust.

The day arrived when I could cancel health insurance with my employer, and none of the pressures arrayed against me had been removed. In this instance God would once more require obedience before His provision would be manifested. I went to the office and filled out the paperwork to cancel health insurance on my entire family. In my soul I was still experiencing some trouble, but in my spirit there was peace. I knew no censure in my spirit from the Lord. I sensed not a hint of guilt, or conviction of disobedience. The peace of God was ruling within my spirit man and leading me to understand His will.

I was very overweight at this time, being nearly 280 pounds. I had tried on numerous occasions to lose weight without success, but after canceling my health insurance the pounds began melting away with little effort at all. Over the next few months my weight dropped to 235 and all the symptoms of diabetes disappeared. No longer was I constantly thirsty. I began sleeping through the night again. My blurred vision and dizziness went away. The Lord brought a complete healing to me from the disease of diabetes.


It was in December of 1998 that I canceled this health insurance, and my family and I have been relying upon God to be our health ever since. It is now over five years later and the symptoms of diabetes have not returned, nor have any of our family members needed a doctor’s care, or a hospital visit, in this time.

In the preceding chapter I spoke of God healing my son Josiah from Osteogenesis Imperfecta. Some time after we had taken this step of faith with my son, I went into his room and I noticed his name plaque hanging on the wall. We had bought this plaque many years before, but I had never noticed the meaning it attributed to the name Josiah. Directly underneath the name Josiah were the words, “Jehovah Heals.”

God has not only proven Himself to be the health and healing of my son, but of our entire family. God has led us into this part of our inheritance called “Yawheh Rophe”  - Yahweh our Healer, and we have found that it is a good land. There were enemies that had to be driven out, but God promised to go before us, and He testified that the battle belonged to Him. We needed only to enter in by faith.

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

Parables Blog: www.parablesblog.blogspot.com    

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

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Father, Will You Heal My Son?

I was perplexed, and somewhat distraught, when I discerned that God had determined to remove the candlestick of the church I spoke of in the previous chapter. I had spent many years in this place, and had prayed and interceded fervently that the Father would raise up a people for His praise. I had expected that He would do so, and that He would use the people from this body of believers as a part of this work. The Holy Spirit led me to the following verse, which I often used as a basis for my prayers:

Isaiah 62:6-7
On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have appointed watchmen; all day and all night they will never keep silent. You who remind Yahweh, take no rest for yourselves; and give Him no rest until He establishes and makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.


Jerusalem is a type of the church, and I felt called as a watchman to cry out to Yahweh and to ask Him to make the church beautiful once more. The church had become as Jerusalem in her ruin.

Isaiah 64:10-11
Your holy cities have become a wilderness, Zion has become a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation. Our holy and beautiful house, where our fathers praised You, has been burned by fire; and all our precious things have become a ruin.

As I observed the church at large I saw that she had fallen from a great height. Her walls had been broken down, and the world was trampling her courts and filling her streets with much impurity and wickedness. The glory of the Lord had departed, and there was little faith evidenced anywhere. Few could be found who truly gave themselves to a pursuit of God. Yet I believed that Yahweh would have a righteous remnant prepared for the return of His Son, a Bride prepared without spot, or blemish. I wanted to see this people raised up, according to the words of Isaiah:


Isaiah 61:4
Then they will rebuild the ancient ruins, they will raise up the former devastations; and they will repair the ruined cities, the desolations of many generations.

I had seen one people fail due to a lack of faith. I had been ordained as an elder at this church just a few months before the end of her existence. Yet God had confirmed to me that my ordination was from Him and not from man. When I left this church God spoke to me and declared that His gifts and callings were without repentance. The Holy Spirit bore witness that I was still a minister to the body of Christ, and would remain so.

I was excited when God immediately showed us where we were to go next. He led us to a non-denominational body of believers in a nearby town. The name of this fellowship was “Living Faith,” and this was particularly encouraging to me, because I knew it would take a living faith to enter into the promises of God. While we were here God began leading our family further into the inheritance He had for us. We had already trusted Him to be our security, and now He wanted to prove Himself as our Healer.


Both my son Josiah and my daughter Kristin were born with a hereditary bone disease called Osteogenesis Imperfecta, which simply means “imperfect bone formation.” The common name for this disorder is “Brittle Bone Disease.” Kristin was born first, and she entered this world already having suffered a fracture of the thigh while in the womb. This fracture had healed by the time of her birth. She then broke three more bones by the age of two, and at one time she had both legs in a cast simultaneously. Josiah was born two years after Kristin, and he also experienced a broken bone when he was only a year old.

When our children were at this early age, someone suggested to my wife and I that we should apply for government SSI benefits for children with disabilities. We were told that these benefits would pay for all medical expenses, as well as providing a monthly stipend for the child’s support. I did not seek God’s mind on this matter. The money and the free medical care both sounded appealing, so we applied for these benefits on both of our children. Remarkably, Kristin was turned down although she had already experienced four fractures. Josiah, who had only one fracture at this time, was accepted.

God was about to demonstrate something to me through this peculiar set of circumstances. Over the course of the next six years Josiah was to break eleven more bones, and have surgery twice to put a bone in place. Kristin, who had been turned down for these government benefits, never suffered another fracture. By the age of seven Tony and I had been in and out of hospitals and doctors’ offices regularly. We were continually taking Josiah to receive medical care for his many broken bones. The knowledge that I was not having to pay a dime for Josiah’s medical care provided little consolation to me, neither did the fact that I was getting three to four hundred dollars a month for his support. My heart was burdened for my son.

It does not take much for a child with this disease to injure himself. On one occasion, when Josiah was about three or four years old, he was in the doctor’s office and had just gotten a cast off of his leg. When the doctor stepped out of the room for a minute, Josiah got up to walk over to a nearby trash can, and he fell down right before he got there. Tony recognized the tone of Josiah’s crying and knew that he had broken another bone. The doctor came back in and she told him what had happened. He agreed to x-ray him, and he found that he had fractured the same leg in a different location. The doctor was amazed, saying that he had never had a patient break a bone while in the office.

Seeing my son endure so many injuries was tearing at my heart. I knew that every time Josiah was in a cast that his muscles would grow weaker and this would compound the problem, for the muscles provided support to the bones. If both the muscles and bones were weak he would injure himself much more.

Josiah was seven years old when we began fellowshipping at Living Faith. I had often prayed for my son before, but on one particular day I really poured my heart out. I told God that I wanted my son to be able to play like other boys. I wanted him to be able to ride bikes, and play on trampolines, and play ball without breaking his bones. I wanted him to be able to have fun with the other young boys, and not have to hobble along on crutches, looking at the others play while he stood watching. God spoke to me on this day and He said, “I will heal your son, but you will have to trust me completely and not lean on any other for His healing.”


A number of thoughts began to come to my mind. I was reminded that since my daughter had been turned down for SSI benefits that she had not broken another bone, but Josiah, having the benefits, continued breaking multiple bones each year. Now, I suppose some could have looked at this and said, “See, God knew which child would break the bones, so He gave you medical benefits for that child.” This, however, was not what I was discerning in the spirit. I believed God had orchestrated this matter to demonstrate to me that when we lean on the arm of man we will have to depend upon that which we place our trust in. He was speaking to me that if I would cancel all SSI health benefits on my son that He would become his source of health, and He would heal Josiah even as He had healed my daughter.

Man offered no cure for this bone disease. All man could do was patch my son up every time he hurt himself. I much preferred that God should heal Josiah, than that I should receive free medical care every time he injured himself. To the natural mind what God was asking us to do seemed like pure folly. Josiah was freshly out of a cast, and had experienced two fractures that year. These government SSI benefits were hard to get, and many people employed the use of lawyers to attain them. Yet we were to cancel our benefits on Josiah and then trust God to heal him.

I knew this was the way God worked, for He had already revealed to me the principle of placing your feet firmly in the water before seeing His provision. God gave us one more encouragement in this matter. Our finances were fairly tight, and I would be losing about $400 a month in income. At this time the ministers of Living Faith had come to me and said that the Spirit had indicated that they were to ordain me as an elder and pastor among them, and they offered to pay me $100 dollars a week.

I really did not struggle much in making this decision, for I had a strong witness of what God had spoken to me. When I shared these things with Tony she also was willing, so we took the step of calling the SSI offices and canceling Josiah’s benefits. The SSI staff could not understand why we would turn down these coveted benefits, and they tried to talk Tony and I into delaying our decision. We were adamant, however, knowing what God required of us. We terminated benefits on our son.


When I was praying about this matter, the Lord told me that I would not need to baby my son. I felt that I was to instruct Josiah to ride bikes, play on trampolines, roughhouse with the boys, and play ball, while trusting God to protect him. I had to coax my wife some in this, for she was still leery of his injuring himself, but I believed God would prove Himself faithful in what He had spoken to me. I had asked Him to let my son play as other young boys did, and I trusted Him to keep Josiah safe in all of these activities.

Josiah is now fourteen years old, and he has not broken another bone. Kristin also has remained break free during this time. I have seen Josiah take some terrible spills on bicycles, which would have certainly resulted in fractures before, but he has come away with only scrapes and bruises. When I think of what God has done for my son my eyes well up with tears. Our Father in heaven is so merciful and compassionate to us. When we ask for bread, He will not give us a stone. When we ask for a fish, He will not give us a serpent.

God will ask us to do things that appear risky, or even downright foolish, to the natural mind. He has always done so with His children. He requires faith to be manifested on our part before He will reveal His provision. Great are the rewards for those who believe. It was not to be long before God would lead us to a greater dependence upon Him in the area of health, and we would once more see Him do awesome things.

---

This writing is from the book Evidence of Things Unseen:

http://www.heart4god.ws/evidence-of-things-unseen.htm

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

Parables Blog: www.parablesblog.blogspot.com    

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

Monday, February 19, 2018

17 Killed in Mass Shooting at High School in Parkland, Florida

Joseph Herrin (02-19-2018)


Another shooting. The question for Americans is whom should they place the blame on? They are given no time to consider for the corporate media is quick to tell them. They are told via the corporate media to place the blame upon gun laws that allowed Nikolas Cruz, a 19 year old, mentally handicapped, youth to purchase an AR-15 style assault weapon. Mr. Cruz is stated to be mentally handicapped, a truth that is made evident by his casual slaughter of students and teachers at the High School, and his undisturbed appearance at his arrest. Of course he is not the one who shot the students. The true shooter was a professional who works for the government and who is hidden by the media.

Let us look at a few aspects of this shooting which tell the truth. Nikolas Cruz is said to have escaped the scene by ditching his gun and vest and mixing in with the High School students.

He eventually discarded the rifle, a vest and ammunition in a stairwell, blended in with fleeing students and got away, the authorities said.
[https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/15/us/florida-shooting.html]

After leaving the school it was as if he forgot about what he had just done and he went and visited a store and some restaurants. Then he went on a walk through a residential neighborhood where he was subsequently arrested.

After leaving the school, Mr. Cruz walked to a Walmart, and bought a drink at a Subway. He also stopped at a McDonald’s. He was arrested by the police without incident as he walked down a residential street at 3:41 p.m.

“He looked like a typical high school student, and for a quick moment I thought, could this be the person who I need to stop?” said Officer Michael Leonard.
[https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/15/us/florida-shooting.html]


Nikolas Cruz

For a mentally disturbed person this 19 year old acted both extremely savvy and ridiculously obtuse. Why discard the rifle, vest, and ammunition if you are going to go to a Walmart, a Subway, and a McDonalds, and then walk through a neighborhood like a normal High School student? Plus, none of the students at the school recognized him, and every person that had a chance to see him was killed. The long and short of it was that this 19 year old man they arrested was not the shooter. He was merely a good patsy for this latest shooting in America. It is not the first time a mentally disturbed person was chosen for the scapegoat in a shooting.


James Holmes - Supposed Batman Shooter

James Holmes was a similar person. Despite the fact that many people in the theater said they saw multiple shooters, the police arrested this guy who was left outside the emergency exit of the theater.

Another thing is that the High School students are being trotted out as anti-gun advocates. This is again in keeping with the political will of those who have been calling for further restrictions upon gun rights. As a Christian I have no personal ambitions for guns. I am aware of the Scripture that states, “Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword” (Matthew 26:52).

For those who are interested, I have a series of three teachings on the Christians attitude toward weapons. They are:

Grab Your Gun Jesus
http://parablesblog.blogspot.com/2013/01/the-great-gun-grab.html

Gun Ownership and the Mind of Christ
http://parablesblog.blogspot.com/2013/01/gun-ownership-and-mind-of-christ.html

Waco, Texas and The Weapons of Our Warfare
http://parablesblog.blogspot.com/2013/01/waco-texas-and-weapons-of-our-warfare.html

Another telltale sign concerning this event is that the supposed shooter’s mother died this past year. As a result he was staying with a family by the name of the Snead’s. The papers reported the following.

On Wednesday, Mr. Cruz and the Sneads’ son were texting until 2:18 p.m., Mr. Lewis said — about five minutes before the first 911 calls about the shooting. “But there was nothing crazy in the texts,” Mr. Lewis said.

So, five minutes before the shooting Nikolas Cruz, the supposed shooter, is carrying on normal text
with his friend. The conversation is said to be normal. There is no mention of guns, or shooting, or anger. The news has the following statement by the Snead family.

The Sneads said that Cruz seemed depressed, but they did not sense, as others have said, that Cruz was someone likely to be a school shooter.

"Everything everybody seems to know, we didn't know," James Snead told the Sun Sentinel. "It's as simple as that."

When Cruz moved into their home they had to teach him basic needs, including how to cook, use the microwave, do laundry and pick up after himself, the Sneads said...

The Sneads allowed Cruz to bring his firearms into the home, but they made him buy a locking gun safe, they told the Sun Sentinel. James Snead thought he had the only key to the safe, but he now believes Cruz kept one for himself, he told the paper.

They said they told Cruz he needed to ask permission to take out the guns.

"This family did what they thought was right, which was take in a troubled kid and try to help him, and that doesn't mean he can't bring his stuff into their house," Lewis, their attorney, told CNN.

"They had it locked up and believed that that was going to be sufficient, that there wasn't going to be a problem," Lewis added. "Nobody saw this kind of aggression or motive in this kid, that he would ever do anything like this."
[https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/18/us/florida-shooting-cruz-family/index.html]

One thing that is a similarity to the Church shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas is that the shootings took place from outside the classrooms, but the students were inside the classrooms. None of the students ever came face to face with the shooter.


Government Massacre in Sutherland Springs
http://parablesblog.blogspot.com/2017/11/government-massacre-in-sutherland.html

Finally, the comments of Sheriff Israel when talking about the shooting is a plea for the ability to detain (arrest) people over social media posts. They want to give the people into the hands of psychiatrists who will determine their ability to be out in public.

https://youtu.be/LIyHkKHFffM



Consequently, what you have seen in Parkland, Florida is another government frame-up of a low IQ person. The government, with the assistance of the mainstream media, is deceiving the people. It is my hope that you will walk with your eyes open, knowing that we have an adversary who deceives the people of the whole world.

Revelation 12:9
So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world.

Remember, the two sources quoted for information on the Parkland shooting are The New York Times and CNN. There are no less dependable news sources available today.

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

Parables Blog: www.parablesblog.blogspot.com    

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

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Vulnerability Salesman


It is the will of God that all of His children should live their lives being led by the Spirit, rather than by their senses and natural reason. The apostle Paul wrote:

Romans 8:14
For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

Our senses and our rational mind will not lead us to the will of God. They stand as an obstacle to a true walk of faith, in most instances. It was in 1996 that we moved to the house in Fort Valley with the security system. We were still attending the Southern Baptist church where I first heard the message of grace, but the pastor who had been instrumental in teaching this message had recently left this church to pursue other ministry. This church went through a period of about two years when they had no pastor, although God had sent the man whom He desired to step into this role before Mac Goddard had even left.

Leon Nelson was a godly minister, passionate about God, and a man of faith. He also happened to be black. Mac Goddard had invited him to come preach to the body on several occasions before he left, and his messages were very challenging, for he proclaimed a message of a vital faith that would make a difference in the saints’ daily lives. Leon was asked to come and preach regularly at the Sunday evening services, and, after Mac Goddard departed from this church, the elders decided to continue the invitation for Leon to do so.

The elders began looking for a minister to replace Mac Goddard immediately, and Leon Nelson’s name was brought up for consideration. It was difficult not to consider him, for the timing of his appearance, and the departure of Mac Goddard, seemed more than coincidental. This church, however, was almost completely composed of white members, and in the state of Georgia many people are not indifferent to the color of another man’s skin. Although such things as race should make absolutely no difference in the consideration of a man’s suitability for ministry (there are NO Scriptures that list being a member of a particular race as a qualification for ministry), we would be very naive to believe that prejudices do not exist within the church.

At one time I was naive to such things. I do not ever remember my parents speaking a word of prejudice about a man’s skin color while I was growing up. I was raised in the suburbs of Portland, Oregon, and I had almost no exposure to people who were colored. In my freshman year of high school I attended one of the largest schools in Oregon, which at one time had nearly 4,000 students. During my freshman year there were only four black students in the entire school. Race simply wasn’t an issue in the area in which we lived, or in our home, so when we moved the next year to Georgia I had no anticipation that others would feel differently.

I noticed almost immediately upon arriving in Georgia that there were some people who expressed deep racial prejudices. Yet, for a time I thought it was lost people, who were strangers to the love of Christ, who alone were prejudiced, and I did not expect to find this same bias in the church. During my senior year in High School we were attending the First Baptist Church in the Georgia town we lived in, and there was a traditionally black college in the town. The assistant pastor of this church was a young man, and perhaps he was a bit naive at the time as well. He began visiting with some foreign students at this college and asked them if they would like to attend Sunday School at the church. A couple of young black men from Nigeria declared that they would like to do so.

I went with this assistant pastor to pick up these students a couple of times, and then he asked me if I would do so by myself, saying that he had some other things he must do. I remember the first time I pulled into the church parking lot at this white Baptist church, and got out of my car with these two young men. Other church members stared at us, and some even pointed. I did not understand why they were doing so. During the church service I sat on a pew with these two men, and nobody else in the church would sit with us.


I did not realize that there was a reason for this the first time it happened. When it happened again the next Sunday understanding began to dawn upon me. The pew we were sitting in was right in the middle of the sanctuary, and the pews all around us were filled, but here we were sitting on one end of our pew, taking up perhaps one fifth of its space, and the other four fifths were vacant. Only then did the thought come to me that there were some in this church who did not like the fact that there were blacks present. My eyes were opened to the fact that professing Christians could be just as prejudiced as those outside the church.

What a shame this seemed to me, for I truly enjoyed fellowship with these young men I was bringing to church. They seemed to have a real sincere love for the Lord. I saw no basis for a child of God to be entertaining any thoughts of racial prejudice. It seemed to me to be absolutely absurd. One might just as well reject another man based upon their shoe size as their skin color.

That such prejudices exist in the church strikes me as one of the greatest failings in this hour of apostasy. It was many years later when I met Leon Nelson, and I was immediately challenged by this man’s zeal for the Lord, and in my spirit I felt a kinship. His Sunday evening messages were something I looked forward to greatly. I am convinced that God brought Leon to this church to step into the role vacated by Mac Goddard. Mac had taught the church a message of grace that led them from the bondage of Egypt into the wilderness, and Leon was God’s chosen servant to lead them through the wilderness and into the land of their inheritance.

Leon lived a life of faith, and faith is necessary to enter into one’s inheritance in Christ. Without faith the saints will perish in desert places. The church searched and searched for a replacement minister, and all the time God had placed him right under their noses. No one could be found to step into this role, and they would not ask Leon to do it. Leon was allowed to preach on Sunday nights, but it was as if there was some unwritten code that prevented him from being asked to preach during the morning service.

To be sure, Leon’s race was not the only thing that kept him from being considered for the role of pastor for this body. His message of faith, and his sober words calling the saints to walk with integrity before God, hearing from the Spirit and doing exactly what the Spirit commanded, were intimidating to many in the congregation. There were many among this body who simply recoiled at the thought of following God wherever He would lead them. Like the Israelites who were daunted by the giants in the land, by the walled cities and the many strongholds, so too did many in this body shrink back from the command to go in and take possession of the land.


I Corinthians 10:1-6
For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and all ate the same spiritual food; and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased; for they were laid low in the wilderness. Now these things happened as examples for us...

Hebrews 10:38
But My righteous one shall live by faith; and if he shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him.

For the space of two years the leaders of this church looked for a replacement minister without any success, and for this same two years they would not recognize the minister God had brought to them. God is patient with us, and bears long with us, but when we are determined to have our way instead of His, eventually He will relent.

Psalms 106:13-15
They did not wait for His counsel, but lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tested God in the desert. He gave them their desire, but sent leanness into their soul.

This body of believers wanted a minister who was more like them. Even as the Israelites rebelled against Moses, the man whom God had selected, and put forth Korah and Dathan and Abiram to lead them, this body of believers was eventually given a man to lead them who would not challenge them in the way Leon had, nor firmly admonish them for their failures.

After two years of searching, this body found a man to their liking. This man’s first name was Steve. The Lord allowed me to have a close relationship with this man, and, after he had been at this church for about a year, he asked me to accompany him on an overnight trip. We shared a room together and were able to express things that were on our hearts.

Steve had a wife and three children, and they were all living in small rented quarters. He shared with me that he had a desire to purchase a house in Fort Valley, which was closer to the church, but he had been holding off because he was unsure of his future, and the future of the church. His decision to remain in his small rented quarters was arrived at by examining things with his senses and making a rational decision that he felt was the safe course.


The Spirit strongly convicted me that Steve’s decision was carnal, and that if he did not have faith for God to do a work through this body of believers, that as a shepherd of the people he would be unable to lead them into the things God had for them. The Spirit showed me that the issue of the house that Steve desired, but would not purchase, was something God had brought before him in order to reveal the unbelief in his heart. If he could not trust God to work through this people, and this lack of trust was keeping him from purchasing the home he desired, then his unbelief would have a disastrous effect upon his ministry to the body. He would be halted between two opinions, never willing to place both feet in the water while looking to God to do the miraculous.

The Spirit led me to share with Steve concerning these things, and Steve began to feel the conviction of the Spirit. Not long afterwards he came to me and shared that the Spirit had convicted him in this matter, and that he had decided, as an act of faith in God’s desire and willingness to work through this people, to buy a house in the community. He was excited about this decision because it was a desire of his heart to have a home, and he felt keenly that the Spirit had indicated this to be His will.

The Spirit led him to a beautiful house in a nice neighborhood. The house was a dream home to him, far beyond what he had expected to find. I was myself amazed at the house and the yard, for it was very scenic with ancient oaks on the property, and in a quiet neighborhood. As he spoke to the realtor, the owners, and the bank, Steve found that he had just enough money to close on the house and take possession of it. However, God had a test for him before he was able to do so.

On the day before he was to meet with the bank and close on the house, the realtor called Steve and told him that a mistake had been made on the paperwork, and he would have to come up with several thousand more dollars than he had been told. Steve did not have the money, having already pledged all that he had available. He was brought to a crisis of faith. Would he be daunted by the obstacle that his senses were reporting to him, or would he believe the witness of the Spirit, that God had called him to purchase this house and would go before Him?

Steve was not accustomed to walking by faith, and his confidence in God’s love and character were weak. He shared with me that he drove out to the church that evening, which was out in the countryside, and he parked there and got out of his car and began to rail against God. He accused God of deceiving him, of bringing him to a place of having his hopes built up, only to dash them at the end. He shouted out many words of unbelief and shook his fist at the heavens. Steve shared with me that he was tempted to get in his car and drive away, leaving behind the church, his calling as a pastor, and his confession of God.


The next day Steve went to the closing at the appointed time, expecting to be given the news that he could not take possession of the house. However, God worked it out where the owners and realtor absorbed part of the extra cost, and Steve was able to sign the papers on the house and move in. God had already determined how He would work things out and fulfill His words to this pastor, yet he failed to trust God. As God does with His children, time after time, He brought Steve to a test to reveal what was in his heart.

When I heard the account of what had happened I was reminded of the Israelites at the Red Sea, and how they had brought a reproach against God by asking, “Did you bring us out here to kill us because there were not enough graves in Egypt?” Great was God’s displeasure over this pastor’s lack of faith in His character. The Spirit spoke to me and told me that He had rejected Steve as the one to lead His people into the plans He had for them, and it was not long afterwards that God removed him.

I felt much grief in my heart when I learned of Steve’s charges against God, and of his great failure of faith. Such things do not happen in a moment of time, but they are the fruit of a life that consistently fails to trust God in one matter after another. God will test all of His children in the wilderness that He might see what is in their hearts.

Deuteronomy 8:2
You shall remember all the way which Yahweh your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart...

I lost track of Steve for a number of years after he left this church, though I had heard that he had gotten a pastor’s position in another town and had eventually moved there. He has since left there also, and about a year ago I ran into him again. Steve stopped by our home one day, but not to visit, for he had no idea it was our house he was at. He had taken a job selling home security systems, and he knocked on our door to see if he could sell us one.


I found it ironic that a man who had been called as a minister of God would fall so far from a walk of faith that he was now making a living by convincing others that they could find security in the arm of the flesh. When he had been called to lead men and women to trust God in their daily lives, declaring to them that God was a present help in time of trouble, a refuge and a strong tower in time of need, he had now given up any pretense of leading others to manifest such a faith in God. He was going door to door with his message of trust in the security man offered.

Recently, God has shown me that my calling is the opposite of being a security salesman. He has called me to be a vulnerability salesman. I am to urge men and women to follow the Spirit into areas of great risk in the natural. I am to exhort them to cast all upon God, and to lean entirely upon Him in times of need. The call of a minister is to lead the saints to a walk of faith, where they trust in the words of an invisible God more than they trust in the report of their senses.

Hebrews 11:1
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Hebrews 11:6
But without faith it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to Him. For whoever would come near to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He is the rewarder of those who earnestly and diligently seek Him [out].
(Amplified Bible)

God has set a good and pleasant land before each of His children. He must take us through the wilderness to arrive there. He will test our hearts to see whether we will trust in Him. If He finds faith in our hearts, even as He did in the hearts of Caleb and Joshua, then He will certainly bring us into this good land. Even if the generation around us perishes, those who trust God will enter into the promises of God by faith.

God has told us in His Word what this land before us is. He is Himself our inheritance. His names describe the land before us. He is Yahweh Yireh, Yahweh our provider and source of provision. He is Yahweh Rophe, Yahweh our healer and fountain of health. He is Yahweh Shalom, Yahweh our peace. He is also salvation, and righteousness, and He invites all of His children to know Him in fulness. He invites us to enter into the land before us, but it can only be possessed by those who walk by faith, and who do not shrink back from the giants in the land.
Many saints have viewed this land from a distance, but have not yet begun to enter in. Many will not enter in because of unbelief. As the Psalmist stated:

Psalms 106:24-26
Then they despised the pleasant land; they did not believe in His word, but grumbled in their tents; they did not listen to the voice of Yahweh. Therefore He swore to them that He would cast them down in the wilderness...

The church of which I spoke that would not accept God’s minister and leadership for them, but chose instead a man who would not lead them in the way of faith, is no longer in existence. In the space of a few short years it went from around one hundred and fifty in attendance to twenty. Ichabod (the glory has departed) was written by the Spirit over its doors, and its candlestick was removed. Before it closed God spoke to me and said, “Any who desire to go on with Me, by faith, into the land before them will be permitted to do so. I will not disqualify any person due to the unbelief of others.” In the following chapters you will read of our next steps as we were led forth of the Spirit to enter into the good land before us.
---
Chapter from Evidence of Things Unseen

http://www.heart4god.ws/evidence-of-things-unseen.htm

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

Parables Blog: www.parablesblog.blogspot.com    

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

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Mercy Amidst Discipline

Joseph Herrin

An interesting thing occurred during our move to this house that I spoke of in the last chapter, the house with the security system. I had felt for some time that God would move us to this town which was called Fort Valley, and I had mentioned it to my wife some years earlier.


We were home owners previous to this move, having lived in a small, but new home that had been built for us six years earlier in Perry, Georgia. It was at this home in Perry that I had been disciplined by God for my covetousness and financial debt, and it was also here that I had gone into debt again and purchased a brand new Mazda pick-up truck. I had converted a garage at this house into a family room, doing all the work myself, but spending a lot of money in the process, money which I did not have, but had to borrow. One of the reasons we were selling the home was to pay down our debts, which were starting to become burdensome again.

I had already taken some steps to reduce our debt. The pick-up truck that I felt I just had to have, I kept for only a couple years, and then I traded it on a used Geo Tracker. I loved the Tracker. It was a little, sporty, four wheel drive vehicle with a removable soft top. I loved driving it around with the top off, enjoying the Georgia sunshine and the fresh air. The Tracker was much less expensive than the pick-up, and I was able to pay for it in full and get a clear title to it. We had a second car at this time which we were making payments on.

Our house in Perry sold after being on the market for only thirteen days. We also got our full asking price for the house, and when we had paid off the debt incurred in remodeling the garage we had about $6,000 to place as a down payment on another home.

We began looking for homes immediately, and through a strange chain of events we learned of a house that had been for sale for some time. Thieves had stolen the for sale sign out of the front yard, and the owner never had the sign replaced. There was no evidence that this home was even for sale. We contacted the owner, and he had already reduced the price tremendously, for the home market was depressed in this particular town, with many homes for sale and few buyers. We made an even lower bid, offering what we thought we could afford, using our $6,000 as a down payment, and amazingly to us, our offer was accepted.

Since we had to be out of our home in Perry, as it had already sold, the owner of this home in Fort Valley agreed to let us move in before we closed on the property, and to pay rent until the closing date. God had given me a very strong witness of His will for us to be here, and He had gone before us up to this point. I knew we were to move in, although I had no idea how I was going to come up with the closing costs, which included appraisal fees, termite inspection, surveying costs, bank loan processing fees, and attorney fees. All told, our portion amounted to about $3,600.

I was placing myself in a very vulnerable position by moving in ahead of the closing date, for it would be a great embarrassment to arrive at this date and not have the money on hand to pay these fees. Since I would already be in the house, I ran the risk of being asked to vacate with no idea of where I would go from there. On top of this, my mother lived just two doors down from this house, and she worked at a local manufacturing company in the same department with the man who owned the house.

My mother became rather agitated when she found I had set a closing date, and had moved in without having the money on hand to pay the closing costs. She said that I would surely embarrass her greatly when that date came. I told her that God had confirmed to me that we were to move here, and I was confident that when the date came I would have the money in hand.

My confidence remained high, and as the days ticked by I was looking daily for God’s provision. When we came to within a week of the closing date, and I still did not have the money, I then began to experience some troubling of my soul. On the day before the closing date I still did not have the money and the thought came to me that I should go and see what I could get for my beloved Tracker. I was in some perplexity at this time, and did not know if this was the voice of God, or if I should stand in faith looking for some other provision. In the end I decided to go and see what a dealer would give me for the vehicle.


The dealer I took my Tracker to checked the vehicle over thoroughly and then offered me $3,600 for it. This was the exact amount I needed for closing on the house. I accepted the offer and then called my wife to pick me up. The next day we used this money to close on the house. I struggled for a while with thoughts of whether God would have manifested some other provision if I had not sold the Tracker, but over time I became convinced that it was God’s will for me to sell this vehicle. I came to understand it as part of His discipline for my having gone back into debt again by buying the pick-up truck.

God began showing me a pattern of His dealing with me at this time. Before I had converted the garage into a family room at our previous home, I had bought a new ping pong table from Sears and set it up in the garage. I purchased the table on credit, and God never let me enjoy it. The garage was not air conditioned, and it was too hot during most of the year to be out in the garage without the door being opened. Our driveway was sloped, and every time the ping pong ball would go out the door, which was often, we would have to chase it all the way down to the road. Added to this, the Holy Spirit would bring me conviction about my sin of buying this item through debt, and this conviction took all the enjoyment out of the game. In the end, the Spirit showed me that the only thing I could do was to get rid of the table because it had been bought through disobedience. I ended up giving it to a church for their youth group to use.

As I mentioned, I later converted this garage into a family room, and it turned out more remarkable than I could have imagined. It was simply beautiful. I put in a designer ceiling, and a ceiling fan, with air conditioning vents in this room. We insulated everything and put up some lovely paneling on two of the walls, with sconce lighting fixtures that I had long admired. On the third wall, where the large garage door had been, my wife and I hung a wallpaper mural over the entire wall that depicted a grist mill in the mountains of North Carolina with a flowing stream and autumn colors in the trees. We put down linoleum on the floor, and we even installed a propane fireplace with a beautiful mantel along one wall. Capping this off, I had installed wiring for a stereo and had wall-mounted some Bose mini-cube speakers that provided awesome sound. Across the back of this room I had installed full length accordion doors to divide between the family room and the utility room where the washer and dryer were located, and in the doorway leading from the house to the garage I had installed a swinging door with a stained glass window.


I had never done such beautiful work in my life, and once more God would not let me enjoy it because I had paid for it all by applying for a credit line at a local hardware superstore. The room had only been finished a short time when God’s Spirit told me I was going to have to sell the house. Now, if the room had turned out poorly I would not have minded. But it was absolutely gorgeous. The mural itself was breathtaking and people would ooh and ahh when they walked into the room. God in His wisdom knows just how to discipline His children, and this child of His was not permitted to enjoy the fruits of disobedience. All my labor went to another man to enjoy. When God had me sell my pick-up truck, and then my Tracker, this pattern was continued. Those things purchased through debt and disobedience He would not allow me to keep and enjoy.

Even though God’s hand of discipline was upon me at this time, so too was His hand of mercy and grace. Although I had to sell the house I had fixed up, He had another house prepared for us, and He provided just the amount of money we needed to move in. With His grace came some discipline, and the vehicle I loved was part of the price.

I was learning lessons through all these things, and I was seeing how important were both faith and obedience. When God wanted to lead us into some new thing He would require faith on our part. For every act of disobedience He would also administer His discipline. How wise a Father He is. He does not allow His children to run around uncontrolled without disciplining them. As Paul wrote:

Hebrews 12:8-10
But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness.

Is it not a great manifestation of unbelief that so many Christians call God their “Father,” but they do not believe He disciplines them? What kind of a Father would He be if He did not discipline His children? What would we think of a man who let his children run around like a bunch of hellions without ever correcting them? We would not think very well of such a man. It does not speak well of many Christians’ conception of God when they do not recognize, or admit, His hand of discipline in their lives.


One thing I was to learn clearly in upcoming months and years was that, even when God disciplines us, He does not abandon us. I would not be a very good father if I told my children that they would no longer be given food, clothing, or a place to sleep while they were under my discipline for some infraction. No! I might put them on restriction, or give them a paddling, or ask them to make some type of restitution for their transgressions, but I would not withhold from them that which is necessary for them to live. Neither has God ever withheld any necessary thing from us during the times of our discipline.

Saints, I want to encourage you all to consider this. God is a much better Father than we are, yet Satan loves to torment us with thoughts that God has totally forsaken us due to some transgression. This is pure balderdash. There is not a thread of truth in it, yet I myself have spent many a worrisome day wondering whether God was still with me, filled with concern as to whether He would provide the necessities of life for my family and I. Listen to the words of Scripture:

Romans 8:15-16
For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!" The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God...

Galatians 4:6-7
Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!" Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son...

We are sons! Because we are sons our Father disciplines us. He does so because He loves us.

Hebrews 12:6
For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives.

When we are experiencing the chastening hand of God, Satan will come to us and say, “God hates you. You offended Him now, and He has abandoned you completely.” What a pack of lies! We should expect such deceit from the father of lies, but we should not believe him. Certainly, if we do not respond with humble obedience to God’s chastening, He will have to increase the severity of it, but He will never remove His love from us.

I love my son Josiah. He is now fourteen years old, and he is very precious in my sight. At times Josiah does things that require that I correct him. Because I love him and desire that he should fulfill God’s purpose that he should be conformed to the image of Christ, I must discipline him. At times he has continued in sin after being corrected, and I have had to discipline him further. The thought has never come into my mind that I should disown him, nor have I ever desired to treat him with indifference, or cruelty. I would always be delighted to see within him signs of repentance and sorrow over his sin, and my heart is to respond toward him in a way that will result in his greatest good. This too is the heart of our Heavenly Father.


Do not misunderstand me. There is a sin unto death, and Paul wrote to the Corinthian believers about some who had died due to their continuing in sin. Yet even this is an act of mercy on the part of God. To allow a son who is unrepentant in his sin, after many chastisements and much discipline, to continue bringing reproach to God and condemnation upon himself, would not be merciful or loving. Paul wrote of one such man among the saints at Corinth.

I Corinthians 5:5
I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Yahshua.

Notice that Paul’s judgment is severe, but his goal is salvation. So too does God discipline us and, if we respond with a humble and repentant heart, then He is able to relent of the severity of the judgment against us. This was the case with this man, for Paul wrote of him again in his next epistle to the church at Corinth.

II Corinthians 2:6-8
Sufficient for such a one is this punishment which was inflicted by the majority, so that on the contrary you should rather forgive and comfort him, otherwise such a one might be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. Wherefore I urge you to reaffirm your love for him.

We must all, as children of God, be partakers of His discipline. How wonderful when we recognize the discipline when it comes. Do not think that because you are under God’s discipline that He has forsaken you. No! He is watching you intensely, as a Father watches a son, to see if there is repentance and godly sorrow resulting from the chastisement. We are never more loved than when God disciplines us, for if we did not receive discipline it would be a sign that we are illegitimate children. Discipline is a sign of sonship. Let us shout out gladly when we are being scourged by God, “Hallelujah, I am a son!”
---
This is an extract from the book Evidence of Things Unseen.

http://www.heart4god.ws/evidence-of-things-unseen.htm

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

Parables Blog: www.parablesblog.blogspot.com    

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

Monday, February 12, 2018

Faith’s First Steps

Joseph Herrin


Before going forward chronologically in the story of our encounters with Christ, I must first go backward and share some things that are necessary in order to understand that which follows.

While I was still in my twenties, and fellowshipping at the church where I first learned the message of grace, the Spirit began to reveal a truth that was to profoundly affect my future walk with the Lord. He showed me through the types of the Old Testament that His salvation is a free gift, and even as Moses (who is a type of Christ) delivered the children of Israel from their cruel bondage and servitude in Egypt without their having to do anything other than place the blood of a lamb on the doorposts and lintels of their homes, so too God provided salvation to us as a free gift that we cannot earn, but which we merely receive.

Under Moses, the Israelites were set free from their taskmasters, and through Christ, those who believe on His name are set free from the bondage of sin. The faith of many of the Israelites was very weak, for they had been slaves in Egypt for hundreds of years. The faith of many saints is also very weak, for they have known only bondage to sin. Because of this slave mentality, many feel that they should not dare think themselves to be truly free of sin’s hold upon them. Thus we see that when the Egyptians pursued Israel in the wilderness, that many among the Israelites doubted. They thought that the Egyptians would re-capture them, killing great numbers of them in the process. Even so, many Christians upon being freed from sin’s bondage then doubt their freedom and begin to think that sin will once more gain dominion over them.

The Christian life is by necessity a life of faith. We not only begin in faith, but we must continue in faith. In the beginning of our life in Christ God seemingly tolerates doubting much more than He does later on. The ideal of God is that our faith should grow, and never stop increasing. Yet this ideal is not always met. The Israelites, having seen God perform wonder after wonder in Egypt, culminating in the death of the firstborn of all Egypt, both of men and cattle, still doubted that God would bring them to a fulness of salvation, and a complete deliverance from Egypt. When they stood before the waters of the Red Sea with the Egyptian army behind them and mountains to the left and right, they murmured against God. They said, “Did Yahweh bring us out here to kill us because there were not enough graves in Egypt?”


God was neither glorified, nor pleased with this faithless response. Nevertheless, He delivered the people in spite of their murmurings. Moses spoke to the people, commanding them to be quiet, to “stand still and see the salvation of your God.” Moses then stretched forth his staff and the waters of the Red Sea parted and all Israel crossed over on dry land. We see that God was willing at this point in His relationship with Israel to manifest His provision for them before they demonstrated an attitude of faith. The people crossed through the Sea after they saw it part. Thus God manifested His provision without first requiring faith in the hearts of those He was saving.

We must keep in mind that Israel did not enter into the land of promise at this time. They only crossed over into the wilderness of Sin. So too God will bring many of His doubting children out of Egypt and into a wilderness of testing and trials, but He will not allow them to depart this wilderness while still filled with doubts and unbelief. Many Christians spend their entire lives in the wilderness, and perish there just as an entire generation of unbelieving Israelites did.

God does require faith from those who would enter into their promised inheritance. We see then, that when the people under Joshua entered the land God promised to Abraham, that God did not part the waters of the Jordan and then invite them to pass through as He had done at the Red Sea. No! He required that they take the first step, demonstrating faith before He would manifest His provision.

Joshua 3:13
"It shall come about when the soles of the feet of the priests who carry the ark of Yahweh, the Lord of all the earth, rest in the waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan will be cut off, and the waters which are flowing down from above will stand in one heap."

God may allow murmuring Christians, filled with doubts and unbelief, to go as far as the wilderness where their hearts are proven, but He will not allow these same doubters to enter into the land of promise. Only those who walk by faith, and who demonstrate confidence in their Savior, can enter there. God will only reveal His way into the land to those who step forth in faith. In the wilderness the saints learn to no longer live by sight, and to no longer lean on the arm of the flesh. Here they learn to receive their daily provision from God’s hand, and they learn to lean completely upon Him. When they learn the lessons of trusting God well enough, then they are led up out of the wilderness and into their inheritance.

Song of Solomon 8:5
"Who is this coming up from the wilderness leaning on her beloved?"

All those who come up out of the wilderness must be leaning solidly upon Christ. This knowledge that faith was necessary in order to go on with the Lord began to dawn on me while I was a member of this Southern Baptist church where the message of grace was preached so vigorously. I observed many profound things while there. I saw many who grasped a message of salvation by grace through faith who became confident that they were saved from wrath and were children of God. Continuing the type from Egypt, they applied the blood of the Lamb to their lives, and felt secure from the death angel. Yet few demonstrated a practical faith that would have an observable impact upon their daily lives. They trusted God with their eternal salvation, but they did not trust God for their present needs. They were wilderness wanderers, and they were all dying in this land of unbelief.

I began to understand that God would test all of His children in the wilderness, to know what was in their hearts. Those who had faith in their hearts would be brought into their inheritance, while those who did not would perish in the wilderness. What is the means of this testing? It is the same as that experienced by the Israelites in the wilderness. God will test us in the physical circumstances of our lives. We can confess loudly and fervently that we trust God for our salvation, and for eternal life in heaven, but God wants to know if we will trust Him now by placing our lives firmly into His care.


It was while we were among these Christians that God first began to challenge our family to trust Him for things that men often look to others to provide. One early challenge He gave us was to trust Him for our security. We moved to a town near the church. My wife had told me she would never move to this town, for she had heard that there was much crime there. There was a security system in the house, and when we moved in my wife asked me if she could get it activated by taking out a contract with a security company. I neglected to pray about this situation, and wishing to please my wife, who did agree to move to this town with me, I gave her my consent.

In our bedroom was a panel with lights that monitored all of the zones in the house. They were green when all was okay, and red when an alarm had been tripped. I did not know that my wife was lying awake night after night staring at the panel in fear that one of the lights would change from green to red. About a month after moving in, my wife and I were alone in the house, having sent our children to stay with some neighbors for the night. About 3 AM one of the alarm sensors tripped and a light went from green to red. Right outside our bedroom, on the outside of the house, was an alarm, and I had never heard it before. It was like a claxon siren that might announce a bombing raid, or the approach of a tornado. It was horrendously loud; loud enough to wake the entire neighborhood. It began blaring, and being awakened to such a noise from a sound sleep sent both my wife and I into a panic. The noise was so overwhelming that all I could think of was turning off the alarm. I ran to the panel and keyed in the security code to turn it off.


My wife was greatly frightened, suspecting that we had an intruder in the house. She went to our closet and took out a pellet gun that I had purchased as a play thing, and she handed it to me. I told her that I would have to shoot the intruder in the eyeball with it to do any good, so I handed it back to her and I grabbed a can of pepper spray, which is similar to mace. I did a search of the house while my wife called the police and went to the front door to wait for them. There was no intruder in the house, and after a thorough examination we found that a sensor on a front window had tripped. The children had been playing there earlier in the day and must have bumped it. Since the house was close to the road, it was probably just the vibration from a car going by that had set the alarm off.

My wife and I were very keyed up after all of this excitement, and had difficulty going back to sleep. I realized that God had gone before us in having our children stay with friends that night. This was something God wanted my wife and I to deal with. In the morning I spoke to my wife about the alarm system. I told her that it was not providing security. Rather it was producing fear. She then confessed to me that she had been lying awake for hours every night staring at the panel in fear that it would go off.

I shared my heart with Tony, telling her that the Spirit was indicating to me that we needed to entrust the security of our home and family to Him, and to cancel our security contract. Tony agreed, and we called that day and canceled it. I also threw away our pepper spray. I was convinced that God wished us to lean completely upon Him in this matter of our security and safety, and that anything else we leaned on to fulfill this same function would keep us from knowing God’s provision. Eventually some opportunity would present itself where that which we trusted in would be tested. Therefore, I did not want to keep a gun in the house, or the pepper spray, or even the security system. I wanted to lean entirely upon God and look to Him to be our shelter and strong tower.

I had never owned an actual gun, just having had BB guns and pellet guns for my own entertainment to do target shooting. However, I considered at this time what it would be like to have a gun in the house. I kept coming back to the thought that if I trusted in a gun for the protection of my family, eventually God would lead me to a time when I had to prove the value of this thing I was trusting in. Every scenario I could think of, in which I would have to pick up a gun and point it at another person for defense of myself or my family, left me recoiling at the visions of the aftermath of such an event. I decided that I would much rather place our security in God’s hands, and trust Him to spare us from ever having to wound, or kill, another person. The Scripture, “Those who live by the sword will die by the sword” was much in my mind.

This was the beginning of many more steps of faith to come, where I would be led to trust in the love, kindness, mercy, wisdom and strength of God, while turning my back upon my own abilities, or the abilities of other men, to provide security, health and provision.

After canceling our security contract and disabling our home alarm system, as a family we went around the house and anointed the corners with oil. We then prayed together, asking the Father to be our security and to give us peace. That night was the first night my wife slept soundly in the house, and she was never disturbed again. We were to be at this house for three years, and even when some other people in the neighborhood had bicycles and other objects stolen, we never had anything of ours to be bothered with. This was the beginning of God leading our family to trust Him in matters of this life.
---

From the Book:

http://www.heart4god.ws/evidence-of-things-unseen.htm

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

Parables Blog: www.parablesblog.blogspot.com    

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

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Valentine’s Day - Babylon’s Romantic Deception

Joseph Herrin

























NOTICE!: It was necessary in declaring the truth of the origin of Valentine’s Day, and the symbols associated with it, to include some material of a sexually graphic nature. The intent of this writer is not to be controversial, nor to stir up impure thoughts of a sexual nature, but rather to expose the deceptions of the enemy in order to lead the Elect of God to separate themselves from all that is impure.

We should not be surprised to learn that many symbols and traditions that have been handed down to us from former generations have their origin in some idolatrous practice or obscene source. Much that mankind deems to be innocent and harmless today was birthed in the mind of the one who is the adversary of God, and the adversary of man. The Scriptures declare the following concerning Satan:

I John 5:19-21
The whole world lies in the power of the evil one... Little children, guard yourselves from idols.

Revelation 12:9
And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world...

In recent months the Spirit of Christ has led me to put together a number of presentations that focus upon the spirit of Babylon. Babylon throughout Scripture is a symbol for the kingdoms of men under the direction of Satan. Babylon was marked by its extreme idolatry, as the prophet Jeremiah declared. As the end of this age draws near we find that Satan is seeking to restore his dominion over all the kingdoms of the earth, in effect rebuilding Babylon.

We can discern Satan’s present activity as we observe the judgment Yahweh brought on the first construction of ancient Babel. This was the Babel of Nimrod and Semiramis. The practices of this ancient city were very profane, as the idolatrous religion that sprang up there was focused upon fertility rites that included orgies and prostitution.

An excellent, and well documented book, that explores the origin and dispersion of what became known as “The Mystery Religions” is The Two Babylons by Alexander Hislop. In this book it is demonstrated that Nimrod and Semiramis became the original pattern for a myriad of religions that spread throughout the world when Yahweh confused the language of the people at Babel. These people took their idolatrous practices with them, using many different names for the deities they worshiped, although all can be traced back to Nimrod and Semiramis.




















In this hour the Holy Spirit of Christ is proclaiming the following message:

Revelation 18:4-5
"Come out of [Babylon], my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues; for her sins have piled up as high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.”

Yahweh judged Babylon the first time by confusing the language of the people there and bringing division among them. He judged Babylon a second time when He brought all the prophecies of Jeremiah upon her, drying up her waters, and making her a waste place inhabited by the jackal and the hyena. Satan, however, is seeking to make the earth into Babylon once more. This is observed by the efforts to bring forth a one world government, as seen in the activity of the United Nations. It is seen in the ecumenical movement that is seeking to merge all the religions of the world together into one great amalgamation where the holy and profane are thrown together in an abominable mixture.

Babylon was the last place where the people of the world were united, and Satan is seeking to unite them once again under his dominion. The number three is symbolic of completion and fulness. There will be a third judgment of Babylon when Yahshua returns, judges the world, and destroys this latest incarnation of Babylon.

Revelation 18:20
"Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you saints and apostles and prophets, because God has pronounced judgment for you against her."

The whole world, including a carnal and sleeping church, lies in the power of the evil one. His power is deception. He has led even the saints of God to embrace and participate in festivals and holidays that were consecrated to idols, and which are filled with impure images and rites. He has hidden the understanding of these images and rites and has supplied false meanings for them in order to lead people to embrace that which is profane and vile.

Almost all Christians do so out of ignorance, but the Spirit is calling His children to separate themselves from all that is unholy and profane that He might not judge them along with Babylon. The practices and symbols spoken of here are disgraceful, and will certainly be shocking to some who will for the first time understand their origin. I am sharing these things in the spirit of the following command of Scripture:

Ephesians 5:11-15
Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them;  for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light... Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise...

These celebrations began in Babylon, and their symbols are directly related to the veneration of the sex act that was made the focus of idolatrous worship through Nimrod and his wife.

Valentine’s Day has been called many different things through the centuries, and even today it is called various names by the nations. The following information is taken from the website www.wikipedia.org
















In France, a traditionally Catholic country, Valentine's Day is known simply as "Saint Valentin," and is celebrated in much the same way as other western countries.

In Denmark & Norway Valentine's Day (14 Feb) is known as Valentinsdag... people take time to eat a romantic dinner with their partner, to send a card to a secret love or give a red rose to their loved one. In Sweden it is called Alla hjärtans dag ("All Hearts' Day") and... its celebration is recognized and sales of cosmetics and flowers for this holiday are only bested by those for Mother's Day.

In Finland, Valentine's Day is called Ystävänpäivä which translates into "Friend's day..."

In Turkey, Valentine's Day is called Sevgililer Günü which translates into "Sweethearts' Day..."

According to Jewish tradition the 15th day of the month of Av - Tu B'Av (usually late August) is the festival of love. In ancient times girls would wear white dresses and dance in the vineyards, where the boys would be waiting for them (Judges 21:19-25). In modern Israeli culture this is a popular day to pronounce love, propose marriage and give gifts like cards or flowers...

Valentine's Day has emerged in Japan and Korea as a day on which women, and less commonly men, give candy, chocolate or flowers. It has become an obligation for many women to give chocolates to all male co-workers...

By a further marketing effort, a reciprocal day called White Day has emerged. On March 14, men are expected to return the favour to those who gave them chocolates on Valentine's Day. Originally, the return gift was supposed to be white chocolate or marshmallows; hence "White Day." However, lingerie and jewelry have become common gifts...

In Chinese culture, there is a counterpart to Valentine's Day, called "The Night of Sevens"; according to legend the Cowherd and the Weaver Maid meet in Heaven on the 7th day of the 7th month of the lunar calendar...

In Persian culture (Iran) Sepandarmazgan is a day for love, which is on 29 Bahman in the Jalali solar calendar. The corresponding date in the Gregorian calendar is 17 February. Sepandarmazgan were held in the Great Persian Empire in the 20th century BC hundreds of years before its acknowledgment by western world.
[End Excerpt]

There are many sources that trace the observance of Valentine’s Day back to the Roman festival known as Lupercalia. This became such a debauched event that Pope Gelasius abolished it during his reign between 492-496 A.D.. Although the Lupercalia was a local event in the city of Rome, a wider festival was observed by the people of this time known as Juno Februa, or Juno the Purifier. Juno is a type of Semiramis. The month of February takes its name from this festival that celebrated purification and fertility.

The oldest documented celebration I have found on this date is that of Sepandarmazgan, which was celebrated as early as 2,000 B.C. in the Persian Empire. That it should be found there is to be expected, for Babylon lies in what is now the nation of Iraq, and Iran is its immediate neighbor to the East. The following quotes are taken from Iranian (Persian) websites.

Sepandarmaz is another name for mainyu (earth) meaning sacred, humble, and passionate. It is the symbol of love. It is humble, meaning it is modest toward the entire creation. These are the qualities attributed to Earth that spreads beneath our feet, thus the symbol of modesty and love. As human beings, there are creatures that we find unpleasant and repulsive even, but Earth is not like us. She embraces all creatures the same and loves them the same; like a mother who loves all her children alike, even when they are ugly. In our ancient culture, mother is symbolized by sepandarmaz or earth.

In the feast of Sepandarmazgan, Earth was worshiped and women venerated. On this day, Royal women and girls sat on the throne and men and boys had to obey them and bring them presents and gifts. In this way, men were reminded to acclaim and respect women.
[Source: http://www.tavoosmag.com]

In the mystery religions, the earth and celestial bodies were envisioned as deities. Nimrod, who also was known as Baal, was pictured in the Sun. Semiramis was at times pictured in the Earth, as well as the Moon, for both are linked to fertility. A woman’s menstrual cycles are based upon the phases of the Moon. The ancient Indo-European word menes denoted both Moon and Month, and serves as the basis for the words menses and menstrual. Thus, the moon became a symbol of fertility. Crops were planted according to the phases of the Moon, and people determined the best dates for conception by the same observances.

The earth also served as a symbol of fertility, and it is this relationship that has given rise to the name “Mother Earth.” Semiramis, therefore, being the origin of the goddess of fertility was associated with both the Earth and the Moon. Sepandarmazgan is a feast established for the worship of Mother Earth, whose bounty was entreated by bringing gifts to women. This is the origin of men presenting gifts to their female lovers on Valentine’s Day. Chocolates, roses, greeting cards, jewelry, and a variety of other gifts are all the modern enactment of this ancient idolatrous festival.

Doing a search on this ancient festival will lead one to discern its origins in the Zoroastrian religion, and its association with the god Ahura Mazda. Alexander Hislop reveals that both Zoroaster and Ahura Mazda are other identities of Nimrod. Understanding these things is reason enough for a Christian to choose to not have any participation in this festival. The Scriptures state:

II Corinthians 6:14-17
Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Therefore come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you."
The thoughtful Christian should consider that the various festivals and holidays that the world celebrates all had an origin at some point, and many of them can be traced back directly to idolatrous worship. When we discern that an event has such an origin, we should separate ourselves from any association with that which was birthed in idolatry. Even more, many of these idolatrous celebrations were very obscene, having a focus upon the act of reproduction that was distorted into something contrary to Yahweh’s desire. Rather than sex being viewed as a sacred thing to be shared among a husband and wife in a relationship of fidelity, it became something promiscuous.

The symbol most widely associated with Valentine’s Day is the heart. As one looks at the shape of an actual human heart, they should wonder how it ever came to be depicted as it now is. Following is an image of an actual human heart, and the symbol now associated with it.
































Below is an image created by tracing the outline of the actual human heart above.







































Egyptian Ieb

The ancient Egyptians when wanting to symbolize the human organ had a much different image that they used. It is called the Ieb. This is a much better graphic as it reflects the valves and arteries of the heart. This image pre-dates the heart graphic that has become commonplace today. One must ask, “Where then did the shape we now draw as a heart originate?” Following is one account.

What the traditional "heart shape" actually depicts is a matter of some controversy. It only vaguely resembles the human heart. Some claim that it actually depicts the hearts of cattle, a more readily available sight to most people in past centuries than an actual human heart. However, while beef hearts are more similar to the iconic heart shape, the resemblance is still slight. The shape does resemble that of the three-chambered heart of the turtle, and that of the human male prostate gland, but it is very unlikely that the image was patterned after either of these organs.

There are many claims that the "heart" shape actually depict features of the human female, such as the female's pubic mound or vulva. A Sumerian cuneiform symbol for "woman" closely resembles the heart shape, and is believed to directly depict the pubic mound. Others maintain that the heart resembles the shape of the female breasts or the female buttocks, especially when bent over in readiness for copulation. Any of these origins would indicate that the heart was originally a symbol of fertility and sexuality, explaining its current association with love.

The heart shape may also represent a perfectly formed and spread labia.

The piercing of a heart or valentine with an arrow, an obvious phallic symbol, then becomes a straightforward representation of "act of love" — penile-vaginal penetration.
[Source: burningtaper.blogspot.com ]

I believe the actual origin of the heart symbol can be demonstrated convincingly as one considers the source from which it arises. We must keep in mind that Valentine’s Day is simply the modern form of the ancient festival that worshiped Semiramis as the goddess of fertility. Her festivals were known for their impure sexual practices, and the act of sexual intercourse was an integral part of it.

Before I go further to show what the heart symbol actually represents, I want to first look at a common way in which it is depicted at Valentine’s Day. It is very commonly shown in association with Cupid shooting an arrow into it. Following is one such illustration.















It is commonly understood that the arrow is a phallic symbol, that is, it is an image that represents the male sex organ. This symbolism is used even in the internationally recognized symbol for the male sex.




















We can gain more understanding as we understand who Cupid is. Although Cupid is commonly depicted today as a winged baby, this is merely part of the deceit of Satan. He seeks to depict Cupid as something that is innocent, when historically he has been known as anything but innocent. Following are some common depictions.





































The actual identity of Cupid reveals an image that is not innocent at all. The website Wikipedia states this of his identity. “In Roman mythology, Cupid (Latin cupido) is the god of erotic love and sex. He is equated with the Greek god Eros, and another one of his Latin names Amor...” We can understand the true nature of Cupid as we observe some of the English words that have been derived from his Roman, Greek and Latin names.

Concupisence: illicit sexual desire, unlawful desire
Cupidity: covetousness
Eroticism: an abnormal emphasis of sex and sexual relations
Erotogenic: producing sexual desires
Amorous: showing, or feeling sexual desire

The Greeks and Romans viewed Cupid/Eros after the image that these words depict. The following words are found under the Wikipedia listing for Eros: “In Greek mythology, Eros was the primordial god of lust, love, and intercourse; he was also worshiped as a fertility deity.” Following is a picture of a statue of Cupid/Eros found in the ruins of Pompeii. It is dated to the first century B.C..

























It is evident that this is no cherubic baby. The citizens of Pompeii and Herculaneum, which were alike killed in the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, were obsessed with sex. The paintings, sculpture, and other artwork found in these buried cities reveal the most explicit and excessive focus upon sex. That a judgment was brought upon these cities due to their sin is as likely as it was for the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah who ran to the same excesses.

Knowing then that it is Satan’s habit to depict that which is vile in an innocent form; knowing that Cupid is the god of illicit sexual desire, and understanding that the arrow is a symbol of the male sex organ, what is it that is actually being depicted in the symbols associated with Valentine’s day?















It is actually a depiction of the act of intercourse. We have seen that the arrow is an image of the male sex organ. What then is the heart shape an image of? The writer cited earlier listed a number of possibilities. The correct one, I believe, is that it depicts the female organ with the labia pulled back. This accounts for both the shape, and the red, or pink color.

Following is a depiction of the female organ taken from the cover of an online magazine. In the following images the color and arrow are added. I came across this image while researching the article “Another Gospel” back in 2002. The originator of this magazine was a friend of Jay Bakker, son of Jim Bakker. By following a link on the ministry site of Jay Bakker, I was led to this image at a time when I had just begun to consider the origin of the heart symbol. I was immediately struck by the profound resemblance of the female sexual organ with the labia pulled back, and that image we now refer to as a heart symbol.















It is evident that although the heart symbol is a poor match for the shape of the human heart, it is a perfect match for the shape of the female sex organ opened invitingly for the act of sex. However, there is more evidence that this symbol was used for thousands of years in this manner.

In the ancient city of Ephesus a marble paving stone was found that is described as being the world’s oldest surviving example of advertising. On this marble stone is a picture of a prostitute holding a sign with the name of a sex house in ancient Ephesus. Along with the prostitute is the depiction of a man’s footprint, believed by some to indicate the direction to the house. There is also found on this same stone what we refer to as the heart symbol. Following are a few pictures of this marble paving stone.
































































This paving stone can still be viewed as it was originally laid out on a sidewalk of ancient Ephesus. The Ephesus brothel and public latrine were both located a short distance away. That you might be incredulous to think that the Ephesians would have a depiction of the female sex organ on their street is understandable. Yet just outside the brothel on a public well was found a statue of the god Bes. It is pictured below.
















The Ephesians openly flaunted their excessive focus on sexuality. It was a common thing to go to a brothel to engage in sexual activity. Many of the temples of the day employed prostitutes to engage with the devoted followers of various fertility gods and goddesses in sex rites. The statue of Bes pictured above is rather tame in comparison to much of the sexual paraphernalia and artwork found in the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum.

It was not just ancient peoples who understood the significance of what we now refer to as the heart symbol. The female sex organ is often associated with this shape today. One slang reference to the female sex organ is a cherry. The images shown below reveal their great similarity of form.














The website “answers at Yahoo.com” gives the following information regarding the symbolism of the cherry.

Certain fruits have strong fertility symbolism, and a deep red, ripe, juicy cherry is no exception. The cherry has come to represent chastity and purity as the fruit ripens on the tree. Once plucked, a cherry represents the loss of innocence and virtue. A cherry tasted is a virgin no more.

A cherry surrounded in flames speaks of unquenchable desire or passion.
[Source: answers at Yahoo.com]

Another common depiction of the heart symbol at Valentine’s Day includes a picture of a lock and a key. Following are some common depictions.




















After recognizing that the heart is a symbol for the female sex organ, the lock and key then attain a greater meaning. Some have suggested that the key is another symbol for the male sex organ. The key also points to an unlocking of a female’s chastity so that she will become promiscuous with her male suitor. There were times when men so feared that their wives and daughters would engage in undesirable sexual conduct, that the women were forced to wear chastity belts.














The heart with a lock and key is simply another reference to the act of sexual intercourse between a man and a woman. Valentine’s Day originated as a debauched festival that led to a great lack of restraint among mankind, including a profusion of prostitution and orgies. Satan has simply attempted to deceive those who would object to such overt imagery today by masking them in ways that appear cute and innocent.




















In a society where sexual fidelity is becoming hard to find, even among those in the church, is Valentine’s Day something that you want to participate in? And what of your children? Is it really an innocent thing when young boys and girls give one another cards and gifts on this day, and ask one another to “Be My Valentine”? Or is Satan setting our children up for a future life of sexual impurity? Will the childish request of today turn into the immoral proposition of the future? Is it proper to teach our children to flirt with the opposite sex in such a way? Do they need to be focused upon dating and sexual attraction while they are yet in elementary school? Consider the messages that children give to one another on pieces of heart shaped candy.




















I attended public grade school as a child. One of the annual events of school life was exchanging valentine’s cards with all the other members of the class I was in. Even as a young boy I found it exciting to receive Valentine’s cards from the girls in my class. We also got small cardboard boxes of heart shaped candy with messages on each one, similar to the image above. Boys and girls would huddle together and talk of giving a heart candy with a particular message on it to some member of the opposite sex.

As a Christian, we should understand the power of the thoughts we entertain. Every Valentine’s Day young children have their minds directed toward thoughts of sexuality in a context outside of Yahweh’s plan for them. They are directed to embrace a mindset of flirtation and sexual suggestion. These thoughts often take root during these annual events and begin to form channels for future thoughts toward the opposite sex. A very worldly mindset is embraced, where lust, or some romantic illusion, becomes the basis for contemplation of any relationship with the opposite sex. As children get older, these thoughts turn to action.

What many view as innocent suggestions, and harmless activity, such as that of exchanging Valentine’s Day cards in elementary school, is actually establishing patterns of thought that will impact the course of one’s life. Consider the message of the following cards.

















Message: “Why beat around the bush at all, or be afraid to show it? When on someone love wants to call, why not let someone know it?”

The message and the imagery of naked children is far from innocent.



















This Valentine’s card is typical of many of the works of Satan. He is a genius at suggestiveness. He often cloaks hidden messages in imagery. The very practices of the advertising world are the fruit of Satan’s fallen thinking. Ezekiel 28 speaks of Satan defiling his sanctuaries by the abundance of his trade. This is seen again in his leading the people of God to turn the Temple of God into a house of merchandise and money changers. Advertising is all about stirring up some desire in a person to make them covet the thing that is being sold. Stirring up the appetites of the flesh is one of the greatest areas of Satan’s work, and he is a master at it.

Many have heard of various forms of subliminal advertising. Images formed in the shape of a cloud, or the swirls of an ice cube, can all be used to evoke thoughts and emotions even when the conscious mind does not recognize what it is seeing. I have at times studied such marketing tricks, and the hand of Satan is clearly behind it all.

The card above with the boy at the pump and the girl holding the heart is an example of Satan’s usage of imagery to evoke emotions and thoughts that the person looking at it might not even consciously recognize. The heart, as we have shown, is a representation of the female sex organ. Notice that the pump associated with the boy is also an image of the male sex organ. Even the flow of water is symbolic.

Proverbs 5:15-18
Drink water from your own cistern and fresh water from your own well. Should your springs be dispersed abroad, streams of water in the streets? Let them be yours alone and not for strangers with you. Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth.

In this Proverb, a man’s seed is depicted as a spring of water. The reader is exhorted to share this spring only with the wife of his youth. The message of Valentine’s Day is to share this spring with whomever one is attracted to. Following is another Valentine’s Card with a not so subtle message.

























The word “Swing” is emphasized. Swing has become a word used to denote an open sexual lifestyle that includes wife-swapping and other forms of immoral sexual conduct. The messages that are associated with Valentine’s Day are becoming increasingly more overt as Satan finds it less necessary to disguise an open invitation to sexual promiscuity. Society is becoming more accepting of immoral conduct. There is less censorship, and even at the highest levels of government arguments are heard repeatedly that a person’s private life has no bearing on his/her professional life.

I will show one more Valentine’s Day card to lead into another item that is greatly associated with this celebration, roses.

























Florists around the world do a brisk business in flower sales at Valentine’s Day. Where did this tradition arise from? Roses were sacred to Venus, Diana, and Aphrodite, all of whom are various incarnations of Semiramis.

In searching for historical information on the artifacts associated with the various fertility goddesses, I came across a site posted by a pagan worshiper of Venus. Historical information was provided on the Veneralia, one of the chief festivals dedicated to the worship of Venus. The rose is mentioned frequently in association with Venus.

This pagan worshiper has made a room in her house into a shrine for Venus, which she describes in the following way:

I have a room at home which is specifically and only Venus's Temple. No one is even allowed in that room unless I know for sure that they will show respect for the Goddess (so basically all Pagans are welcome!). In her Temple I have many statues of Venus and her altar. Her altar is decorated with sea shells, rose quartz and rocks shaped like hearts, which I gathered on the beaches of Greece. I also have the altar decorated with fresh flowers (usually roses) which are sacred to her plus jewelry and other pretty trinkets which I find fitting for the Goddess of Love and Beauty.

It is no coincidence that the images associated with the worship of this pagan fertility goddess are the same images that are observed in profusion on Valentine’s Day. This day finds its origin in Babylon, in the veneration of Nimrod and Semiramis. Like Christmas and Easter, which still bear the distinct imprint of their pagan origins, so too does Valentine’s Day. Even as there is much that is debased and obscene in the idolatrous rites of Semiramis and Nimrod, so too do we find this same spirit associated with the observance of Valentine’s Day.

One of the people I asked to review this article commented with the following remarks.

A child that has been abused and beaten by his or her natural father has a very difficult time understanding or believing the love of Yahweh that is revealed in the relationship of father and child. 

Just so, the marital relationship has been trodden under foot. Even believers fail to recognize the spiritual significance of it and are thus unable to partake of what was meant as a gift to be treasured. As a living example to teach a message and a truth.

The language of symbols is a pure language - as long as the symbols remain untainted. When the symbols are corrupted the message does not come through clearly. It is garbled and misunderstood. That is why the Adversary will twist the meaning any way he can. His first appearance in scripture shows one method that he will use to blind humanity. Casting doubt on the expressed Word.

Gene 3:1 (KJS) Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? 

When Yahweh says, "Marriage [is] honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge." Hebr 13:4 (KJS) - the enemy says, "Did God really mean that?" Then he will cast up before the mind all the filth that he has managed to wrap around it - centuries of pornography, bestiality, perversion, pagan rituals, fornications, adulteries and more. He will say, "how can something holy come out of what is unholy?" 

But the answer to that is - the Holy came first.

Yahweh will eventually open the eyes of His chosen ones to see and understand. 

Zeph 3:9 (KJS) For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one consent. 
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The point is well taken. Even as Satan has sought to distort mankind’s image of God as our Father by placing before our eyes a myriad of images and examples of distorted fatherhood, so too does he seek to distort mankind’s understanding of the marriage relationship. Generations have now been raised up with the television’s depiction of marriage. Over time the image in the minds of the young have become further confused in regard to what God has intended.

In a short span of time we have gone from the marriage relationship revealed in Leave it to Beaver and Father Knows Best to the wildly unfaithful relationships between men and women observed in such shows as Sex in the City. Our society has had pushed upon it by the great deceiver an image of the male/female relationship that is based completely upon selfishness. Men are seeking some never ending sexual fantasy that is seldom satisfied by one woman, and women are pursuing the man of their dreams through sensual dress and provocative language. All of these things are present in the rites and symbols of Valentine’s Day, but they have often gone unrecognized by a society who has lost the knowledge of Yahweh’s true desire for the lifelong unselfish union between a man and a woman, a relationship that basks in heartfelt communion while seeking the welfare of the other party.

Valentine’s Day not only is sowing confusion regarding male/female relationships, but it’s origin is in the idolatry of ancient Babylon. One brother who wrote a response to this article shared the following:

I do believe that this presentation is a word that the body of Christ would benefit from if we are ever going to move from mere babes and grow up into Him who is the Head, which is Christ. Most of us, including myself, do not fully realize how much the Babylonian system of worship is ingrained in our world and way of life, unless the Spirit reveals it to us...

If those with the light remain silent, then we are only companions to this delusion. We are not called to keep our light hidden. The Apostle Paul exhorts the saints in Philippians 2:15-16, "...so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life..."

Joseph, my exhortation to you is to hold forth the word of truth regarding this teaching whether or not it brings reproach. If the bride is to become without spot or wrinkle then it is necessary that all the idols (including blatant and hidden ones) be cast down and thrown into the fire. Idols, albeit those associated with Christmas, Easter, or Valentine's Day, are still alive and well in this present evil age. And just like Israel of old, His saints today are still, knowingly or unknowingly, clinging to those things devoted to destruction.  It is high time for the bride of Christ to awake from her slumber and let the light of Christ shine on them. "Truly, these times of ignorance God has overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent." Joseph, you do well to admonish the saints in the words of the Apostle John, "Dear children, keep yourselves from idols."
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Babylon was both a place of great idolatry and great immorality. Satan is working ceaselessly to re-establish Babylon upon the Earth and to destroy everything that God has called holy. The Spirit of Christ is calling out, “Come out of her My people, lest you participate in her sins and partake of her plagues.” May He have an obedient people.

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

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