Friday, April 20, 2018

Second Addendum - The Garment of Humility (December 2011)


I had suspected for years that Yahweh might one day require me to experience imprisonment even as that other Joseph, the son of Jacob, did many years ago. God’s ways of perfecting His sons have not changed. A man must pass through many humiliating, sorrowful, and distressing circumstances in order to provide the right environment for spiritual growth.

In February of 2008 my son Josiah turned 18 and the child support I was required by the county judge to pay to Tony came to an end. Tony had requested from the judge that I pay her alimony after the child support ended.

When the Father directed me to leave employment at the Macon Rescue Mission in 2008 to return to full-time ministry, I sought to pay Tony the alimony she requested. Yahweh enabled me to do so for a period of 8 months, but then the financial support I was receiving from the saints of God began to dwindle. This led to a period of intensely seeking to know the mind of the Father.

It had ever been my hope that Yahweh might somehow effect a reconciliation between my wife and I. I had no bitterness in my heart toward her, and sought always to send her money for support at the earliest opportunity, rather than waiting until the last day of the month. When it became impossible for me to send Tony the money she requested from the courts, I inquired fervently of the Father to know why this was transpiring. I told the Father that I did not want Tony to think I was bitter toward her, or unwilling to send her support. In reply, the answer I received from my Father in heaven was that I was to trust Him. That He was working out all things according to His wisdom.

I knew that my inability to pay the alimony award put me in a place of peril. The Father would not allow me to seek secular employment again. He continued to affirm it to be His will that I minister full-time. In a few months I received notice from Tony’s lawyer that contempt charges were being filed against me for not paying alimony, and in November of 2009 I was ordered to appear in court.
I appeared before the same judge that granted Tony the divorce she sought in 2005. Once more, the Father made known that it was His will that I not hire a lawyer, that I give no defense, and make no charges against my wife. I was to be as a sheep led to the slaughter.

The judge ordered me to lay aside the full-time ministry and to seek secular employment so that I might be able to pay Tony the money she sought. In much meekness I shared with the judge that God had directed me to leave secular employment in 2008 and to return to full-time ministry. I told him that I could not in good conscience do anything else. I was led in handcuffs from the courtroom and taken to the county lock-up where I spent 60 days in a jail cell.

In 2010 Tony instructed her lawyer to bring the matter before the judge again. Once more I was required to appear in court, and the result was the same. I was led away in handcuffs and taken to the county detention center where I remained for 74 days. It was during this latter period in jail that I wrote the following article which I sent to my daughter and asked her to post on my blog site.

The Garment of Humility (Written from jail)
Joseph Herrin- 6/19/2011 (Father’s Day)

There are certain experiences that are common to the disciples of Christ that are unknown to the majority of professing Christians today. I would share with you regarding one mark of discipleship that Yahweh has made abundantly clear at this season both through His word and through personal experience. Let me begin by looking at the very first book of the Bible where we read of the story of Joseph who serves as a type of Christ.

Joseph was born as the eleventh son of Jacob, being the first son of Jacob’s favorite wife Rachel. Joseph was the son of Jacob’s old age. Doing the math we read that Jacob was 130 years old when he came to Joseph in Egypt. (Gen. 47:9) This was the second year of famine, the ninth year since Joseph was brought out of prison to serve as Pharoah’s second ruler in the land. Joseph was 39 years old. By this we understand Jacob was 91 years old when Joseph was born. Joseph was the son of Jacob’s old age, and greatly beloved by his father. (Gen. 37:3)


It is in Genesis chapter 37 that we see a remarkable theme begin to weave its way through the pages of Scripture. Jacob gave to Joseph a special garment to denote that he stood in his father’s favor. Many Bibles describe this garment as a “coat of many colors.” I read a teaching on this many years ago that suggested that “a long sleeved tunic” is a more accurate translation. The teaching reported that it was common for a man of wealth to adorn the son who was to receive the birthright with a long sleeved tunic. Whether it was a coat of many colors, or a long sleeved tunic, it is clearly evident that Joseph’s brothers recognized the special garment he wore as a mark of their father’s special love and favor toward Joseph.

Genesis 37:4
“When his brothers SAW that their father loved [Joseph] more than all his brothers, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably to him.”

The response of Joseph’s brothers to the favor of their father was identical to that of Cain when Yahweh had regard to his brother Abel’s offering, but not to his own. Cain was filled with hatred and murdered Abel. Similarly, Joseph’s brothers were filled with hatred and they spoke of murdering Joseph. (Gen. 37:18-20)

Though Joseph’s brothers were persuaded not to murder him, what they did do stands as a great parable.

Genesis 37:23
“And it came to pass, when Joseph came unto his brothers, that they stripped Joseph of his coat, his coat of many colors that was on him.”

To understand this parable one must know the significance of a person’s garment. The garment represents a person’s identity, their reputation before God and man. Without a garment all men are naked and covered in shame. Yahweh, in His mercy, covers the shame of man. Christ Yahshua becomes our propitiation (literally - merciful covering). Paul exhorts Christians to “put on Christ” and to “clothe yourselves with Christ.”

God is no respecter of persons. “He has mercy on whom He chooses, and He hardens whom He chooses.” (Romans 9:18) Yahweh does not favor the rich man above the poor, nor the mighty man above the weak. God does not choose the wise man more than the foolish. He favors whom He chooses, and He hardens whom He will. From the same lump of clay He fashions one man to receive His honor, and another for dishonor. (Romans 9:21)

That God would choose to have mercy on one man over another strikes the heart of fallen man as capriciousness. Rebellion is stirred up in the natural mind, and it is exhibited as hatred and a spirit of murder toward those who receive the Father’s favor. Christ described the logic of fallen man in the following parable.

Luke 20:13-14
“Then said the Lord of the vineyard, “What shall I do? I will send my beloved son. It may be that they will reverence him when they see him.” But when the husbandmen saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, “This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.”

In these words, the heart of fallen man is revealed. If men truly loved God, they would honor those whom He honors, they would love those whom God loves. When the sons of Jacob spoke of murdering Joseph, they knew such an act would grieve their father deeply. They proved that they cared little for their father when they sold Joseph into slavery and made it appear as if a wild beast had slain him. When Jacob received this evil report of his sons he entered into deep mourning for Joseph and would not be comforted (Gen. 37:34-35). In a similar manner, the Jewish people revealed that they did not have God the Father’s desires in mind, for they slew His beloved Son.


Let me point out an important part of this parable. Joseph had his garment stripped off twice, perfectly paralleling a work in the life of Christ. The first time Joseph was stripped of his garment of honor was when his father sent him to his brothers. (Gen. 37:13) Similarly, Yahshua emptied Himself and took on the form (garment) of a bondservant when His Father sent Him to His brethren. (Phil. 2:7) Even as Joseph had the robe of favor removed from him, Christ did not consider equality with God something to be held onto, but laid aside the glory He shared as He dwelt with the Father, and took the form of a slave.

This first stripping of Joseph and Yahshua is something all disciples must experience. Christ said that a disciple is not above his master, but must become like his master. “Before honor, comes humility.”
All who come to Christ must lay aside the honor, the glory, the reputation and esteem they had in this world. This is far more difficult for the rich than the poor, for the mighty than the weak, for those esteemed as wise than those without esteem. To be a disciple of Christ is to be reproached, scorned, mocked, and ridiculed. The ways of Christ are not the ways of the world. What man esteems is despised in the eyes of God. To surrender to be led of the Spirit of Christ is to embrace a life of humility.

In 1999 the Spirit of Christ challenged me to follow wherever He would lead. I had a good job as a computer professional. I had honor among my co-workers. I had honor in my church, serving as a minister. When I surrendered to follow the Spirit I was led to leave my place of employment to begin a ministry of writing. My circumstances became much more humble. Many in the church could not accept such a walk as the will of God. I was soon cast out of the church. Outwardly my standard of living declined greatly.

In a similar way Joseph left the abundance of dwelling with his father and became a slave in Egypt; Christ emptied Himself of the glory He shared with the Father and took on the form of a bondservant. Even in human terms, His life was a humble one. Yahshua was born in a manger. His years of ministry were spent as a homeless man. He was buried in another man’s tomb. Those who would follow Christ must lay aside the garments of honor that they have in this world and accept the garb of a bondservant. A bondservant wears whatever his master gives to him to wear. Should our Master give us a very humble garment to wear, we must wear it with grace. The apostle Paul wrote:

Philippians 4:11-12
“I have learned, in whatever state I am in, to be content. I know both how to be abased, and how to abound... both to be full, and to be hungry, both to abound and to experience lack.”

How do we wear the garments of humility with grace? We do so as we lay aside all bitterness, forgiving those who have treated us shamefully. We refuse to be ruled by a spirit of self-pity, seeking instead to be faithful wherever our circumstances have led us.

Joseph was stripped of his garment of honor and sold as a slave in Egypt. He was bought by Potiphar, a key servant of Pharaoh, the captain of his bodyguard. Joseph did not sulk in Potiphar’s house. He bloomed where he was planted. Yahweh showed favor to Joseph, giving him wisdom and causing everything he did to prosper. In all of Potiphar’s household there was no one as faithful as Joseph. In all of God’s house there has been none more faithful than Yahshua. Both rose to positions of honor as they devoted themselves to labor humbly as servants. Potiphar entrusted everything in his possession to Joseph, and Yahweh entrusted all judgement to His Son, considering Him faithful. Both ever lived to do the will of the one they served.

When we embrace discipleship, following Christ wherever He leads, He will most certainly lead us to many humble experiences we would not have chosen for ourselves. We glorify God by being found faithful wherever He places us. A spirit of complaint, of discontentment, must be resisted. God will honor His faithful sons in due time. Our times are in God’s hands.

Those who are faithful as servants will begin to rise to positions of honor in the house they labor in. Joseph was made overseer of Potiphar’s house. Accordingly, he was given a new garment as a symbol of honor. The garment was not as glorious as that which his father Jacob had given to him, but it denoted honor nonetheless. The day came, however, when this garment was wickedly stripped off of Joseph and he was cast down to an even lower position.

Potiphar’s wife lusted after Joseph, entreating him daily to lie with her. One day she found Joseph alone in the house and grabbed hold of his outer garment, entreating him to commit adultery with her. Joseph refused, leaving his garment in the woman’s hands as he fled.


Potiphar’s wife stripped Joseph not just of his garment, but of his reputation. She took away Joseph’s reputation as a faithful servant to his master and clothed him in the garment of a transgressor as she falsely accused him of trying to rape her.

The parallel in the life of Christ is obvious. The Jewish leaders envied Christ. They brought false charges against the Son of God. His garment was also stripped away and Yahshua was clothed in a garment of shame. Yahshua “was numbered among the transgressors.” Even as He was being crucified, the Roman soldiers parted His raiment and cast lots for His cloak.

Those who are to “clothe themselves with Christ” must wear this garment of abasement as well. Consider how many of Christ’s disciples named in Scripture were accused of transgression and subjected to imprisonment, beatings, or worse. Among those named are Peter, James, John, Paul and Timothy. Some of these repeatedly were numbered among the transgressors. This is the lot and privilege of those who would follow in the footsteps of Christ. To yield to be led of the Spirit as Christ was, is to embrace a life of humility, of shame and reproach.

I write these words from jail. It is now the second time I have been placed in here as I have sought to remain faithful to the call of God on my life. One of the first things that occurs as a man is put in jail is that his clothes are taken from him and a prison jumpsuit is given to him. I am wearing a bright orange jumpsuit. On the back in bold letters are emblazoned the words, “Houston County Jail.” I am marked as a transgressor and share a domicile with thieves, murderers, and men accused of violent offenses and drug trafficking. Joseph shared a place with similar offenders. Christ was hung between two thieves.

What do these experiences signify? What is their purpose? I believe the answer is found in the garments. Yahweh wants to clothe His sons in garments of humility. Those destined to receive ruling authority and power must be exceedingly humble. Joseph was chosen by God to be elevated to the second position in the greatest nation on earth. Christ has been exalted to the right hand of God where all power and authority has been given to Him. Those who can endure patiently being abased, being content in the knowledge that such is the will of God, prove by their submissive spirit that it is God’s will and pleasure that is uppermost in their mind.

Experiences of abasement, suffering, and reproach, when endured in the Spirit of Christ, produce a meekness in a man that is not present in the Adamic nature. Being willing to sink lower than one’s normal situation in life, lower even than one’s companions, produces a humility in a man that is highly esteemed in the eyes of God. It is He who inspired the words to be written, “God gives grace to the humble, but resists the proud.”

In being willing to sink lower, to be as David when he danced with abandon before Yahweh, testifying “I will be more vile than this, and will be humble even in my own sight...” (2 Samuel 6:22), finds great favor with God. Such an attitude is a great contrast to Satan when he declared, “I will ascend..., I will exalt my throne above the stars of God..., I will be like the Most High” (Isaiah 14:13-14). On the one hand there is a willingness to sink lower to satisfy the will of God. On the other hand is manifested a pride that is discontented with one’s appointed station, demanding ever to rise above others.

Sinking lower, becoming humble and vile in one’s own sight, is a great trial to the soul of man. The soul must be crushed as an olive in the olive press. There are times when this crushing causes even godly men to cry out in their distress. As Christ viewed the cup of suffering His Father presented to Him at Gethsemane (interpreted - “olive press”), He cried out, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even unto death...” (Mark 14:34). Sinking lower yet, Christ uttered the words that always glorify the Father, “Nevertheless, not My will, but Thy will be done” (Mark 14:36).


In a sense, the first time the disciples of Christ are stripped of their garments they embrace becoming “of no reputation.” They willingly lay aside all that they previously gloried in. The apostle Paul recounted his former reputation; A Hebrew of the Hebrews; born of the tribe of Benjamin. He was zealous, joining the strictest sect of the Pharisees. He was educated in the school of Gamaliel. As to the righteousness found in the law, he was accounted as a perfect man. This same Paul testified, “Those things that were gain to me, I considered loss.” He compared them to dung that he might gain Christ.

All disciples must for a time lay aside the garments of honor as a favored son and array themselves in the clothing of a servant. A great many Christians and ministers refuse to do so. They hold on jealously to raiments of honor. They constantly assert their position as sons of the Most High. They refuse to accept anything but honor, accolades and prosperity. In doing so they follow the pattern of Satan, despising the humility of Christ.

There is a second stripping that causes the disciples of Christ to descend even lower, following the path of Joseph who was placed in Pharaoh’s dungeon. We must be willing even to be stripped of the garments of a servant, to be arrayed with the shame of a transgressor.

As I pondered this matter sitting in jail, the Spirit opened my eyes to understand an event that occurred at the crucifixion of Christ. In the time of His suffering we read that some standing near, hearing Christ say “I thirst,” dipped a sponge into some sour wine and offered it to Christ to drink.
King David, speaking prophetically in the Psalms, wrote of this event, “They gave me gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.” The words “gall” and “vinegar” both described the sour wine those nearby offered to Christ (Psalm 69:21). About a week after I was put in jail a letter arrived from a close family member. They spoke words of condemnation, urging me to abandon the path of obedience God had laid on me that I might come down off the cross.

Soon after, an inmate in an adjoining cell called out to my cell-mate. He said, “Ask the minister what gall is.” I asked him to tell me how the word was being used, for it has more than one meaning. He quoted the above verse from the Psalms. How precious is our Father in ordering our steps.

The Spirit showed me that the gall offered to Christ to drink is a symbol of the bitter things that those close to Christ’s disciples will offer to them even as they are enduring the cross. How bitter it is to have those close to us add to our reproaches in an hour when our soul is being crushed.

We often hear someone speak of a “galling experience.” They are referring to something very bitter. Someone is said to have a lot of “gall” when they speak, or act, in a very presumptuous and unkind manner. Even as Christ hung on the cross, remaining there out of love for others and obedience to the Father, those nearby hurled abuse and scorn at Him. He was mocked and condemned. Those nearby said, “If you are the Son of God, come down off the cross,” and “He saved others, He cannot save Himself.”

Those who would clothe themselves with Christ must accept such experiences with grace and forgiveness. Joseph found it an exceedingly bitter experience to be branded as a transgressor. For a while this garment chafed at him as if he were arrayed in sackcloth. He yearned to remove this ill fitting reputation, and declared his innocence (Gen. 40:14-15). Yet it was Yahweh’s will that he wear it two more years.

There have been times in my present incarceration when I have found my circumstances galling. My soul has been weighed down under a burden on some days. I am encouraged when the Spirit reveals to me that such experiences are the portion of all who would be perfect in Christ. To put on Christ, we must put on His humility.

There have been many trials and attacks from the enemy at this time, but the grace of God has been more abundant. Even as Christ was comforted to spy John and some of the faithful women standing nearby, sharing in His hour of tribulation, so have I been much encouraged by those faithful saints who have written to me and offered up prayers on behalf of my family.

The Father has encouraged me in other ways. I have been put in cell number 40. The Spirit led me to the Psalm of this same number. It begins,

“I waited patiently for Yahweh; and He inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And He hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in Yahweh.”

It is truly my hope and earnest desire that a remnant will observe the Father’s grace and keeping power in my life and be encouraged to abandon their lives fully into His hands. He has declared that there is “an afflicted path that leads to life, and few there be that find it.” Yet His grace is able to keep the weakest, and most timid of those who will commit their lives unto Him. Though the way of Christ’s disciples leads through fire and flood, through lion’s dens and the valley of the shadow of death, we have an omnipotent Shepherd who watches over us. We will never walk alone.

If we will accept the garments of humility that Christ wore, we will wear the garments of honor. The hour came when Joseph was brought out of the prison of Pharaoh. His garment was changed once again. Pharaoh arrayed Joseph in linen garments. He placed the necklace about Joseph’s neck, and a signet ring on his finger. Pharaoh declared that in Joseph was the Spirit of the holy God. Joseph received glory for abasement, and honor for shame. This is the heritage of the overcomers in Christ.

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


Note: I was released from this second imprisonment after 74 days in jail.

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This is the final excerpt 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

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Addendum: A Testimony of a Dying Son (July 2008)


This addendum continues the history that leaves off in the last chapter of the book. It is offered for those who have written to ask me what has occurred in our lives since the book was completed. The trials have continued, and so has the grace of God and His supernatural intervention. He has not spared His people from suffering, but He has never left our side.

I Corinthians 15:31
I die daily.

Luke 9:23-24
And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.”

Yesterday, a Christian sister from the West Coast wrote to me and inquired as to how I am doing. We have corresponded often, and I am knowledgeable of her many trials, as she is of mine. I understood that her question was more than mere politeness when she asked, “How are you doing?”
Yesterday had its own set of specific trials, including a letter from a lawyer threatening legal action and sanctions. The threat was a direct result of my walking a path that the Spirit of Christ has led me down. The Spirit of Christ has put me in peril’s way. Such a thought is foreign to most Christians today, and it would even produce a rebuke from more than a few. “Surely,” they would contest, “the Lord will bless the man who is a true servant of God. God would not bring His obedient children into reproach and disrepute.”

In a recent writing I shared that since 1999, when I completely surrendered to the leading of the Lord in my life, God has led me down much more difficult pathways than when my own will was the determinant. He has led me to experience more trials, more reproaches, more rejection from Christian brothers and natural family, more perilous situations, more perplexity, and more fear than when I was still holding the reins of my life. This was certainly the experience of the apostles when they fully yielded control of their lives to God.

Romans 8:36-37
Just as it is written, "For Thy sake we are being put to death all day long; we were considered as sheep to be slaughtered." But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.


II Corinthians 4:8-13
We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Yahshua, that the life of Yahshua also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Yahshua's sake, that the life of Yahshua also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death works in us, but life in you.

Certainly I knew some trials in the many years preceding 1999. After all, I had a sincere devotion to Christ, and a desire to please Him. But my trials were fewer and far between. There were great seasons when the Lord simply left me alone to follow the desires of my heart. Since 1999, when I understood that Yahweh needed to do a work in my life of bringing all things in this soul of mine under subjection to His rule, the pace has greatly accelerated. I said, “God, bring me to a quick death, for I want the life of Christ to be revealed in me.”

He began by stripping me of all that I had acquired through many years of covetous living. In 1999 I was forced to file for bankruptcy. I surrendered my home, and my custom van to the creditors. At the direction of the Spirit of Christ I held a yard sale and sold all my furniture and worldly goods. He then led me to trust Him for all of my provision as I focused on fulfilling the ministry of writing to which He had called me.

I had a wife and two children, and my faith was far from perfect. The Lord led me to trial after trial in the area of provision, and at each test I had to wait patiently, not seeking to deliver myself by carnal means, and in every instance He came through. What a sifting it was to this man who has feet of clay and a mind unsettled by many fears, doubts and unbelief. In six years time the Lord led our family to move over fifteen times, and at each new move I had no idea where I was to go, or through what means my family’s provision was to be manifest. As I obeyed, and put my feet to the path the Father showed me, He always opened up a way. His pattern was always, “Put your feet in the water and then you will see them part.”

Joshua 3:13
“And 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, shall rest in the waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off, and the waters which are flowing down from above shall stand in one heap.”

It would do the Israelites no good to protest that everyone else who crossed the Jordan did so by boat. Why should they have to do things differently? I also knew that it would do me no good to protest that no one else I knew was living the way I was. I did not know of anyone else who was going out to move their family time after time without knowing where they were going or how they would find their provision. This was the path the Spirit led me on. I had to do as He directed. It did make things more difficult that even the Christians I knew called me a fool and condemned my walk. I was reproached for my obedience to the Spirit’s leading.

Romans 15:3
For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, "The reproaches of those who reproached Thee fell upon Me."


Have you ever considered that Christ was reproached for living in the manner in which His Father directed Him to live? He had no job. He had no home. He traveled about with a number of disciples, and they received their substance from whatever means the Father provided. Oftentimes the Lord’s provision came from the hands of a group of devoted women who followed Him.

Luke 8:1-3
And it came about soon afterwards, that He began going about from one city and village to another, proclaiming and preaching the kingdom of God; and the twelve were with Him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and sicknesses: Mary who was called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod's steward, and Susanna, and many others who were contributing to their support out of their private means.

I can hear the Jews now. “Why don’t you get a job and quit sponging off of others? Be a man and quit living off the money of these women. If you are God, why don’t you turn the stones into gold? You are just a pretender. If it weren’t for these women you would have starved to death long ago.”
Oh yes, I have heard similar charges. Sure, God could have dropped a bag of money out of heaven and taken care of all of my needs. Why then did He choose the methods employed? It was that I might learn humility, even as His own Son learned obedience from the things that He suffered. Had he turned the stones into diamonds, or the dust into gold, the lesson of humility that comes from being often reproached would not have been learned.

I can imagine the charges brought against Yahshua. “You are not a very good provider for your followers. They haven’t eaten all day, and now they are making a meal by walking through the fields and threshing grain in their hands. Can’t you do better than that? You have job skills. Why don’t you get a job and provide them with a real meal?”

There were days when the members of my family and I had no more than a sandwich, or two, and a glass of water for lunch and supper. One day we had only a bag of grits in the house. Yet we never went hungry. God always provided something. When we allow God to begin choosing our path for us we will find that we are met with many circumstances we would not have chosen for ourselves.

Philippians 4:11-13
Not that I speak from want; for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

Deuteronomy 8:15-16
He led you through the great and terrible wilderness, with its fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty ground where there was no water; He brought water for you out of the rock of flint. In the wilderness He fed you manna which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do good for you in the end.

Yahweh still chooses to perfect His sons and daughters by letting them know lack, by them being cast upon Him for daily provision, and at the same time He teaches them humility. I have certainly been reproached for the care I provided for my family. It would be one thing to experience such humble means in a third world nation, but I was living in the midst of America, the land of plenty, the land of idolatrous consumerism. How could I justify such experiences to members of the church who had been inculcated with doctrines of prosperity and the love of mammon?


The answer is that I could not justify myself in their sight, so I quit trying. I simply had to bear reproach. I had to choose to die daily to the respect and affirmation my soul desired. My hope was that I might attain to all that the Father had for me and my family as I persevered and continued to follow the Lord wherever He would lead.

After six years of closely following the Lord my wife had enough. She had listened to other Christians telling her that it was not necessary that we live as we were. She had heard numerous criticisms of her husband, often from pastors and their wives. The decision to leave troubled her soul, for she had seen the hundreds of ways in which the Lord had intervened in our lives to manifest provision during the years of full-time ministry. Yet, she did not see any others living as we were doing, and she desired to be free of the trials and afflictions that seemed to beset our family more than all others around us.

In 2004 my wife left. Our son went with her to live with a wealthy Christian family who had boys his age. My daughter remained faithful in her desire to follow wherever God would lead, and the Lord opened a door for her to stay with a family in a Mennonite community, with my blessing. I was left by myself. Since I was by myself, the Lord was able to accelerate the trials even further. I found it much easier to endure hardship alone, than with wife and children.

II Corinthians 11:23-30
Are they servants of Christ? (I speak as if insane) I more so; in far more labors, in far more imprisonments, beaten times without number, often in danger of death. Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren; I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure upon me of concern for all the churches. Who is weak without my being weak? Who is led into sin without my intense concern? If I have to boast, I will boast of what pertains to my weakness.

My suffering has not been to the degree of Paul’s, but I can testify that I have endured far more than most of my Christian brothers in America. I spent five months living out of a car, eighty days camping in the forest in a small tent. During this period many days I was without food, and often was low on water. I spent a week one time without eating, and at another time I went seventeen days before the Father provided something to eat. In five months I lost forty pounds.

I knew exposure to the elements, camping out in a small tent in the woods in November and December. Some days I awoke to ice on the ground, and I had no winter clothes with me. I wore layers of summer clothing and had one fleece pullover. For months at a time I had no other human companionship, no one with whom to carry on a conversation, no one to share my burden. Yet through it all the Lord was with me. He made it abundantly clear that this was a path He had chosen for me. It was a cross appointed unto me to bear. I had to remain until He released me, and I received abundant grace to do so.

While camping the remnants of a hurricane passed through the area. The ground was already saturated from another tropical storm that had come through earlier. For three days it rained constantly until water began to seep through the sides of my tent. The wind was blowing and the ground so saturated that huge trees began falling over in the forest all around me. I lay in my tent listening to the thunderous crashing of huge pines as they fell close by. A restless night was spent listening to the sounds of the wind, rain, and crashing trees. I thought to get out of the tent and sleep in the car, but I considered that it afforded no better protection. My safety was in the Father’s hands. He had led me to this place. He would be my shelter.

After five months living as a homeless man, the Lord directed my steps to an inner city rescue mission. I was there a few months and they asked me to fill the position of Resident Manager. I was given a small room in the men’s dormitory, and I was responsible for the oversight of the Mission after staff hours. This required 80-100 hour work weeks, and my pay was room and board and $100 a week. In eight months time I had three days off (I worked every weekend from sunup to sundown). In this the Lord was teaching me endurance, patience, and many other needful things.


While at the mission I received notice that my wife had filed for divorce. Papers were served to me on Good Friday 2005. This was the day the church remembers the Lord being brought before the courts, falsely charged, and delivered to be scourged and crucified. The Spirit spoke to me that day and said “This is a cross I have appointed for you. You are to bear it willingly as My Son bore His.”

Luke 14:26-27
“If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.”

The Lord said I was to accept this cross in the same way His Son accepted His own. He directed me to Peter’s writing.

I Peter 2:21-23
For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously...

The Spirit of Christ revealed that I was not to hire a lawyer. I was not to mount a defense, or make accusation against my wife. I was to go to the divorce proceeding and entrust myself to the care of the Father. When the date arrived I did as the Lord instructed. I had no counsel, no witnesses, while my wife had brought both. I was accused of neglect of my family, of being heartless and uncaring, failing to provide for them as I was capable of doing. It was recounted how many times we had moved during the six years of walking in faith and performing the ministry entrusted to me. How irresponsible this seemed to those who did not judge things by the Spirit. False accusations were added that I might be made to look utterly reprehensible.

The judge gave me opportunity to speak, and I recounted how the Lord had led us as a family to this walk of complete trust in Him. I shared that we had seen God’s provision miraculously an uncounted number of times, and we had even seen our son healed of a hereditary bone disease that caused him to fracture 12 bones by the age of seven, when we cast ourselves over onto God at obedience to His direction. I shared that since my wife had left me that she had gone back on what God had spoken to us as a requirement to see our son healed. We had been told to cancel his SSI and Medicaid benefits and God would keep him from breaking bones. For seven years God had been faithful to this. Yet one of the first things my wife did after leaving me was to take out government benefits on our son once more. Just a few weeks later he broke his elbow when a friend jumped into the swimming pool and landed on him. He had to have surgery and to wear a cast for months.

The judge listened somewhat impatiently, and then said, “Mr. Herrin, in some ways I find your faith to be admirable, but I must conclude that it is my judgment that it is misguided.” The judge granted the divorce and required that I begin paying alimony and child support amounting to $900 a month. At the time I was only earning $400 a month, but the judge based this amount upon what I had earned six years earlier while employed as a computer professional.

After the divorce was granted, my father came from out of state to visit me. He and my mother had concluded years earlier that I was a religious heretic, filled with many ideas relating to God’s word and life in the Spirit that were unsound. I knew it would probably be a trying meeting, so I prayed before I went to meet him that God would give me grace to simply express my love for my father and to not allow my tongue to say anything disrespectful.

My dad shared that he placed the blame for my divorce upon my shoulders. He said that if I continued to do as I was doing in seeking to be led of God in all things that I would probably end up in jail for not paying child support. I told my father that I understood how he arrived at his conclusions in this matter. I told him that if I had lived the life that had been mine since 1999 because I had chosen it for myself, and that God had not chosen it for me as he believed, then he could only judge me to be a great fool. In response my father replied, “That is right. I believe you are a fool.”

After we finished sharing a meal together, we went to part. My father stuck out his hand in parting, but I drew closer and hugged his neck instead. I told him I loved him, and I have not heard from him since that day. (My father died December 25th, 2012).

As I drove back to the rescue mission I told the Lord that I did not know what the future held, but if it was His will for me to go to jail as my father suggested, then I was willing. My life had been so much like Joseph’s, the son of Jacob, that I could almost imagine it to be God’s will that I also suffer this ignominy. I confessed to the Lord that my life was in His hands. He had told me not to hire a lawyer or mount a defense, but to entrust myself to His care, and I had done so. I told Him I would continue to rest in His care.

The next day a man from New Zealand sent me $5,000. This was the largest gift I had ever received. Five is the number of grace, and it was as if the Lord had answered the challenge of my father, and said, “You trusted me in this, and I will provide for you. You will not go to jail for lack of ability to pay child support.” Right after this happened, the director of the mission approached me and said that he was going to fire the two managers of their thrift store that day, and he wanted me to step into a management position there immediately. In this way the Lord provided the means to pay my wife every month.

In February of this year (2008) my son turned eighteen, and my child support obligation was fully met, and paid on-time. God has been faithful. There were more trials to come, however. Little did I realize how much my own trials were to resemble Joseph’s. My wife’s wealthy friend that she moved in with hated me with a passion. She was very restless in seeking to cause me trouble, despite her confession of being a Christian. She began to go down to the Mennonite community my daughter was in and tell the people my daughter was staying with that I was a terrible person and that Kristin should not be helping me in any way. My daughter Kristin had been receiving my mail and forwarding it to me, but due to the influence of this woman the people at whose house my mail was being sent decided they should not be involved anymore.

This was merely a minor inconvenience to me, but it disturbed me that this woman was going out of her way to spread evil reports. My wife accompanied this woman and listened quietly as her friend made charges against me. This woman heard that I had been hired by the mission in a staff position, and although she had been the driving force behind the demands that I pay child support and alimony, she sought to get me fired from my job. She called the mission director and accused me of being an abuser of my wife and children. The director called me into his office later and related these things to me. He said that he informed her if these things were true that there was no better place for me to be than at the mission, for their goal was to help troubled men.

This woman called repeatedly to the director, and then she even had the pastor of her church send an e-mail to the director to warn him of the type of man he had hired. This pastor had never even met me, yet he gave forth this evil testimony. The director called me to his office again and shared with me the e-mail he had sent back in response. He informed the pastor that he had known me for over a year and had sufficient knowledge of me to form an opinion of my character. This director had recently given me an award at the mission's holiday banquet, saying that I had been the best Resident Manager the mission had ever known. Thus, the attempts of the enemy to cause me discomfort were thwarted.

Isaiah 54:17
No weapon that is formed against you shall prosper; and every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn.

Like Joseph of old, God had given me favor with my employer. The director of the mission became my defender, negating the need for me to defend myself. Yet the worst actions of this woman were still to come. She went to this Mennonite community again, and she openly suggested that the reason my daughter had sided with her father was that there was an unrighteous relationship between us. She went so far as to suggest that my daughter and I had been having sexual relations together.

The woman in the home my daughter was staying at was so appalled at this suggestion, knowing the purity of my daughter, that she told her husband that she never wanted to meet with that woman again unless her husband was present. This wealthy Christian woman began spreading this accusation around to others who were willing to listen, and I even heard the report come back from the mouth of my own mother.


When the Lord desires to prepare a son to share His glory, He does so by first subjecting the son to shame, reproach, falsehood, and many trials. Joseph, the son of Jacob, spent many years in prison being known as the man who attempted to rape Potipher’s wife. God did not remove this reproach from Joseph until the day he was brought into Pharaoh’s presence and made second ruler in the land. It is also appointed to the sons of God in this age to suffer many things. God is seeking to bring forth a humble, forgiving spirit in His sons. He wants them to die to the opinions of men that they might live only for His opinion, His judgment.

Yahshua, the firstborn Son of God, learned much from the things He suffered as well. He heard the crowds cry out “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.” Just a short while later these same people were crying out, “Crucify him!” God must bring all of His sons to a place where the opinions of men no longer move them. They must recognize that both the praise and condemnation of man are without weight. All that really matters is what God thinks.

At the same time, being subject to persecution, unjust accusation and the enmity of men and women provides the child of God with an opportunity to die to all offense that arises from their soul. As they clothe themselves with Christ they can cry out, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” This has been the confession the Spirit has brought forth from my mouth time and again as offense has been added to offense. Ours is not a ministry of condemnation, but of forgiveness and reconciliation.

John 3:17
For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him.

Matthew 18:34-35
“And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him. So shall My heavenly Father also do to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart."

It is a true statement that declares, “by the judgment you have judged others, you shall be judged.” Those who are merciful shall obtain mercy. When we are reviled we are to speak a blessing in return. How can we do these things if there is no one to revile us, to speak evil of us, and to unjustly accuse us? If they did these things to the Lord of glory, how much more will they do so to those who are His disciples?

II Timothy 3:12
Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Yahshua will suffer persecution.

My trials did not end with these things. For two years I labored at a menial job at a thrift store. Had I chosen to do so I could have returned to the computer field and made a large salary, but this was not the Father’s will. Instead I was called to toil at a thankless job that was fraught with many difficulties. It would have done me no good to say, “But Lord, I can do so much more. I remember the days of heady success when I worked as a computer professional. I made a good salary and had money to spend upon many things. I remember the years I worked in ministry, writing books and teaching your children.” We must submit to whatever the Lord chooses for us. He alone knows what is necessary for our perfecting as sons.

If we will surrender to the direction of the Lord in all things, we will find that He brings us into circumstances where it is necessary that we die daily. The desires, thoughts, and ambitions of our soul must be subjugated to the will of the Father. We must walk according to the leading of the Spirit, not according to the natural course of this world.


All those who do so will certainly be considered odd. They will be met with many reproaches. In the hour when their commitment to obedience is producing in their being the greatest sacrifice, they will find the world, and a worldly church, casting condemnation at them. If they hurled insults at the Son of God as He was offering Himself as a sacrifice in obedience to His Father, will they not do so with all those who follow in His steps?

In closing the letter I communicated to this sister yesterday, I wrote the following:

I have been thinking recently whether we truly have a proper mindset in regard to suffering. We are Christ, for we are a part of His body. Yahweh has appointed a cup of suffering that Christ must drink. Yahshua drank the largest portion of it, and then He has presented the cup to the rest of His body. Most have chosen to not drink from the cup at all. Yet a remnant have acquiesced. Some have sipped at it, trying to only get a taste, but no more than they had to. It has been a mere remnant among the remnant that has had the mind to drink fully that the sufferings of Christ might be brought to completion and that they might set an example for others.

Are we not brought to a quicker death if we drink deeply? Christ's sufferings were intense, but short lived. Others have seemed to smolder like a wick all their lives. Their sufferings have never burst into flame, but Yahshua is so gracious that He will not even extinguish a smoldering wick. They will have to smolder a long time, however, before the work of purification is accomplished in their life.
     
Consider that the three Israelites who were cast into the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual. They were in the furnace but a moment, and even then the visible Son of God was present with them. The more intense our trials, the greater the manifestation of the Lord we will be met with. He is near to the brokenhearted, to the sorrowful, to those suffering for righteousness sake.
     
So be encouraged sister. Suffer well with me as we embrace the cross God has appointed unto us. And thanks for asking about my welfare!

Back in February of this year I was led by the Spirit to leave the mission after three years of service. The Lord has indicated that I am to prepare for a ministry of teaching. I believe I will be traveling and the Lord will provide open doors of opportunity. Yet even in this time of preparation the trials continue. I still find that I must die daily. The message the Lord has given me to proclaim is the message of the cross.

I am no glutton for punishment. However, I realize that suffering is appointed to us in this time. My great hope is that I might not resist this work, but that I might willingly drink deeply from the cup of suffering presented to me. This willingness is of itself a triumph, for it goes against the inclinations of the natural man. It is choosing identification with Christ above self-preservation.

I expect the trials will continue even as the Lord sends me out on the road. Yet I look to the Lord to walk with me through every trial. Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. Let us encourage one another with these words.

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

---

This excerpt 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

Sunday, April 15, 2018

A People for His Praise


When we moved to our new home in Byron our family had been battling sickness for a few weeks. Some condition similar to bronchitis had been passed around from one member to another, and I had come down with it about a week before our move. Tony also was afflicted with it at this time. I did not think too much of it, for I knew that in time it would pass and we would be restored to health. I did not know that things would get worse before they got better.

A few days after we had moved in my daughter asked me to fix a shelving unit in her room. I was tired from the move, and from battling the respiratory ailment that was going on, but I agreed to do what I could. I asked Kristin to bring me a chair to stand on so that I could reach where the repair needed to be made. I had anticipated her bringing one of the sturdy kitchen chairs, but instead she showed up with a small child size wooden chair, and she offered it to me. I looked at it for a moment, but being too tired to make a further effort I accepted the chair and sat it in the closet.

When I got both feet up on the chair it shattered into a half dozen pieces and I fell and landed on my left arm and side. My daughter was very startled, but I took inventory of myself for a moment and found that nothing seemed seriously hurt. I told her I was okay and I got back up and asked her to bring me a different chair, and I finished the job.

During the rest of the evening my left arm grew progressively more painful, and it began to stiffen up. By the next morning I was barely able to bend it at all at the elbow, and my forearm was very tender. I still considered that it was not anything serious, since I had been able to use it fully the evening before, and I knew it would heal on its own. I was tempted to grumble to God about my sickness and my injury, but I checked myself, and chose to ask God to give me understanding of why these things were happening.

Over the course of the next few days the Lord gave me understanding of my arm injury. I was reminded that in Scripture the left arm represents defense, for the soldiers would typically wear the shield on their left arm while wielding a sword or spear with the right arm. My arm was injured at the exact spot where a shield would be worn. At this time the Spirit had led me to write some articles that generated a lot of negative response, and He was seeking to teach me to not be defensive at all in my responses. This message of not being defensive was confirmed through a couple of sources, so I thanked God for His lesson, and I asked Him to teach me how to be totally without defense before man. I was to receive plenty of practice as the negative mail continued to come in, and much of it was very vitriolic in nature.

The physical tests continued as I had something resembling a blister come up on my left eye. It didn’t affect my vision, but it looked bad, and was a little worrisome. My wife also continued with her respiratory sickness, and she got to the point where she was having great difficulty sleeping at night, and this affliction was wearing upon her.

About this time my son came into the house one day and he said, “Dad, did you know the air conditioner here has the same name on it as the one on Levie Road? It says it is a Payne.” I had already noted this myself, but I noticed one difference. The lettering was smaller on this air conditioner, and it had a second name on it which was Carrier. So it was not just Payne, but a Payne Carrier. I wasn’t sure what difference this signified, but I sensed that there would be some difference from our previous experiences.


About a month after we moved in I was experiencing some relief from my respiratory problems. I was not coughing as much, and my breathing was improved, though my wife continued on with much difficulty. I noticed one day that my tongue felt like someone had given me a shot of novocaine. It felt a little numb, and had a strange sensation to it. The next morning I woke up and this sensation had spread to my lips, which felt a little puffy and numb. By the end of the day the entire right side of my face was paralyzed, and I realized I had come down with Bell’s Palsy.

I knew about Bell’s Palsy because I had an uncle who had come down with this condition years earlier. I read what I could on the Internet about it and I found it was often precipitated by a viral infection, and it was due to inflammation and damage to the seventh cranial nerve. The condition typically persists anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, with some cases lasting longer than a year.

Over the next week the symptoms reached maturity where the right side of my mouth was drooping. When I smiled, I only had half a smile. When I raised my eyebrows, only my left eyebrow would go up. My right eye would not blink fully, and this led to a dry eye condition and the need to use my finger to manually blink my eye. At times I began wearing a patch over my right eye to keep it from being irritated and drying out. I also experienced much pain in the right side of my head that felt like a severe ear ache with shooting pains. All these things are symptoms of Bell’s Palsy.

When I read about this condition on the Internet I learned that there is little to be done in the way of treatment. It has not been proven that any medication will improve the condition. One must simply wait for the damaged nerve to regenerate itself, and this can be a slow process. All of these things have occurred as I have been writing this book, which speaks in places about God performing supernatural healing in our lives. We have no health insurance, for God has told us to look to Him for our health needs, and He continues to reaffirm that this is His will for us.

I knew all of these things happening in our lives were not coincidental, for God orders our steps, and He is the One who chooses our trials and tests. I have been reminded again of the significance of our house number 24-40. God is seeking to teach us to worship Him in the midst of trials. He wants to see if He will find a response of worship in our hearts, or whether we will resort to murmuring and complaint against Him as the Israelites also did in their wilderness journeys. I have been very mindful of this, and because of this fact I have chosen to adopt an attitude of trust and worship, rather than fear and complaint.

As all of these things have been occurring, my family and I have had to choose to recognize the presence of God in our situations and struggles. We can either choose to believe that He orders the events of our lives, and He has a very good purpose for all things, or we can live in the unconscious reality spoken of earlier in this book. What we choose to believe will radically impact what our response will be.

Because I have chosen to recognize the presence of God, and to not think that anything in my life is chance, or accident, I was ready to receive what God spoke to me yesterday through a prophetic word He led me to. I was writing a chapter in this book and I had just penned the following words:

Our time had started off with great promise, but had ended with tremendous disappointment. I had felt certain that the Lord would use this people as a core group to begin to raise up a people to His praise. I had prayed for such a people for ten years...


These words, “a people for His praise,” were still in my mind when I went to find a prophetic word at an Internet site so that I could quote it in the chapter. What I found first was a word that had recently been posted that was titled, “A People that will be a Praise unto My Name.” The Spirit bid me to read this prophecy, and He spoke to me through it. Below is the text of this word.

A People That Will Be A Praise Unto My Name
Dee Hoetmer - 17th March 2004

Isa 33:10 Now will I rise, saith the LORD; now will I be exalted; now will I lift up myself.

Do not look to the left or to the right, for your deliverance will come from Me. Look to the hills from whence comes your deliverance. Some trust in horses, some trust in chariots. Why do you look to Egypt My people for your deliverance from your circumstances?

Psa 121:1 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. Psa 121:2 My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. Psa 121:3 He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. Psa 121:4 Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. Psa 121:5 The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand.

Psa 20:7 Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God. Psa 20:8 They are brought down and fallen: but we are risen, and stand upright. Psa 20:9 Save, LORD: let the king hear us when we call.

Isa 54:4 Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more.

Have I not said that I will open the door? Have I not said that I will hold you by the right hand and show you the way in which you must go? Many are fretting, looking for that open door, anxious to move forward in your call. Yes the world awaits the revelation of the Sons of God. Creation awaits redemption, but for now My children I have to teach you patience, longsuffering and fortitude.

Rom 8:21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

You are to have the attributes of My Son before I reveal MY SONS to the world. Lay down your own agendas, lay down your presumptuous thoughts about what awaits you in your calling. All self seeking, all self glorification must cease. Long have I suffered My name being brought into disrepute. Long have I suffered the mockings of My Holy name, for My children have not brought glory to Me! Now when I send out My prepared ones, MY SONS, they will go forth ablaze in My Glory!

Rom 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

There will be no mistaking who is LORD, CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE AND ALL THAT IS THEREIN. You will stretch forth your hand in faith and I will do creative miracles. Yea limbs will grow where there were only stumps, eyes will appear in empty eye sockets. There will be no mistaking that I, THE LORD GOD JEHOVAH, IS GOD!
     
The miracles will not be for you Beloved, in that day, but that the world will know who I AM. Kings will bow down to Me in that day I will reveal My power through you. My name will no longer be mocked. My people be ye Holy even as I AM Holy! My name will no longer be mocked, the world will see who I AM.
     
So now you see Beloved, why it is just a little longer, a little more refining and I WILL SEND FORTH A PEOPLE THAT WILL BE A PRAISE UNTO MY NAME!


1Pe 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

Phi 1:11 Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.

Eph 1:12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
[End Quote]

It is for such a people that I have been led to pray for over ten years. The Spirit is testifying that such a people will be seen soon. At this moment He is doing a further refining work. He is seeking to teach us patience, longsuffering and fortitude. I can easily see how the present trials being encountered in my family are designed to produce these characteristics. Because I have discerned God’s hand in this matter, I am encouraged to endure with patience, and to look with hope for that glory which is soon to be revealed. I am enabled to praise and worship God in the midst of tests.

I am still praying for healing, and I am praying for God’s provision to be manifest on behalf of my family, for God has told us to ask. His words says:

Philippians 4:6
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

This book is not yet finished, for my story is not yet concluded. I look to great things to come in just a short time. If you have learned anything in this book, I hope you have noted how important it is to discern the presence of God in our lives. God is not absent in the lives of any of His children, though many live as if He is nowhere around. Only when we discern His presence can we respond appropriately to the circumstances of our lives. We must consciously choose to live by faith and not by sight.

The life of faith is not some mystical experience reserved for a few. It is to be the portion of all God’s children. We enter into this life of faith one moment, and one act of belief at a time. The Scriptures do testify, “Without faith it is impossible to please God.”

Without faith I would not be confessing that He has ordered my steps and allowed my wife and I to know physical infirmity at this time. I would also not respond with the patience and worshipful attitude that He desires. Without faith I would not believe that days are just ahead when God will place awesome anointings upon His elect, and the blind will receive sight, amputated limbs will grow back, and many other extraordinary things will occur. Yet I do believe, and I look to a day soon when the name of Yahweh and His Son Yahshua will be a praise in the earth because there is a people who walk worthy of Them.

No, this book is not finished, for God is not finished. He will complete what He has begun. He has taken a family that was very much out of order, bound by many ungodly things, and He has been setting things in order. He is bringing forth something that will glorify His name. When our own fears and weaknesses would have caused us to turn back from the course He chose from us, He has held us steadily to the path. It is not our faithfulness that is in view in this book, but the faithfulness of God to complete that which He has begun. As Jude has stated,

Jude 24-25
Now to Him Who is able to keep you without stumbling or slipping or falling, and to present [you] unblemished (blameless and faultless) before the presence of His glory in triumphant joy and exultation [with unspeakable, ecstatic delight]-- to the one only God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory (splendor), majesty, might and dominion, and power and authority, before all time and now and forever (unto all the ages of eternity). Amen (so be it).
(Amplified Bible)

He is faithful! Amen!

----

This is an excerpt 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

Friday, April 13, 2018

Understanding Comes


When I discerned that God would once more have us to move I began meeting regularly with my family to pray for God’s direction and provision to be made known. We were specific in those things we asked for. In particular, we desired a house with at least three bedrooms so Kristin and Josiah might have their own rooms. I considered that a fourth bedroom would be even better, that I might have an office to set up my computer and have a place to be able to pray and write. We also asked for a place in a country setting, though I suspected that this would mean that I would have to go back to a dial-up connection for Internet access, which is a real detriment when trying to maintain a website and attend to a large volume of correspondence. I also wanted something that would be close to $500 a month, though many people who move into this area have found that almost anything under $600 a month is run down, small, and in bad neighborhoods. As a final specific point of prayer, I had told my family several weeks earlier that I felt God wanted us to locate in the area of a small town nearby named Byron, Georgia.

Our family had only been praying for a couple days when my daughter began corresponding with a young lady who had recently began practicing headcovering. As they were getting acquainted my daughter told her that we were going to be moving soon, and when the other young lady asked her where we were going to move, Kristin informed her that I felt we were to move to Byron. This girl responded by saying that she lived in Byron and that her dad had rental property in the area. She volunteered to ask her dad if he had anything available, and a couple days later she got back with my daughter and told her that her dad had a four bedroom, two bath home that was located on their family farm in a secluded location. She said I should contact her father if I was interested.

What this young lady described was exactly what we had been praying for, and I sensed that God was once more going before us in these things. Only once in the past five years did we have to look for a place to live. We moved approximately ten times in this period, and in only one move did we actually have to look around to see where God would have us to live. In all of the other instances God had brought the provision to us. I determined to call this man the next morning, which was Friday February 13.

On Friday morning I considered that, should the man agree to rent to me that day, I did not have the money on hand to pay both rent and deposits. I prayed and felt that the Lord wanted me to check the IRS website to see when my tax refund would be deposited. When I did I found that $790 was to be deposited into my checking account that very day. This seemed providential once more, since the means to pay for this house coincided exactly with the opportunity set before us.

I called the man and he was very interested in showing us the house. They wanted a quiet (not rowdy) family to go into this home since it was on their family farm and they lived on the other side of the land, as did some other relatives. We agreed to meet at 3 PM to view the house, and we prayed again as a family before we went. We asked the Lord that if this was where He wanted us that He would give us favor.

We met the man's wife, and she turned out to be someone who had formerly worked at the Houston Healthcare Complex during the same time I was employed there, and she recognized me. She and my wife hit it off very well, as did their daughter and my daughter who were meeting each other face to face for the first time. The husband was very busy, as he is also a home builder, and he only dropped by briefly. I asked him if he wanted me to fill out any paperwork, and he said no, that he felt good about us renting from them. We gave them a check for the rent and deposits and began moving in the very next day.

The rent was close to the amount I had prayed for, and the home was only four years old, in great shape, and in a beautiful country setting. It had four bedrooms, which we desired, and was just outside the city limits of Byron. It would take less than five minutes to be in town. Amazingly to me, although the home is on a farm it is served by two types of high speed Internet access. DSL and Cable Internet are both available. The owners also allowed pets, though we were required to pay a deposit. There were absolutely no impediments to our moving to this new location. It was as if the Lord had swung the door wide open and said, “Here is my provision for you. Enter in!”


Even with so many affirmations of the Lord’s hand in this provision, I was troubled by stepping out and renting this place, for the memories of our experiences in Montezuma were still fresh in my mind. Twice God provided places for us there, only for us to then see all financial provision dry up, and I dealt with the agony of not having the money to pay our rent. My faith was being tested severely, as the Father was seeking to deliver me from the fears that tormented me. I had been struggling to understand why God led us to endure the things we experienced in Montezuma, for I had such high expectations and a very profound disappointment. Although I knew God was teaching me lessons there (It was there the Spirit led me to write the book The Divine Quest), there was much I didn't understand and this lack of understanding was producing an unrest and lack of peace in my soul.

Just a few days after we had moved into this home, my wife and children were going off, and my daughter was to spend the night away. I was sitting in a chair by the front door anticipating a quiet evening by myself, and I was watching my daughter come in and out as she was constantly remembering one more thing she wanted to take with her. On her last trip she grabbed two things and headed for the door, but when she got there she changed her mind about a book she was going to take and she turned around and placed it in my hands, told me good-bye, and was out the door and gone.

I looked at the book in my hands, and it was Hinds’ Feet On High Places by Hannah Hurnard. I had never read this book before, but I had the feeling that I had been set-up by the Spirit. My family had just left. I was all alone. And God had just placed a book in my hands which I felt a strong witness that I was to read. I began reading the book and as I did the Spirit witnessed powerfully to me and the tears began to flow. I read of the main character, Much-Afraid, and how the Shepherd led her out from her relatives the Fearings. I read how the Shepherd led her to one journey after another where her fears assailed her and had to be overcome, faith had to be exercised, and her will had to be laid upon the altar. As I read I was reviewing my own journey, and I began to understand why my Shepherd had been leading me down the paths He had asked me to take. It has been His desire to free me from all fears and to learn an unshakeable confidence in Him.

I then understood also what he was doing in our current situation, for once more He had led me to a place where I had only enough money to pay for the first month's rent and deposits, and where the landlord required that the next month's rent be paid on the first of the month, only two weeks later. (The first month's rent is for a full month, but the second is pro-rated. I know some will be curious.) God was asking me, "Will you trust Me once more? Will you dwell in perfect peace this time without listening to the voices of anxiety, fear, or evil forebodings?"

In this book the main character Much-Afraid is led down many perilous paths, and through roads of sorrow and pain. She is tormented by members of the Fearing family who dog her steps and continually speak words to her that are intended to turn her back from following the course the Shepherd is leading her down. The Lord reminded me that nearly two years earlier He had prophesied through my daughter with the words "You must learn to listen to My voice, and My voice alone. Put behind you all foolish thoughts of doubt and unbelief, for great is My reward to those who trust in Me." My way had been made much more difficult because I had allowed the voice of fear to continually resound in my heart. I had continued to follow where my Shepherd led, but I did so in fear and trembling.

Much-Afraid finally determines to no longer listen to these voices, and at first she stops up her ears, but she is not able to hear anything at all. She later learns that an even more effectual solution is to begin singing praises to God whenever the voices of fear, anxiety and evil forebodings begin to speak to her. The Spirit had been speaking the same message to me for some time. He had been calling me to praise and worship Him in the midst of trials, and I knew that while we were at this house in Byron that Yahweh desired to bring me to complete victory in this matter.

When we moved to this house I noticed that the house number was 2440, which is commonly pronounced “twenty-four  forty.” I had felt there was a significance to these numbers, but I did not immediately know what it was. After we had been in this house a few weeks, the Spirit revealed to me the meaning. The Spirit showed me that the significance relates to worshiping Him in the midst of trials and tests. The number twenty-four only occurs in reference to two things in Scripture, and the verses the Spirit led me to were in the book of Revelation.

Revelation 4:9-10
And when the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, to Him who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders will fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and will worship Him who lives forever and ever...

Revelation 5:8-9
When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song...

Revelation 11:16
And the twenty-four elders, who sit on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God...

Revelation 19:4-5
And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sits on the throne saying, "Amen. Hallelujah!" And a voice came from the throne, saying, "Give praise to our God, all you His bond-servants, you who fear Him, the small and the great."

We see here that the number twenty-four is consistently linked to God's creation worshiping Him. Wherever the twenty-four elders are mentioned, praise and worship of God is also present. The number forty is a number associated with trials and testing, for example the Israelites were tested by God for forty years in the wilderness, Yahshua was tested for forty days in the wilderness, etc.. As I considered these things I sensed the Spirit telling me that He wanted us to worship Him in the midst of trials and testing. We were to have no lack of trials in which to practice this, for from the day we moved in we were beset with one test after another.

It was a great comfort to me that God should choose to bring me understanding of my trials. As I read this book by Hannah Hurnard I experienced a deep peace come upon me. It was as if the Father had come down to wrap His arms around me and to personally assure me that He is with us. I felt like I was having an intimate conversation with the Father as I read this book, and I knew He was answering my prayers for understanding to be granted to me.


In the book Much-Afraid is yearning to get to the destination, which is the mountains of spices. The Shepherd at times takes her down paths that are leading in the direction of the mountains, and hope grows in her heart, but then He unexpectedly bids her to follow a path that seems to lead directly away from her destination. These detours are great tests for Much-Afraid who wants so desperately to be at the end of the journey. Great crises are met with time after time as Much-Afraid must once more lay her will on the altar in order to choose to follow the Shepherd.

I could identify my own times when I have been brought to such crises, and I have battled with continuing on, or turning back. Time after time I have also been led to build an altar and lay my will upon it. In the book, as in reality, something of great value is gained every time she chose to follow the Spirit by taking up the disciple’s cross. At each fresh surrender there is something more of the sinful nature that is crushed, and a new release of the life of Christ within us.

I had been very intent upon wanting to arrive at the destination, and to know the fulfillment of God’s promises for my life and that of my family. Yet there is tremendous value in the journey, for the journey fits us to be able to receive the anointing and calling God has for our lives. As we travel through wilderness places, knowing many tests, our old Adamic nature is subdued and the life of Christ is brought forth to ever increasing expression. In the wilderness we leave behind all those things that have hindered us, and we come forth leaning upon Christ Who has become everything to the saint.

When Yahweh has tried us thoroughly, He will bring us up out of the wilderness and into the promises set before us. The Scriptures say that it is by “faith and patience” that we inherit the promises, and we are told that we have need of endurance. I believe there is a place of rest to be attained in our wilderness experiences. This rest replaces the restlessness we have known where we feel driven to be at the end of all trials and testing. There is a place where we simply become content to wait upon God patiently, and to endure with joy. When we attain to this place, then the Shepherd is able to bring us up out of the wilderness and into the glorious realms that lie ahead.

As I reflected on this book by Hannah Hurnard, and what the Spirit was speaking to me through it, a peace began to grow in my heart. Our present situation looked so very similar to those we had known in Montezuma which were very painful. Yet the promises of God are very precious, and the apostle Paul declares that the glory to be revealed in us is not worth comparing to these momentary, light afflictions.

Romans 8:16-19
The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God.

There is a purpose for every path and every experience our Shepherd leads us through. He is probably more eager than we are ourselves to see us arrive at the destination before us. Yet He bears long with us when we cry out for deliverance from our painful trials, for He knows that there are no shortcuts to glory. He does not wish that we should fall short of the glory of God in any respect.

I hear my Shepherd asking, “Will you simply follow Me? Will you take the course I set before you, and not shrink back?” He promises to be with us at all times, and nothing can separate us from His love. The overcomers in Christ are identified by the following simple statement:

Revelation 14:4
These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These have been purchased from among men as first fruits to God and to the Lamb.

I have had many expectations about what God would do at each place He has led me. I have watched three different bodies of believers shrink back from the path of faith before them when I had expected God to take each one into their promised inheritance. Things have rarely turned out the way I thought they would. When I have thought I was nearing the end of the path, there always seemed to be a further valley to travel through. Yet the Shepherd guiding me knows what He is about. I am learning to rest under His watchful and loving eye.

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This excerpt 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