Thursday, March 31, 2011

Closing A Chapter of My Life

Joseph Herrin (03-31-2011)

Ecclesiastes 3:1
To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.

It was with some mixed emotions that I handed the keys of my van over to its new owner a few days ago. The Father has spoken so profoundly through this vehicle that it seemed like I was parting with a piece of my life. The time seemed right to do so, and the Father brought a buyer to me in the first week that I had it for sale. This is rather unusual in itself, for I did not advertise it, but simply put a sign in the window. The van was parked right beside my bus at the RV park I am staying at, and I am in the very back corner of the campground. The traffic past my site might average 2-3 vehicles an hour.

I want to share with you the story of this van, for it reveals some of the magnificent ways in which our Father guides our steps, provides for our needs, and communicates His mind and thoughts to us. It is not an ordinary story, but I believe such events as I will describe could be more common among saints, and would be if there were a greater degree of surrender to Him and sensitivity to His voice.

Let me begin back in 2004. I had left my job as a computer professional in 1999, and my wife had walked with me until 2004 as we followed the Lord wherever He chose to lead us. I was ministering full-time through writing and the Internet. My wife departed from me that year. The afflicted path of the disciple is a difficult one. Each person must choose for themselves whether they will drink from the cup of suffering. A man cannot drink the cup for his wife, nor parents for their children.

After my wife departed the Father eventually led me to a rescue mission in Macon, Georgia. I was truly homeless at that time, and had been living out of my car for about five months. The Father began to speak to me about men and women at rescue missions, and the thought began to take shape in my spirit that the Father would be leading me to one soon. Many testimonies from the Father were used to confirm this.

On December 6, 2004 I had just finished a second forty day period camping in a tent in the Oconee Forest of Georgia. I had been keeping notes in a daily devotion book I was reading (Streams in the Desert). I marked at the top of the page for that date that I had made it through two forty day wilderness experiences, and it was precisely 144 days since my wife had left me. My next destination was to go to a rescue mission.

On December 10, 2004 I was admitted to the Macon Rescue Mission. The mission runs an alcohol and drug recovery program for men. They typically ask for a 90 day commitment, for that is the standard length of the program. I told the director of the men’s division that I had never been a consumer of drugs or alcohol, but he seemed unperturbed. He told me that if I was willing to attend the same meetings as the rest of the men that I was welcome to stay at the mission.

After some weeks had passed, the director of the men’s division asked me to step into the position of Resident Manager. The Resident Manager was responsible for the oversight of the mission after staff had gone home on weekdays, as well as on the week-ends. The mission also had a battered women’s shelter, and the Resident Manager had responsibilities to maintain its safety and to insure that policies were adhered to.

With some trepidation I accepted the role offered to me. It became evident to me soon afterward that the Father had ordered my steps and chosen this experience for my growth as a son. He was continually leading me to accept challenges and experiences that elicited a fearful response in my soul. In doing so He was teaching me to not be ruled by fear.

I had brought my car with me to the mission. It was an older Ford Tempo. My daughter Kristin needed a car at the time, as she had recently taken a job while staying with a family from the church she attended. I gave her the car, and I used a bicycle to get around. I didn’t much need a car at the time. I lived at the mission, and ate all my meals there. I would ride my bicycle to the library, to the bank, and post office. I knew I would need another vehicle eventually, but at the time using my bike was not any great hardship.

Around the end of February 2005 I had gone to the post office and found that a brother in Christ had sent me a financial gift of $800. This was unusual. I believe it was the first money anyone had sent me in about 5-6 months. I immediately began asking the Father the purpose for which He had sent me the money. The mission at that time had been receiving donated vehicles as they were moving forward with plans to sell the donated vehicles to help fund their operations. They did not have a dealer’s license yet, so as cars came in they were parking them wherever they had room.

As I rode my bike back up to the mission I saw the van which would become mine parked in front of the mission. The Spirit spoke to me and said, “The $800 will be used to purchase that van.” It is amazing how the Father can communicate such a clear and detailed piece of information to our minds, and we can recognize it for His voice. I knew the Father had spoken to me, so I put the money aside, and awaited the day when the mission would receive their dealer’s license and hold an auction to sell the vehicles they had been acquiring.

The day finally came on April 30, 2005. More than 100 people gathered in front of the mission as an auctioneer sold the vehicles one by one. There were about 25 vehicles sold that day, and the van was on the list toward the end. The auctioneer started around $100 and increased the amount by $50 increments. I began bidding, as well as several others. After we passed $500 there was just me and one other man bidding. The price kept climbing until I was nearly at my limit. The other man bid $750 and I then bid $800. There was no other bid after that, and I became the owner of the van that day for the exact price the Father had told me.

God gave me much favor with the staff at the mission, and although I had been there only about 5 months, they gave me a gift that day by discounting the cost I would have to pay for the van by $250. So, my actual out of pocket cost was $550, and I was able to put the rest toward insurance and gas. When I sold the van this past week, I received the same price I paid for it - $550.

I remained at the mission for nearly three more years. I often wondered why the Father had given me this particular vehicle. It was large, and made for living in, and got poor gas mileage. I was living at the mission, and did no camping during those years, so I did not understand the reason the Father had chosen this vehicle for me.

In February of 2008 the Father indicated that it was time for me to leave the mission and return to a ministry of writing and teaching. I had done no writing, or internet ministry during the years at the mission, as the Father had indicated I was to lay it down. I did preach often at the chapel services held in the mission. Many of those messages are available in audio format on the Heart4God website.

After leaving the mission, I was led of the Father to spend time seeking His face to understand the ministry of coming days that he had called me to. I spent a month camping, splitting my time between the West Georgia mountains, and Jekyll Island on the east coast of Georgia. During this time of listening to the Father’s voice He showed me the reason He had given me the van.

On a practical level, the camper/van was now proving very useful. I was living in it as I camped. The van had a sink, and potable water system, a toilet and holding tank, a two burner propane stove, a bed in the rear, and a roof air conditioner that worked very well.

Yet, it was the symbolic details of the van that the Spirit began speaking to me about that most impressed me. The van was built as a custom camper/van. The name on it was Xplorer Van Model 222. The van came with a factory Pioneer sound system. I remember clearly one day as I was walking through the campground in West Georgia that the Spirit led me to consider how old the van was at that time. The year was 2008, and the van was manufactured in 1986. It was 22 years old.

The Father had been using the number 22 in my life for years to signify flesh cutting. In 1999, the year He had led me to leave my employment as a computer professional and to begin ministering full time, He had spoken to me a very pointed word. As I looked over a sod farm, and watched a man on a tractor mowing the grass, I wistfully said to the Father that I longed to have a job like that. The serenity of cutting grass; not having to deal with confrontation, and the strife of man, was very appealing during that season of my life. The Spirit spoke to me with great clarity and said, “I have indeed called you to a ministry of cutting grass, for all flesh is as grass. But first you must permit me to cut the grass in your life.”

The words were so clear, I wrote them down in my notebook that I had with me for that purpose. Little did I suspect the experiences that lay ahead; The years of battling fear as I faced financial trials while being constrained by the Father to not return to secular employment; The criticism and rejection by family, friends, church-members and fellow ministers; my wife and son departing from me; months spent living out of my car, and camping in the woods; weeks of hunger and loneliness; and over three years living and working at an inner city rescue mission.

From October of 1999 when I left employment as a computer professional, until February 2008, the lessons were intense. The flesh cutting was intense. Having surrendered to go wherever the Father wished to lead me, I found the path before me to be one I would not have chosen for myself. It was truly an afflicted path, but there was tremendous grace all along the way. The fellowship with God was also much more precious than any I had previously known. His word was rich to me. His voice was declaring to me many things, leading me to grow in truth at a far quicker pace than I had experienced in days of lesser surrender.

Space does not permit me to recount all the trials of those days. I have written of many of them in the autobiographical work titled Evidence of Things Unseen, for any who care to read about them.

It will have to be sufficient here to say that I knew great wrestling of soul for prolonged seasons. Day after day there were battles, and the temptation to come down off the cross. I knew that at any time I could abandon a Spirit-led life and return to a life of self-direction. I could get a job, go to church, live quietly, and be relatively undisturbed. Friends and family would once more embrace me. The giant of fear I had to battle with could be avoided. Yet, the Spirit of Christ would not permit me to shrink back. The cross had to be borne. There was no alternative path set before me that would lead to life. There was only the afflicted path, and few there are who find it.

I share this background to explain what the Father revealed to me regarding the significance of the vehicle He had provided for me. I had long ago learned that vehicles represent ministries. The Father spoke to me that this van represented the ministry appointed to me.

Like Joseph of old, in an hour when most of my brothers were living comfortable self-directed lives, the Father led me to experiences of confinement. Like Joseph, the slave in Egypt, I had my liberty stripped from me. I could only do that which my Master commanded me to do. Yet I sought to be found faithful wherever I was placed.

Joseph was a forerunner. He went down to Egypt before his brothers, but they too had to go to Egypt. There they all endured enslavement. In the Father’s wisdom, He determined that one should go before them. This one would be able to comfort his brothers when it was their turn to go down to Egypt and experience the furnace of affliction there.

As I waited before the Father in 2008, to hear His voice, He testified that even as my van was an Xplorer and had a Pioneer sound system, so too had He sent me before my brothers to explore the way they must go. As a pioneer I was to return and tell others of the way, and encourage them to walk the afflicted path that leads to life. Even as the “sound system” in the van was a “Pioneer,” so too would I be given a pioneering message to sound forth.

The Father added to this testimony when I needed to purchase new tires for the van. I asked the dealer to give me an affordable set of light truck tires. He installed them, and when I saw the name on them I knew they were the right ones.

Pathfinder Trail Tires

I have recently conversed with a dear brother who has questioned whether the experiences I have passed through are unique to me, suggesting that they may not be the portion of everyone who is called to be a disciple of Christ. I do believe there will certainly be differences of experience. Joseph and his brothers did not arrive in Egypt through the same set of circumstances, yet they all had to go there.

I believe the Father has permitted me as an explorer and pioneer to taste of the variety of experiences that are coming to a much larger group of His sons and daughters. It was even in the Father’s plan for me to experience being cast in jail for a season, fulfilling another experience observed in the life of Joseph.

None of the experiences I passed through are unusual from a Biblical perspective. They were all the experiences of the disciples. Christ cautioned all who would be His disciples to count the cost before committing themselves to follow Him. There is nothing I experienced that He did not name as being something His followers would experience.

Luke 14:26-33
“If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it - lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, 'This man began to build and was not able to finish...' So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.”

Matthew 10:17
“But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils (courts) and scourge you in their synagogues (churches).”

Revelation 2:10-11
Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

The things I have experienced in the past 12 years only seem unusual and extreme today because there have been so few people of God in this nation who have committed to following the Lord wherever He would lead them. All who surrender to be led of Christ will be led down an afflicted path. He has testified that it is so.

Matthew 7:13-14
“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. For the gate is small and the way is afflicted that leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

Look up the word translated as “afflicted” in the above verse. You may be more familiar with Bible translations that have rendered this word as “narrow.” However, it is a different word from that which is used when speaking of the “narrow gate.” It is the Greek word “thlibo,” and it means “afflicted,” and is translated in this way in almost every other occurrence in the New Testament. Paul uses the word “thlibo” in the following verse.

I Thessalonians 3:4
For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know.

We see then, that the King James translators understood this word to indicate suffering, affliction and tribulation. This is precisely what the Father has been declaring to me by His Spirit. He has been proclaiming to me that the road to life is an afflicted path. It is a journey of suffering and troubles. Christ was the ultimate pioneer in walking this path, but in this last hour He has appointed sons who will also serve as pioneers to walk the path a short time before their brothers must do so. These follow the pattern of Joseph and his brothers. Joseph was also a pioneer and explorer. He experienced the restriction of slavery, and so too must all who would be disciples of Christ.

I Corinthians 7:22-23
Likewise he who is called while free is Christ's slave. You were bought at a price...

Seeing that I belong to Christ, and my life is not my own, should I balk at the experiences Christ chooses for me? What if He should choose that I surrender all my worldly possessions? What if He should lead me to give up a good job and salary and to accept more humble circumstances and experiences? What if it be His choice that I walk alone, and even my dearest family members and friends should withdraw their fellowship from me? What if He should even choose for me to be deprived of that liberty afforded a bond-servant and be cast in jail? Are not our lives His to do with as He pleases? Will He not choose what is best for His sons and daughters?

To be a disciple we must put on a different mindset from that which most Christians have embraced. Rather than looking at this life as an opportunity to live a happy, contented and satisfied life, we must view it as our best opportunity to gain conformity to Christ. If He learned obedience by the things He suffered, so too must we.

People of God, I can honestly say that I do not regret at all having walked the path I have been led down the past 12 years. Yes, it was difficult. There were some lengthy seasons when I could say with Paul, “our flesh had no rest, but we were afflicted on every side: conflicts without, fears within” (II Corinthians 7:5). Yet there is a promise of an inheritance at the end of this afflicted path. It is the only path that leads to life, and few there are who find it.

This brings me to the final thing I want to share today. The Father has testified to me that He has a remnant in America, and in all nations. This remnant is signified by the 153 fish pulled up in the nets that I have recently written about. When I began to be sent out across the nation in 2008 to proclaim this message of the afflicted path, the Father provided many testimonies that it was to this remnant that He was sending me. One of the most profound testimonies related to the key I had made at that time.

I had bent the key to the ignition, and thought I had better get a spare made before it broke. Below is an image of the key they made for me. Each key blank is stamped with a number to identify the type of vehicle it will work with. Note the stamp on the key.


Christ told me that He was sending me to speak to those He has called to walk as overcomers through these days. The Y153 stands for that number who belong to Yahshua. Even as the nets did not break while encompassing the 153 fish, Christ does not want to lose any of those appointed for salvation.

John 6:38-39
“For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day.”

I believe there are many who read this blog who are hearing the call of God to embrace the afflicted path that they might attain to the first resurrection, the resurrection of firstfruits, of firstborn sons. Christ wants to raise you up on that day. He is wooing and drawing you to cast your life over into His hands, to commit to follow Him wherever He leads.

It seems that the ministry appointed to me is in some way changing at this time. I do not fully understand it yet, but the van has been let go. I began driving my bus around town this week for the first time. Since having it tuned up by Marc Libermann, it has much more power. It drives far smoother. It no longer backfires.

It is a larger vehicle, and in some way I believe the Father is testifying that the ministry is to be enlarged. I do not look for this to be fulfilled after the manner man might expect, for God’s ways are not man’s ways. The bus is also an older vehicle. It was manufactured in 1972, and it will be 40 years old next year. I think this too is symbolic. The bus has been referred to as an ark, and there is certainly a relationship between the ark of Noah and the number 40.

Perhaps I will only understand the full meaning of these things in hindsight. I do know with a surety, however, that the message the Father has laid upon my heart to proclaim is one of walking the afflicted path, enduring hardship, and striving toward the prize that awaits the overcomers in Christ.

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

Heart4God Website:  

Parables Blog:  

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

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Preparing for Troublous Days - The Wisdom of God

I Corinthians 1:25
The foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

Michael Card sings a song titled “God’s Own Fool.” The song begins with the following words:

Seems I've imagined Him all of my life
As the wisest of all of mankind
But if God's Holy wisdom is foolish to men
He must have seemed out of His mind

For even His family said He was mad
And the priests said a demon's to blame
But God in the form of this angry young man
Could not have seemed perfectly sane

I want to begin this series on preparing for days of trouble by pointing out how the church has adopted a natural wisdom while rejecting the wisdom of God. What are most Christians anticipating to occur before days of great tribulation fall upon this earth? They expect God to rapture them out of this earth so they do not have to experience the suffering and trials of that hour.

Such teachings have been popularized for decades. Hal Lindsey wrote of the church being raptured in the 1970s, and Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye took the message to new heights of popularity with their best selling Left Behind series. This series admits to being a work of fiction, while at the same time falsely claiming to be based upon sound Biblical doctrine. The wisdom of the natural man will inevitably arrive at doctrines and beliefs that satisfy his soulish desires. Men do not see the value of suffering. Indeed, they believe suffering is evil, and to be assiduously avoided.

Two thousand years ago, the people of God were studying the Scriptures daily. The Jewish society was centered around the reading and study of the Scriptures in the synagogues and temple. They interpreted the words of God through the filter of their human intellect, arriving at conclusions and predictions of the next work of Yahweh that proved to be as far removed from reality as darkness is from the light. They envisioned a future in which the Jewish people would be exalted. They concluded that the Messiah’s appearing would usher in a renewal of the earthly kingdom; the throne of David would have one of his descendants to sit upon it; the yoke of Rome would be cast off, and those who were the seed of Abraham would rule and reign with their Messiah.

Such is the wisdom of man. Man believes and hopes for what is pleasing to his soul. The soul does not want to suffer. It wants glory and honor without qualification. The mind of man sees no wisdom in an afflicted path, for man judges things externally.

Not only did the Jews make this mistake two thousand years ago, but Christ revealed that the church would commit the same error. Christ proclaimed that the church would succumb to fleshly desire and natural wisdom by equating material prosperity with spiritual maturity.

Revelation 3:17-19
“You say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing' - and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked - I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.”

In the book of The Revelation we are given a prophetic picture of Christ addressing seven churches. The last of these is the church of Laodicea to whom the words above were spoken. Some have understood the Laodicean church to be a representation of the church in the last hour before Christ returns. Arguments have been set forth to suggest the seven churches are a chronological forecast of the condition of the body of Christ. There are certainly many aspects of the Laodicean church that match perfectly with the character of the church today.

A message of prosperity has thoroughly leavened the body of Christ. The church has heaped up to herself teachers to tell her the things her soul desires to hear. The message of the hour that attracts tens of thousands to mega-churches is one of worldly fulfillment, materialism, and hedonistic pleasure.

Note the emphasis on the word “YOUR!” It is the soul of man directing all things.

Note again the emphasis on the word “YOUR!” Christ said, “I did not come to do My will, but the will of the One who sent Me.”

Using the Law of Moses to justify a pursuit of wealth and much selfish behavior is not a new occurrence. The Jews were doing the same in the days of Christ.

Luke 16:13-15
"No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon." Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, also heard all these things, and they derided Him. And He said to them, "You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.”

These words again reveal the gap between human wisdom and God’s wisdom. This gap is on display in the myriad of Christian books advocating a focus on material success.

Learn time tested Biblical secrets to create wealth while serving others!” Such a concept is certainly an attempt to serve two masters.

Tragically, many of the most popular teachers to the body of Christ are feeding the saints a diet of mammon, rather than manna.

Fortune, Family and Faith Series.” Note which is placed first in the list.

I Timothy 6:9-10
Those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

The book’s byline states: “Unlock the Secrets of Creating Wealth and Harness the Power of Money to Influence Everything.” In contrast, Peter and John said, “Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have give I thee.” James stated, “Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom?” (James 2:5)

Yes, Pat Robertson is among those preaching prosperity and the rapture.

How Different Are the Ways of Man and the Ways of God?

I shared the above graphic previously, but am including it again for it visually depicts the stark contrast between the message derived from human wisdom, and the wisdom of God. The popularity of a message of blessing, ease, and comfort reveals what message the church has chosen to embrace, and which one they have rejected.

These books represent just a smattering of the teachers and teachings the church has heaped up to tickle their ears. Such messages are being devoured like candy. Authors, teachers and ministers who want to be popular and affluent know what message sells.  Those who proclaim this error have formed a symbiotic relationship with the masses who want to hear error. Not knowing the fear of God, many in the body of Christ have failed to concern themselves with the consequences of choosing lies over truth.

II Thessalonians 2:10-12
Because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved... for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Is it surprising, considering God’s promise to send delusion to those who prefer lies over truth, that the majority view of this late hour is that the church will be raptured out of the earth before tribulation begins? If the church had to practice truth in advertising we would find the books and preaching  offered to the body of Christ labeled very differently.

Pleasant Lies

Often when I openly declare some adored Christian personality to be seducing the people of God with a false message, I hear back from those who accuse me of being too hard on the individual. People of God, wolves in sheep’s clothing look like sheep. They appear pleasant on the outside. They smile, and appear congenial, but all the while they are leading the flock of God to destruction.

In the previous post I quoted a statement made from the overseer of one of the largest cathedrals in Christchurch. He stated that the church had become “a death trap.” How difficult it is to look beyond the pleasant facade of the church today and see the danger posed to the undiscerning. Christ declared the following:

Matthew 24:11
“Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.”

False prophets do not wear signs on their chests declaring them to be deceivers anymore than books and teachings promoting spiritual deception come with warning labels. It is up to the individual saint to test all things. If the gate is narrow and the path afflicted that leads to life, and few there are who find it; if the church is prophesied in the last days to not endure sound doctrine (such as the message of the disciple’s cross), but will heap up to herself false teachers; if there is a broad way that leads to destruction crowded with multitudes of men and women; then should we not discern something as we observe the vast popularity of books that proclaim a message of worldly success, prosperity, and an escape from suffering?

The message that the church must go through a time of judgment, suffering, and birth pangs prior to the next appearance of Christ is incompatible with the message of prosperity and worldly success. Two thousands years ago the people of God were predicting the appearing of the Messiah in a manner that would satisfy their carnal desires. The people of God are doing so again today.

The natural man desires to be taken from a life focused on worldly attainment and be ushered into the presence of God through an experience known as the rapture. The flesh seeks some message that will permit it to avoid the suffering of the cross, while not being denied the inheritance that belongs to the sons of God. The result is a false gospel message that focuses on confession of Christ while it ignores or denies conformity to Christ during this life. Christ did nothing of His own initiative; He lived only for the will and pleasure of the Father; but the saint is taught by word and example that he can pursue his own soulish desires. The saint is told that Christ went to the cross so that he/she would not need to do so.

If you love truth and fear God, you will not be satisfied with the foods sacrificed to idols (also known as “doctrines of demons”)  that the majority of the body of Christ is feeding upon today. If you love truth you will prefer a message of an afflicted path that leads to life over pleasant lies of a broad and easy path that is promised to arrive at the same destination. If you love truth, you will test the claims that Christians will not have to endure days of tribulation, nor have to experience fiery trials and suffering.

What will the outcome be for those who refuse to let go of their carnal doctrines? Will it not be the same as that which the Jews experienced two millennia ago? The people of God will not recognize the day of Christ’s visitation. They will resist the work of God. They will deny the Lord of glory. They will think they do God a favor while they persecute and kill the disciples of Christ.

Christ will appear in a manner and form unrecognizable to the majority of Christians’ eyes. As His appearance was changed when He met the disciples as they drew the 153 large fish to the shore, His appearance will not be what Christians are expecting today. When He begins to take of the fish and put them in the fire, the children of God will not understand.

The wisdom of God has determined that the saints of this last hour must endure troublous days before they enter into glory as surely as it was His wisdom that determined His firstborn son must do the same. What the Teacher and Pattern Man experienced, so too must the disciple.

Isaiah 53:3, 10-11
He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief... Yahweh was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief... As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will be satisfied.

Philippians 1:29
For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake.

I Peter 4:12-13
Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.

How very different is the wisdom of God and the wisdom of man? Yahweh sees the necessity of afflicting His people. He knows the necessity of suffering and the cross in order to transform fleshly men and women into spiritual creatures. He knows that no real harm comes to a man or woman who suffers in the flesh. If we too would look at things from the eternal perspective of God we would judge the same.

II Corinthians 4:17-18
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

The message of the cross is foolishness to man. Some say I make too much of the topics of suffering, of passing through wilderness experiences and days of affliction. Yet, I see what is coming. Even now it is on the horizon. As a watchman I will cry out. Perhaps the message of troublous days appointed for the people of God will not sound foolish to your ears.

Heart4God Website:

Parables Blog:  

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

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Preparing for Troublous Days

Joseph Herrin (03-27-2011)

Mark 13:19-20
For in those days there will be tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the creation which God created until this time, nor ever shall be.  And unless the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake, whom He chose, He shortened the days.

Japanese People in Crisis

I have been deeply impressed with the images, videos, and descriptions of suffering occurring in the nation of Japan following the massive 9.0 earthquake and tsunami that struck the northern part of the nation on March 11. There is perhaps no more modern, prosperous and technological nation on earth than Japan. With a population of 127 million, it boasts the world’s third largest economy. Territorially, Japan is smaller than the state of California.

The material prosperity and technological prowess of Japan has caused people to view it as a very good place to live, yet in the space of two weeks global attitudes have shifted dramatically. The very technology that Japan has relied upon is now setting hearts trembling throughout the country and the world. With six crippled nuclear reactors spewing forth massive amounts of radiation, her water, air and food supply becoming toxic with radioactive cesium and iodine, those who are able are moving away from the source of destruction.

What has occurred to Japan appears to be a perfect storm. The magnitude 9.0 quake is the largest ever recorded in this island nation that is accustomed to earthquakes. The earthquake alone did damage estimated in the billions. The tsunami that followed did far worse damage. It is estimated that the cost of these combined disasters will top $300 billion dollars, making it the costliest disaster the world has experienced.

Yet, the damage is not over. The stricken nuclear facilities have the potential of unleashing a far more devastating toll. The prevailing winds have been carrying most of the airborne radiation out to sea, but on March 15th the wind shifted to the south, toward Tokyo, a mere 138 miles away. In that brief time, rainfall caused the airborne radiation to penetrate the ground and pollute Tokyo’s water system. The government reported that the level of radiation in the water rendered it unsafe for babies to drink.

Around the same time, tests revealed that food crops and milk produced in the region around the nuclear plants revealed elevated levels of radiation, rendering them unsafe for human consumption. One stroke after another has befallen the Japanese people, and they have not turned the corner yet. The nuclear plants are so severely radioactive that workers are unable to go in and make repairs. This morning it was reported that radiation levels found in water inside the facilities where workers needed to have access was found to be over ten million times above normal levels. One hour of exposure would exceed the government limits for workers there for an entire year. The workers were immediately withdrawn.

The complexities of the repair work that needs to go on inside these facilities is staggering. Yet even before today’s heightened radiation levels were found, workers were only permitted in for minutes at a time. This has rendered it nearly impossible to perform the work needed to stabilize the situation and bring the amount of radiation down. The Japanese government is reporting that it may be weeks, or even months, before a resolution can be attained. In the meantime, massive amounts of radiation are escaping into the atmosphere, as well as being released into the ocean. If the wind should shift again toward population centers, the effect could be catastrophic.

It is not hard to imagine the fear and anxiety plaguing the nation of Japan at this time. Those who can afford to relocate are moving temporarily to places like Hong Kong, Taipei, and even to America. They have not reckoned on the character of the days we have now entered into. The prophet Amos described these days in the following manner:

Amos 5:18-20
Alas, you who are longing for the day of Yahweh, for what purpose will the day of Yahweh be to you? It will be darkness and not light; As when a man flees from a lion and a bear meets him, or goes home, leans his hand against the wall and a snake bites him. Will not the day of Yahweh be darkness instead of light, even gloom with no brightness in it?

The news appears to be all gloom in Japan at this time. There is very little to encourage the citizens of the nation. They are estimating nearly 30,000 people perished in the earthquake and tsunami. Entire towns were washed away. Japan could hardly have been in a worse financial situation prior to these events, and the economic fall-out will be equally severe. Perhaps it is prophetic that much of the airborne radiation is being carried toward North America. The repercussions of the Japanese financial shaking will certainly be felt in America whose economy is linked to the Japanese in many ways.

Since the earthquake in Japan, there have been prophetic reports circulating that for many years God has been testifying that a great quake will strike America some time shortly after Japan experiences a major quake. One of these prophecies comes from David Wilkerson’s book “The Vision” which was published in 1974. Following is a quotation from that book.

Chapter 2 Drastic Weather Change and Earthquakes

Earthquakes coming to United States

The United States is going to experience in the not-too-distant future the most tragic earthquakes in its history. One day soon this nation will be reeling under the impact of the biggest news story of modern times. It will be coverage of the biggest most disastrous earthquake in history.

It will cause widespread panic and fear, Without a doubt, it will become one of the most completely reported earthquakes ever. Television networks will suspend all programming and carry all day coverage.

Another earthquake, possibly in Japan may precede the one that I see coming here. There is not the slightest doubt in my mind about this forthcoming massive earthquake in our continent.

I am not at all convinced that this earthquake will take place in California. In fact, I believe it is going to take place where it is least expected. This terrible earthquake may happen in an area that not known as an earthquake belt. It will be so high on the Richter scale that it will trigger two other major earthquakes.
[End Excerpt]

Rick Joyner at Morningstar Ministries has also been putting out Special Bulletins recently sharing similar warnings. Rick Joyner states that the prophet Bob Jones prophesied 22 years ago that a major quake will strike America soon after Japan experiences a major one. You can view the Special Bulletins at the following links:

Video “The Day the World Changed”:


From a moral perspective, I have much more respect for David Wilkerson and Times Square Church than for Bob Jones and Morningstar Ministries. I am very much concerned for the sensuality, immorality, and focus on materialism found at Morningstar. Last night I watched a music video from Morningstar’s campus at the former PTL headquarters. A young woman led those gathered in a song declaring that God is mercy and love, and He is not coming back to judge His people. Such a message is reprehensible at this hour.

In contrast, David Wilkerson emphasizes the holiness of God, and the need to walk in the fear of Him. Yet, the gifts and callings of God are without reproach. Even when men such as Bob Jones use the gifts of God in an impure way they may still prophesy truth. (Consider the story of the prophet Balaam found in Numbers chapter 22.)

The message coming out of Morningstar is very similar to that coming out of Christchurch, New Zealand following their recent devastating quake. The shaking in Christchurch was a profound spiritual sign of judgment coming to the earth, beginning at the house of God. A brother from Christchurch, Peter Boag, whom I have quoted before, wrote to me a couple days ago and shared the following:

Dear Brother Joseph,

I thought you might like to read this article that was in this morning's paper. It reveals how the major denominations are viewing the recent earthquakes and their aftermaths.

Letters to the paper by Christians also reveal their lack of understanding of the hand of God in these momentous events.

The damage really is just indescribable. The central business district has been in lockdown mode since the quake on the 22nd of February. Only now is the extent of the damage becoming discernable to Joe Citizen. Up till today, 138 buildings have so far been demolished in the CBD. TV news never did the reality justice, and authorities have obviously held things back. At a memorial service held in a park and attended by about a hundred thousand people last week, they showed film footage that had not been released before on the giant screens, and the silence whilst it was shown was complete.

Your blogs lately have been 'spot on,' to put it mildly. Thank you for your insights and your obedience in posting them. To Yahshua be the glory for ever!

Love and blessings,

Peter Boag,   Christchurch, New Zealand

Peter appended an article from a New Zealand website, from which I will quote. I will start with a section of the article that speaks of the damage inflicted on area churches, then cite a section that reveals the attitudes of those affected.

Christchurch Earthquake: Act of God?

What attitude should the Anglican Church take to its own buildings? Besides the cathedral, there has been major damage to St Luke's on Kilmore St, St John's on Latimer Square, Holy Trinity in Avonside, Holy Trinity in Lyttelton, St John's in Okains Bay and St Cuthbert's in Governor's Bay. There has also been damage to suburban churches in Merivale, Riccarton, Shirley, Opawa, Mt Pleasant, New Brighton and Redcliffs. Minor damage to churches in Woolston, Linwood and Aranui means that they should be repaired reasonably soon.

Damage to Christchurch churches in the September 4 earthquake was estimated at $100 million. Ansvar Insurance, which insures many of the city's churches, expects the damage after February 22 to be much greater than that. Damage to the Christ Church Cathedral alone would be in the tens of millions, according to Ansvar Insurance New Zealand manager David Leather.

The likely rebuild of the cathedral is a symbolic act that has received a lot of attention in conversations about damaged buildings, but clearly some hard decisions will have to be made about Christchurch's other Anglican churches.

It might be too soon to have those discussions in public, but both Matthews and Patterson seem uncomfortable with the notion that this disaster could be an opportunity for the Anglican Church to rebuild for the smaller, more mobile congregations of the 21st century. As congregations are declining, do we need as many churches?

Matthews answers with a question: do they have too many churches or not enough people going to them? Patterson says that if you are building for the future, you don't want to build for a worst- case scenario.

Matthews has an anecdote from the Canadian city of Edmonton, where she served as bishop before Christchurch. Movie theatres had been in decline so someone bravely bucked the trend with a mega- cinema, which apparently included a dragon that breathed fire as you walked in: "The most absurd movie theatre you have ever seen. It was out of this world."

So what is the ecclesiastical equivalent of 3-D? Matthews' point is that people want an event.

"Churches, for all their spiritual meaning, have historically been an event. The High Mass, the choral singing, the pageantry. If we start tearing down the beauty and building mean little churches, then we'll be in trouble...”

The Catholic Bishop of Christchurch, Barry Jones, was on his way to Hokitika when the February 22 quake hit. He was out of mobile range until Arthur's Pass, where he turned round and came back. An unreal event: he didn't feel the shake but returned to a blitzed city.

With the heavy concrete dome of the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament making the building still too unstable to approach, the diocese office next door on Barbadoes St has also been off- limits.

People are working from home on laptops; no-one can get in to retrieve files and computers. When we spoke, Jones was still waiting to hear if a crane would be able to lift the dome at a distance, allowing engineers to assess the cathedral. "It's so dangerous that no-one can actually get near it," he says. "If there was another earthquake like the one on February 22, the engineers think the dome would actually come down. It's a death trap."

It's tragic and maybe defeatist to use the past tense, but it was a stunning building.

Jones refers those who never got around to going inside - including this reporter - to a 360-degree tour on the diocese website, showing the cathedral's interior in all its splendour. In an ideal world, would Jones want it restored to its previous condition?

"If it was feasible. It's an absolute treasure. But I'm not even beginning to think like that. It's just too soon."

As with the Anglican cathedral, the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament is the high-profile casualty, but many other Catholic churches have also been damaged. A final prayer service has already been held at St Mary's in New Brighton, which is to be demolished. Historic churches in Sumner and Lyttelton have likewise been hit hard.

"I've heard people say that the Lyttelton one is so significant as a heritage building that it will have to be restored," Jones says. "That's not what the church has said but what I've heard heritage people say. But I don't think the Sumner one, Our Lady Star of the Sea, can be restored."

Parishioners who usually go to St Paul's in Dallington, St Joseph's in Papanui and Holy Family in Burwood are also attending Mass elsewhere. Jones seems to be more open than his Anglican counterparts to the idea that the earthquake and subsequent demolitions and closures might give his church a chance to redraw its map of Christchurch...

What would be the great symbol of earthquake damage to Christchurch's Presbyterians? Your first answer might be the Knox Church on Bealey Ave, where the wooden frame still stands but the brick skin has largely fallen off. That church is probably repairable, says Presbyterian moderator The Rev Martin Stewart, but the old, grand St Paul's Trinity Pacific on Cashel St, deep inside the cordon, is "gone".

A fire did damage first, then two earthquakes. A church in Linwood has also been demolished and one in St Albans will follow. Meanwhile, a New Brighton congregation is the one that has met on the beach. Stewart's own church, St Stephen's in Bryndwr, will be out of action for some time too. His congregation is making do with the church hall next door. All these ruined stones, bricks and steeples...

Stewart runs a weblog as "Mart the Rev" and talks up his fondness for the music of U2 and David Gilmour, meaning that he can seem like the archetypal hip priest: worldly, a little feisty and a little suspicious of the musty baggage of organised religion. He was aghast when he encountered German missionaries in Christchurch who were trying to push a line that the earthquake was a response to sinfulness. "How to kick people when they're down, but also, what kind of God are they talking about?" he says. "How dare they? We know that God is love. You turn God into an ogre when you promulgate the idea that He caused this as a judgment on us."

The idea that this was an act of God - "a shocker" of a phrase, he says - could only come from those with an undeveloped Sunday school faith.

Lynda Patterson heard the same kind of thing. She got emails asking if God was angry about the prostitutes in Latimer Square, the presence of the Wizard or even the floral carpet in the Cathedral.

"You can see people desperately struggling to understand," she says.

"There must be something we did wrong. I want to lose the idea of a God who slaps us with a big stick. We believe in a God who is in among the rubble suffering with us, not at a great distance pulling the strings."

"It's not judgment," Matthews adds. "The very flippant answer I give is, if this is God's judgment, what took Him so long?" If there is a lesson for believers, she says, it is simply that creation is more fragile than we care to admit...

"The question I've got is, will it change us for a while or permanently?" Matthews says. She admits to being a little more pessimistic, remembering that when she first came to New Zealand, we were in the depths of a recession.

"The theological question, and it is theological, is what will it take for us to change?" she asks.

There is much that is symbolic in these words. Churches have become death traps. Ministers speak of the need to rebuild with the mindset that churches need to be “an event,” something to entertain and draw people in. How appropriate that the minister illustrated this point by speaking of a movie theater with a large fire breathing dragon.

Yet the appalling thing is that despite the ruin of their churches, the loss of life, and the magnitude of events in Christchurch, there is absolutely no mention of sin, judgment, or repentance. Instead, the ministers do all they can to dismiss such ideas. There is no room in their theology for the words of the apostle Peter:

I Peter 4:17-18
For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And if it is with difficulty that the righteous is saved, what will become of the godless man and the sinner?

The last question posed by one of the ministers resounds with an import they have obviously not considered:

"The theological question, and it is theological, is what will it take for us to change?"

People of God, no matter how unlikely it may seem that America could ever experience the same level of devastation as Christchurch, or Japan, there is good reason to anticipate that even worse things are coming to this nation. America has had unfettered access to the word of God. She has known freedom of religion since her founding. She has had many godly men to proclaim a message of holiness and righteousness and truth. Yet, in this hour, the words of the apostle Paul have been fulfilled.

II Timothy 4:3-4
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.

Forsaking the message of holiness and the disciple’s cross, America has turned her churches into event venues. Entertainment has replaced sound doctrine. The narrow gate and afflicted path have been replaced with the wide gate and the broad highway. Truly, America’s churches have become death traps, and those who remain in them will be greatly injured when they fall.

The recent posts to this blog have been longer than I normally like to make them, but there has been such an acceleration of signs, and of a profound witness from the Father, that I feel I must share at greater length those things I am perceiving. I began this post by speaking of the terrible situation in Japan. I believe similar conditions will soon be seen in America.

If you have watched the videos from that area, and have seen the pictures, you know that thousands of cars have been destroyed, and many people are walking for hours to get to their destination, or riding bicycles. You will also have noted the preponderance of people who wear masks over their faces. This has been common in Japanese society even before the catastrophes, for it is considered rude behavior for anyone who is sick to spread germs to others. With the nuclear radiation, the mass of dead bodies, broken sewer lines, and other contaminants fouling the air, even more Japanese are wearing these masks. There is good reason for precaution. After last year’s earthquake in Haiti there was a cholera outbreak and thousands have died.

I share these details to mention a witness I have been recently receiving from the Father. A couple days after the Japanese quake I went to the dentist to have some teeth extracted. One of the dental assistants told me they needed new x-rays of my mouth. I asked her if that was necessary, for I had x-rays done previously. She told me that my x-rays were more than 3 years old, and their policy was to take new ones after a 3 year period.

I relented, joking with the young lady that I was concerned that the radiation would make my hair fall out. Strangely, the x-rays the young woman took got mixed up with someone else’s so the dentist asked her to take yet another set. I thought of the radiation exposure in Japan as all this was happening.

Some days later I began experiencing the symptoms of hay fever and pollen allergies that afflict me every year in the Spring. I wanted to avoid taking allergy pills, and considered what else I might do. The thought came to me to purchase some breathing masks to reduce the amount of pollen I was breathing in. I did so, and afterwards considered how this related to the Japanese people.

The final witness relating to the experiences of Japan coming to America that I received was when my van broke down. As I mentioned previously, I was on a trip to the bank to deposit a check when this occurred. I was not able that day to withdraw money, for I had little in my account. I could only deposit the check. As I returned home, my van acted like it was starving for fuel. This may well signify a coming financial collapse and an inability to get money from the banks. The van starving for gas could signify a lack of available gasoline. Both of these things have been reported as some of the major difficulties Japanese citizens have been facing.

With my van not running well, I have been relying more on my bicycle, even riding it to the grocery store to get milk, or other supplies. As I was experiencing these things I was also reading reports of individual’s experiences in Japan. They were giving testimony of the difficulty of life without their cars, many of which had been destroyed. Those who had cars were carefully weighing their usage, for gasoline is very hard to obtain in affected areas.

As I pondered the similarities to my experiences, and that of the people in Japan, I considered that the Father must surely have a message in all these things. What is being observed in Japan is soon coming to America. The Father continues to use my life as a pattern of those things coming to many others among His people. He has appointed me as a forerunner and pioneer in these things. The people of God need to be prepared. The greatest preparation is not in the physical realm, but in the spiritual. Many simply do not have the faith in God, or the intimacy of relationship with Him, to hear His voice and trust and obey His leading. There is no time to waste if this describes your life. I will be writing more of the manner in which the saints are to prepare in following posts.

Heart4God Website:

Parables Blog:  

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

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Odyssey Dawns

Joseph Herrin (03-25-2011)

I mentioned in the last post that there is an intensification in my life of signs and events. I believe the Father is indicating that a great transition is at hand. Discerning that these things apply not only to myself, but to the body of Christ, I want to share what I am experiencing and discerning.

Christchurch Earthquake

First, let me begin by recounting some of the very extraordinary things that have been occurring in the world which the Father has been giving forth as signs. In the past year Christchurch, New Zealand (New Zeal Land) has experienced two devastating earthquakes. The most recent one occurred on February 22 of this year. In New Zealand, this date is written as 22/2. In America it would be written as 2/22. Either way we end up with a series of three 2s.

As I mentioned in the last post, the camper/van the Father provided for me some years back that I have been using up until this time is an Xplorer Van Model 222. The Father first sent me out to minister by speaking to small groups in 2008. My van is a 1986 model, so at that time it was 22 years old.

This number 22 has been used profoundly by the Father in my life to represent flesh cutting by the work of the cross. It speaks of the removal of wickedness, and we see this association throughout the Scriptures. Jeroboam, who made all Israel sin by setting up idols at both ends of the kingdom reigned 22 years and God removed him.

I Kings 14:20
The period that Jeroboam reigned was twenty-two years.

The most wicked king to rule over Israel was Ahab. He too reigned for 22 years and God removed him.

I Kings 16:29-30
Ahab the son of Omri reigned over Israel in Samaria twenty-two years. Now Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the Lord, more than all who were before him.

This pattern is revealed in numerous places in the Scriptures. Yahweh has established the witness in my life that the number 22 speaks of the removal of the flesh and the work of the disciple’s cross.

That Christchurch (Christ’s church) suffered a great judgment on 2/22 speaks of a double portion of flesh cutting, an intensification of the work of God in refining His people. This sign in the earth was given to proclaim a time of judgment being at hand for the people of God.

I Peter 4:17-19
For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And if it is with difficulty that the righteous is saved, what will become of the godless man and the sinner? Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.

Even the year in which this earthquake occurred is significant. The year is 2011. E.W. Bullinger shares the following regarding the Biblical meaning of the number 11.


If ten is the number which marks the perfection of Divine order, then eleven is an addition to it, subversive of and undoing that order. If twelve is the number which marks the perfection of Divine government, then eleven falls short of it. So that whether we regard it as being 10 + 1, or 12 - 1, it is the number which marks, disorder, disorganization, imperfection, and disintegration.

These words certainly describe the condition of Christchurch after the earthquake. Of particular note, many churches in the city were greatly damaged, as well as peoples homes. In the last quake it is estimated that 10,000 homes were destroyed and 100,000 damaged. This is in a city with a population somewhat greater than 300,000. As you can imagine, everyone in the city has been impacted by this event.

The Spirit is signifying that a time of judgment is at hand. This time of tribulation is intended to purge, purify and refine a remnant of Yahweh’s people and to bring forth mature sons from the body of Christ that has long remained barren. Although outwardly it will appear that things are falling apart and disintegrating, there will be a few among the body of Christ who surrender to the will of Yahweh with the result of coming to spiritual maturity and a greater conformity to the image of Christ. Consider that the date 22/2 could also be read as a math equation with the forward slash indicating that the first number is to be divided by the second. Even in this we find the testimony of disintegration, disorder, and disorganization as these outer forces work to bring forth an inner order and conformity to Christ.

The more recent earthquake in Japan which occurred on March 11 (3 times 11) indicates even a greater magnitude of judgment and disintegration. If Christchurch symbolizes the body of Christ, then the earthquake in Japan represents the judgment of the world. “If it is with difficulty that the righteous is saved, what will become of the godless man and the sinner?”

The earthquake in Japan has been determined by the Japanese to be a 9.0 in magnitude. The number 9 in the Scriptures signifies judgment.



for judgment is committed unto Jesus as "the Son of man" (John 5:27; Acts 17:31). It marks the completeness, the end and issue of all things as to man—the judgment of man and all his works.

•    It is a factor of 666, which is 9 times 74.
•    The gematria of the word "Dan," which means a judge, is 54 (9x6).
•    "th orgh mou" (tee orgee mou), my wrath, = 999 (Heb 3:11).

In the previous post to this blog I shared some of the remarkable testimonies the Father has placed in my life regarding the numbers 153 and 17. In that post I included the following picture that I snapped in 2009 (the post said 2008) in Fort Wayne, Indiana as I drove to meet a brother whose last name is Fish.

I found this remarkable at the time, but had not noticed until I wrote the last post that the vehicle name was “Odyssey.” I shared that the word odyssey denotes “a long, eventful journey.” A sister wrote to me after reading the post and asked if I was aware that the recently declared military intervention in Libya is named “Operation Odyssey Dawn.” I was not aware of this, but I believe it is significant.

I shared with the sister that my mailing address is Montezuma, Georgia. The capital of Libya is Tripoli. Both of these names are found in the opening lines of the Marine Corps Hymn.

From the halls of Montezuma,
To the shores of Tripoli

The Marine Corps slogan for many years has declared that they are “looking for a few, good men.” This too is the focus of the Father in this hour, and it relates to the number 153. There is a remnant that the Lord has His eyes upon in this last hour, and like those 153 fish in the net, He does not want to lose any of them.

John 6:39
"This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day.”

Although the Lord has set His focus to lose none of those the Father has given to Him, He will nevertheless put them through the fire. Even as New Zealand and Japan are both island nations with large fishing fleets, and both lie along the Ring of Fire, we will see the Lord drawing in the nets in this hour and placing the fish (the sons of God) into the fire. As I have written elsewhere, the expression “sons of God” (Beni Ha Elohim) has a Gematria value of 153. The Greek word for “fishes” (ichthus) has a value of 1224 which is 8 x 153. The New Testament words for “the net” have the same value.

I pointed this out last year as I traveled across the nation. I was sent to a home where the owner’s fishing boat was parked in a prominent place near the house and it had the numbers 8153 clearly marked on it. The Father speaks through many remarkable testimonies.

Note that the letters ID stand for Idaho, but they are commonly used to denote “Identification.” Also note the “09" after these identifying marks, for it is time for judgment to begin at the house of God, and none will be able to escape the shaking that is coming. We are called to endure, not escape.

II Thessalonians 1:4
We ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure...

Returning to the military action in Libya, the words “Odyssey Dawn” denote the dawning, or beginning, of a long, eventful journey. I believe the Spirit is testifying that such an experience is at hand for the saints of God. What is coming will not be a sprint. It will be a marathon. I have written of this previously, relating it to the voyage of Sir Ernest Shackleton to the South Polar regions in 1914. His experiences, and that of the 27 men who went with him, are recorded in the book titled “Endurance.”

The Shackleton family crest was emblazoned with the expression, “Through Endurance We Conquer.” You can read more about the parable in his expedition here:

Shackleton’s Men Camping on Ice

Ernest Shackleton’s adventure could aptly be described as an “Odyssey.” It was not a sprint. He and his men endured 522 (5 - Grace; 22 flesh cutting) days in one of the most hostile environments on earth. Yet all made it back alive. A few weeks ago I came across a DVD in the documentary section of a video store. It was on Shackleton’s incredible voyage. I purchased it, and have watched it twice since then. I sense that the Father is testifying that the time for His own people’s odyssey of endurance to begin is close at hand.

One thing that impressed me as I watched this documentary is that Shackleton’s voyage began at the same time that World War I was beginning. Seeing that England would be going to war, Shackleton offered his ship and crew to the service of the British Naval War Office, but they told him to continue on his expedition. I believe there is a testimony in this that the odyssey the people of God will pass through will coincide with great conflicts and a time of trouble in the world, but their own battles will not be against the same enemies.

Some saints even now have confused the path God has appointed to them with national patriotism and political systems. This is great error. Our call is to follow Christ wherever He leads, and to see ourselves as aliens and strangers in this land. As the apostle Paul told Timothy.

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

Our service is to Christ. He testified to Pilate,

John 18:36
“My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.”

It is not the will of Christ that His servants become entangled in Tea Party political movements, or other carnal means of combating evil men or establishing an earthly kingdom. Christ declared:

Luke 17:20-21
"The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, 'See here!' or 'See there!' For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you."

The kingdom of Christ is not of this world. Neither are the weapons of our warfare carnal (fleshly). The kingdom of Christ is within mankind, and our warfare is to bring everything within us into subjection to the rule of Christ. The days ahead are designed to bring the saints to embrace this battle, ruling over the impulses of the flesh and soul which exhort man to deliver himself through force of arms, or the arm of the flesh. Our victory will be in trust and obedience to the One who is our true Ark.

The people of God will be called to suffer many things while entrusting their lives wholly into the care of Yahweh. The number 17 has been coming prominently to mind, and it is stamped upon the following passage of Scripture.

Romans 8:35-39
Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will
(1) tribulation,
(2) or distress,
(3) or persecution,
(4) or famine,
(5) or nakedness,
(6) or peril,
(7) or sword?
Just as it is written, “For Your 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. For I am convinced that neither
(8) death,
(9) nor life,
(10) nor angels,
(11) nor principalities,
(12) nor things present,
(13) nor things to come,
(14) nor powers,
(15) nor height,
(16) nor depth,
(17) nor any other created thing,
will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Yahshua our Lord.

We can be sure that the experiences and adversaries mentioned in this series of 17 will be encountered by the saints of Christ as they pass through the odyssey ahead. I have been blessed to begin my own odyssey 12 years ago, back in 1999. I have already encountered a great many of those things named in this list, even to being imprisoned for obedience to Christ.

Yahshua has not promised His sons and daughters that they will avoid such experiences. He has testified that He will provide them with all grace that they might pass through trials victoriously. Though outwardly it may appear that the righteous are being overcome by evil men, a great triumph is occurring in spirit realms.

This leads me to a final thing I want to share in this blog. It is another reason that I sense that we are at a time of transition, and this odyssey is set to begin in earnest (Pardon the pun, Sir Ernest).

About a week ago my van broke down beside the road. I had gone to a nearby town to deposit a check someone had sent to me. On the way back the van motor stopped, acting like it was starved for fuel. I looked at my odometer and it read 20202. Removing the zeros, one has the model number for my van, a number that the Father has often used to denote the ministry He has called me to. Vehicles represent ministry, as I have often shared.

I did not have any tools with me, so I called my daughter and she brought me my tools and a can of gas. I replaced the fuel filter, thinking perhaps that was the problem, and by pouring some gas in the carburetor I was able to get it started again. The van died a couple more times on the trip back to the campground, and each time I had to pour some gas in the carburetor to get it going again. I did eventually get it home.

The van is showing other signs of wear. It has begun to burn a lot of oil, and I am convinced that the engine will have to be rebuilt to correct this problem. The brakes are squealing, and the transmission occasionally shifts hard. I told someone that I believe the van is on its last leg, and I will soon have to part with it. I have been praying about this.

One brother wrote to me and said that he was also mindful that vehicles represent ministry. It struck him as significant that I had gotten the motor in my bus running good just prior to the van experiencing serious problems. Perhaps this is a another sign from the Father of the transition that is at hand. It is time for one season of ministry to give way to another.

Like Shackleton’s ship “Endurance” my bus “The Dreamer” has been compared to an ark. My bus will be forty years old next year, and I do not anticipate the Father having me drive it long distances. Shackleton’s ship also did not get far. It became stuck in the ice, and ended its days there. Yet, for a little more than half of his own odyssey, and that of his men, his ship served as a place of refuge.

I have recently been considering taking the bus down to Jekyll Island. These thoughts are especially desirable at this time, for the beach is the only place I have ever known relief from severe pollen allergies in the Spring. The past couple days have been miserable. I am mindful that Shackleton’s odyssey began after departing “South Georgia Island,” and Jekyll Island is a South Georgia Island.

I do not know for certain whether I will be going there, nor do I want to narrowly define the time period for these things that are coming to the people of God. I share these things for the Father seems to be intensifying signs at this time. There is much to ponder. My desire is to remain alert and watchful, and I exhort all the saints to do the same.

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

Post Script: As I continue to ponder the symbolism of the experiences I have recently been going through, it seems significant that my van broke down as I was on a trip to the bank, and that the van is starving for fuel. The Father has given testimony to the fact that America's banking system will collapse at some point not too far in the future. Also, there will be great disruptions in the supply of fuel.

Heart4God Website:  

Parables Blog:  

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

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Signs on the Earth - Day of the Ark

Joseph Herrin (03-22-2011)

RV Park at which I Have Been Led to Camp

In the autobiographical book Evidence of Things Unseen, I wrote of having my eyes opened years ago to perceive the presence of God all around me. One of the blessings I have received through the years as I have shared the messages Yahweh hides in plain site before the eyes of all creation, is that a number of saints have gained an awareness of the manifold ways in which God speaks. People write to me regularly to tell me of signs they are observing, and significant details of their lives that they formerly would have not given a second thought unto.

Quite often, observing the presence of God around us, and perceiving that messages are being spoken, can be a frustrating experience. Many times we perceive that something is symbolic, and pregnant with meaning, but we are unsure of the specific message the Father is wishing to convey to us.

We should not doubt the signs around us simply because we do not have clarity of understanding. Such an experience is common among the church. Yahweh often speaks in ways that are difficult for men, even Christian men, to understand. When Christ was on the earth He spoke in parables. In doing so, He intentionally cloaked His meaning. The reason He did so was so that those who were granted the right to understand would perceive the message, while all others would not.

Mark 4:11-12
And He said to them, "To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables, so that 'Seeing they may see and not perceive, and hearing they may hear and not understand...”

Despite the fact that Yahshua intended for His disciples to understand the meaning of the parables He spoke, they were often slow to comprehend. The same is true for the disciples of Christ today. Oftentimes in the Scriptures we find Christ going aside with His disciples and explaining the meaning of the parables to them. It is the will of God that we spend time “aside” with His Son in this hour as well. It is necessary to often sit at Christ’s feet, and tarry before Him, looking to Him to reveal hidden things to us.

This is true not only when we perceive the Father to be speaking through some event, or detail in this natural world. Understanding is needed when there are tongues, dreams, visions, and prophecies. Such things are not always immediately understood. We have to tarry before the Father to discern their meaning.

The times in which I do not perceive the Father to be speaking through the world around me are fairly rare now. However, there are times when the messages seem to be coming with a rapidity and intensity that is unusual. Recently I have been in one of these heightened periods of perceiving the Father to be speaking through a multitude of signs around me. As you will see in this post, some of these messages come from literal signs such as road signs. I suppose our Father knows I am a bit dull of comprehension, so He has to make it clear by saying “Look here son. This is a sign. Please pay attention.”

Many of those who read this blog know that the Father has been speaking through very specific numbers. One of the most symbolic numbers that has been being emphasized by the Father is 153. This number occurs only once in Scripture. It is found at the third appearance of Christ to His disciples after His resurrection.

John 21:11, 14
Simon Peter went up and dragged the net to land, full of large fish, one hundred and fifty-three; and although there were so many, the net was not broken... This is now the third time Yahshua showed Himself to His disciples after He was raised from the dead.

In February of 2008, the Father called me to leave the rescue mission where I had been living and working the previous three years, and to enter once more into a full-time ministry of writing and teaching. One of the first things I did was to take some time alone to be with the Father to receive from Him an understanding of the character of the ministry He was calling me to. I was not disappointed. The Father began speaking to me very clearly and specifically. I started the Parables Blog at that time, and my first writings shared those things the Father was revealing to me.

Explorers and Pioneers to Serve as Guides - Part 1-2

Joseph - Preparing the Body for Burial

The Third Appearance of Christ

All of these posts reveal various aspects of the ministry and work of God among His people in this hour. The last one listed above contained revelations from the account of the 153 fish, things which I had never seen before. I encourage you to read the post if you want a fuller understanding, but I will summarize certain key points here.

Seven disciples, with Peter leading them, decided to go fishing. This was during the period of time between Christ’s resurrection and His ascension, a period of 40 days (another very significant number). The disciples had toiled all night and had caught nothing. In the morning they saw Yahshua on the shore, but they did not know it was Him. Yahshua had a fire of coals and some fish over the coals, and some bread.

Christ asks the men if they have caught any fish. They respond that they have not. He tells them to cast the net on the right side of the boat and they will catch some. The right side signifies the righteous. The disciples obey, and they encompass so many fish that they cannot pull the nets in.

John, the beloved disciple, is the first to recognize that it is Yahshua speaking to them, and he declares this to the others. Peter, on hearing it is the Lord, puts on his outer garment and casts himself into the sea. He is eager to speak to the Lord, but seeing his friends struggling with the nets, he returns to help them pull the nets ashore. They count 153 large fish, and even with so great a catch, the nets are not torn.

Some of the key lessons from this event are as follows:

●    There is a specific number appointed for salvation.
●    Of all those appointed for salvation, Christ desires that none be lost.
●    Christ instructs the disciples to bring some of the fish to place in the fire. In this we discern that there is a fiery work to be accomplished among God’s people at the end of the age.
●    Even when the disciples have come ashore, there is yet some question about the Lord’s identity. This indicates that during this late work, a fiery work, many will not recognize that it is Christ performing the work. A great many Christians today have been deceived into thinking they need not suffer, or experience fiery trials. These will certainly balk at the revelation that such experiences are Christ’s will for His saints.
●    It was at this encounter that Christ asked Peter three times if he loved Him, and instructed Peter to “Feed My sheep!”
●    Christ also declared a profound parable when He said the following to Peter:

John 21:18-19
“Most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish.” This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, "Follow Me."

There is a universal parable contained in these words of Christ to Peter. When we were young, immature Christians, we walked according to the direction of our soul. We dressed ourselves how we wished, and we went wherever we desired. However, in order to come to maturity we must embrace the cross. We must surrender to go where we would not choose to go ourselves. We must follow Christ, living a life surrendered to the leading of the Spirit. As we do so, there will be fiery trials through which we will be led for our perfecting as sons, but Christ will walk with us all the way.

Philippians 1:29
For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake...

Luke 14:27
“Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.”

Before I show you some of the signs I have been encountering, I want to share an excerpt from the writing above that speaks of the significance of the numbers 17 and 153.

The number 153 is related in many ways to the number seventeen. 153 is divisible by 17, being the product of 17 and 9. If you add up each of the numbers between 1 and 17, their total comes to 153. 17 is a number of perfection, being the sum of two perfect numbers, 10 and 7. 10 is a number denoting ordinal perfection and 7 is a number denoting divine perfection.

E.W. Bullinger, in his book Number in Scripture, declares that the number 17, being the sum of 10 and 7 denotes “the perfection of divine order.” This is the goal toward which the Father’s works are aimed. He has been laboring to bring forth perfect order out of that which is “formless and void.” This work must come to maturity now at the end of this age. In an hour when the world is growing increasingly dark and chaotic, there will be a remnant, a chosen people, a firstfruits group, who will be perfected through fire.

As the Father has sent me out across the nation the past several years, I have encountered repeated testimonies that it is the people signified by the 153 who are the focus of His attention at this late hour. In 2008 I was sent to Fort Wayne. There I met a brother in Christ whose last name is Fish (I am not lying). On my way to meet him for the first time, I got behind a van that had the following license plate.


The letters following the 153 were the same letters that are in his e-mail address. I do not doubt that there was symbolism that this sign was on a vehicle called “Odyssey.” The word odyssey speaks of “a long, eventful journey.” Truly, there is such a path set before all who would be overcomers in Christ.

In 2009 and 2010 I was once again sent out across the nation to speak to a remnant of Christ’s saints. Over and over, the Father set before me testimonies that He was leading me to those who were called to be caught in His net, and to be brought to Christ. Perhaps this is not a completely welcome thought for some, for Christ was putting the fish in the fire. It is a difficult message I have been called to proclaim, for it is the message of the cross, of self-denial, and surrender of one’s life to the direction of the Holy Spirit. There are few who have ears to hear such a message today, but all who are willing to follow will be given exceptional grace. Like Joseph of old, who knew hardship and sorrow while his brothers were living soulishly directed lives, those who accept the Father’s invitation to this odyssey will be promoted in the end.

A Couple’s Car Tag at Meetings In Texas

Directions to Home in California Where Meetings were Hosted

Note that this leg of my trip began at KINGMAN (in the Arizona desert). I took I-40 (trials, tests) to I-15 (5+5+5: fulness of grace) and got off the Interstate at exit 153A at VICTORVILLE. Only the Father could plan such things.

Picture of Host’s Fishing Boat at meetings in Kooskia, Idaho.

Over and over the Father has been emphasizing this number, and relating it to fishing, and to the saints. At each of these places where these numbers were present, the Father directed me to share a message of embracing that afflicted path that leads to life, of which we are told “Few there are who find it.”

Upon arriving back in Georgia after my trip last Summer and Fall, the Father directed me to convert a bus into a motorhome. When I had purchased the bus the year before the Father had referred to it as an ark. Just about two miles from the residence where I bought the bus, I stopped for a break at a convenience store. I was asking the Father for confirmation of His will. Directly in front of where I pulled up was the following image.

Dove and Branch

The dove is a symbol forever linked to the story of Noah’s ark. The Bus the Father led me to purchase has a manufacturer’s label at the front door. It says “Body by Carpenter.” As I have shared previously, this vehicle began service as a school bus. Later it was used by two different churches for transport. Then it was sold to a man who used it to attend NASCAR races. Now, at last, it has been converted to a mobile habitation.

When I purchased the bus it had the words “Church Bus” painted on the back, and “NASCAR” painted on the front. It had racing numbers painted along its sides, as well as the cross and flame symbol of the Methodist Church. In this we see a parable of the church. It too is a body by THE Carpenter. Yet it has largely abandoned its call to teach truth, and has become an entertainment platform. At the end of this age, the Father has determined that it must become a fit habitation for His Spirit.

The Dreamer - Body by Carpenter

On January 1st of this year, I was led to move into the bus. I drove it 40 miles to its present location at an RV park in Perry, GA. I have no doubt that this is where the Father wanted me to park. Having observed so many testimonies affirming this, I know there is an important message being proclaimed.

The campground God directed me to has 153 campsites.

Sign at Campround

I am parked in the section of the campground that the sign pictured above points to. As I mentioned, the number 153 is linked to the number 17. Throughout the campground there are speed limit signs. Guess what the speed limit is?

This image is not doctored, or Photoshopped. This is the actual speed limit posted at the campground. Here is another one.

This past week, I received a book that a sister in Christ recommended to me. It is titled The Pattern and the Prophecy, by James Harrison. The author was a mathematician, and he wrote the book to share some of the phenomenal mathematical patterns and properties of the Bible. In the book he spends considerable time writing about the numbers 17 and 153. Let me share with you some of their amazing properties.

The entire creation is stamped with the number three, for this number is related to God’s nature. God is triune, being Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In mathematics, there are numbers that are described as “triangle numbers.” Following is a graphical depiction of some triangle numbers.

Triangle Numbers

When arranging objects in a perfect equilateral triangle, the sum of the objects are a Triangle Number. The number 153 is not only a triangular number. It is the 17th triangular number.

Note that there are exactly 17 courses of numbers, and they add up to 153. If you look at the number to the far right of each row, you will find the value of all the triangle numbers. For example:


Approximately 4% of the first 1,000 numbers are triangle numbers. 666, is also a triangle number. It is the 36th (6x6) triangle number.

As I was reading through this book, the author introduced what he calls “The Trinity Root Function.” This function reveals that any number that is a multiple of 3 will eventually terminate at the number 153 if you continually add up the sum of its digits after they are cubed. This is a little complicated to follow when it is written out, but it is actually fairly simple to observe when it is displayed mathematically.

For instance, the number 12 is divisible by 3, so it would satisfy the basic criteria.

The individual digits that make up 12 are 1 and 2. If we cube each digit we get the following:

1x1x1 + 2x2x2 = 9

The number 1 cubed is 1. To cube a number is to multiply it by itself three times.

The number 2 cubed is 8.

Adding them together we get 9.

If we take 9 and cube it, we get:


If we take these digits and cube them we get:

7x7x7 (343) + 2x2x2 (8) + 9x9x9 (729)=1080

If we take these digits and cube them we get:

1x1x1 (1) + 0x0x0 (o) + 8x8x8 (512) + 0x0x0 (0)= 513

If we take these digits and cube them we get:

5x5x5 (125) + 1x1x1 (1) + 3x3x3 (27)= 153

The series ends here, for if you take the digits from 153 and cube them you still end up with the same number.

1x1x1 (1) + 5x5x5 (125) + 3x3x3 (27)=153

This will work with any number that is divisible by three. When their individual digits are cubed and summed, they will eventually all end at 153.

What does this indicate spiritually? Well, one thing that comes to mind is that this function works only with numbers divisible by three. Every third number, or one third of all numbers, are divisible by three. Therefore, one third of all numbers whose individual digits are raised to the third power will eventually end up at 153 when summed together.

Being raised to the third power speaks of resurrection. God is a trinity, therefore this speaks of being raised up to where He resides. Paul spoke of being “caught up” (raised) to the third heaven where he heard unutterable things that a man is not permitted to speak (II Corinthians 12:2-4).

The Scriptures speak of God bringing a third part of His people through the fire.

Zechariah 13:8-9
And it shall come to pass in all the land," Says Yahweh, "That two-thirds in it shall be cut off and die, but one-third shall be left in it: I will bring the one-third through the fire, will refine them as silver is refined, and test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, and I will answer them. I will say, 'This is My people'; And each one will say, 'Yahweh is my God.'"

This is the same work we see Christ performing in the form of a parable at His THIRD appearing. He is taking fish (153 of them), which are symbolic of the saints, and putting them in the fire. The reason He is doing so is that they might be raised up to live with Him in heavenly places.

Revelation 3:21
“To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.”

Christ is the pattern. Did He go through the fire? Yes He did.

Luke 12:49-50
"I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!  But I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how constrained I am till it is accomplished!”

Paul went through the fire and he was caught up to the third heaven. If we desire to ascend to sit with Christ on His throne, then we too must go through the fire. We are that earth that Christ has come to cast fire upon. Our bodies were made of the dust of the earth. This fire is not for our destruction, but for our purification. We are to be refined by fire.

Malachi 3:2-3
“But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner's fire and like launderers' soap.  He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver...”

I Peter 1:6-7
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Yahshua Christ...

People of God, it is no more popular for me to preach a message of fiery judgment and tribulation at this hour than it was for Noah to proclaim the coming judgment of God in his day. Who believed Noah’s report? Yet we are told he was a preacher of righteousness (II Peter 2:5).

I know God is having me proclaim a message that only a remnant have ears to hear. Even for those who have a heart after God, it is a difficult message to bear. Was it not hard for Peter to hear the Lord prophesy to him that he would not be able to escape the cross? Yet, Christ loved Peter. This experience was not for his destruction, but rather for his perfection. In the book of Revelation we read:

Revelation 12:10-11
"Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night. And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.”

Let me make this very practical. There are many Christians that believe they could surrender their life as a martyr if they were brought to the test. However, Christ is not asking us to be willing to end our life as a martyr, He is asking us to LIVE our life as a martyr.

Acts 1:8
“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses (Greek martus: martyrs) both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

Christ is not asking the saints to be willing to be willing to one day die for Him. He requires that all disciples take up their cross DAILY. Paul testified, “I die daily.”

As I speak to Christians across the nation I am met with a mindset that is waiting for something to happen in the nation, or the world, that will result in persecution and suffering for the saints. They want to be ready to stand in that hour.

People of God, such a mindset is far from the thoughts of Yahweh. There is no need to wait for persecution to come. Persecution is the present experience of all who will live a life surrendered to the Spirit of Christ. Do you really believe you can walk by the Spirit in the midst of a perverse, materialistic, and sensual society such as America, and not experience rejection, ridicule and persecution? The reason the saints are not experiencing these things is that they have not surrendered their lives to be led of Christ’s Spirit.

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

Christ said He came to cast fire on the earth. What type of fiery trials might you anticipate? Where is the pain and suffering to be experienced? Christ revealed it in the passage we read above. Immediately after declaring that He came to cast fire upon the earth, He said:

Luke 12:51-53
Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division. For from now on five in one house will be divided: three against two, and two against three. Father will be divided against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law."

I can tell you that the most grievous experiences of the past 12 years of walking after the leading of the Spirit have been to have family members turn against me. While I was walking after the pattern of the world, laboring to acquire houses and lands and vehicles and material possessions, I had much fellowship with the members of my immediate and extended family. When I heeded the call of Christ to sell all, and follow Him, then the sword of division fell.

I have regularly had brothers and sisters in Christ write to me and express reluctance to follow Christ with a wholehearted abandonment. They look at their spouse, and children, brothers, sisters, and parents, and they discern that these ones would not be willing to walk a difficult path. They reason, “surely the Lord would never ask of them more than they are able to bear.” Yet, it is not that their loved ones are unable to bear it. It is that they are unwilling to do so. God will provide abundant grace to all who are willing to obey. He has testified that He will take the lame and the blind and lead them to Zion. He is a compassionate Shepherd. He knows how to bring the weakest members of the flock to their intended destination.

The saints are experiencing that very thing that the disciples did when they saw Christ on the beach with fish in the fire. In their hearts they knew it was the Lord doing this, yet there was some doubt.

John 21:12
Yet none of the disciples dared ask Him, "Who are You?" - knowing that it was the Lord.

Are not the saints experiencing the same today? They say, “Surely it cannot be the Lord urging me to this fiery course. I must be mistaken.” But then the Lord takes us aside like Peter and says, “When you were young you clothed yourself and walked where you would. But when you are old you will stretch out your hands and be led where you do not want to go.”

There is a narrow gate and an afflicted path that leads to life. We are mistaken if we believe that all our family members will walk this path with us. Yahweh has testified:

Jeremiah 3:14-15
I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion. And I will give you shepherds according to My heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.

Some may argue that Noah was able to take his entire family with him on the ark. We live in a different hour. Of this day it is prophesied:

Ezekiel 14:12-20
The word of Yahweh came again to me, saying: "Son of man, when a land sins against Me by persistent unfaithfulness, I will stretch out My hand against it; I will cut off its supply of bread, send famine on it, and cut off man and beast from it. Even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness," says Yahweh God. “If I cause wild beasts to pass through the land, and they empty it, and make it so desolate that no man may pass through because of the beasts, even though these three men were in it, as I live," says Yahweh God, "they would deliver neither sons nor daughters; only they would be delivered, and the land would be desolate. Or if I bring a sword on that land, and say, 'Sword, go through the land,' and I cut off man and beast from it, even though these three men were in it, as I live," says Yahweh God, "they would deliver neither sons nor daughters, but only they themselves would be delivered. Or if I send a pestilence into that land and pour out My fury on it in blood, and cut off from it man and beast, even though Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, as I live," says Yahweh God, "they would deliver neither son nor daughter; they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness."

Today, if you hear the voice of God calling you to take up your cross and follow Christ, do not hesitate to do so because your family members are unwilling. Perhaps there will be one who will observe your example and be encouraged to pay the cost. But if you refuse to take up the cross, will they not also be encouraged to forsake that afflicted path that leads to life?

The news of late has been filled with reports of fires in the nuclear plants damaged by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. There is fear that the fires may release radioactive material. There is no fire quite like a nuclear fire.

The Spirit is also testifying that there are fiery trials that the people of God must pass through. God said there will only be two groups of people in these days. There will be those who perish, being cut off from the earth. There will also be those whom He brings through the fire. These are the only two options.

Seeing that we must go through the fire, or perish, would you not rather walk with the Lord through the fire? He is tender and compassionate. He will comfort the afflicted, and strengthen those whose hearts are weak.

The signs I am continually seeing are testifying that the time is upon the people of God to come to Christ and surrender to Him. Like Thomas, let our confession be:

John 11:16
Then Thomas, who is called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, "Let us also go, that we may die with Him."

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

Heart4God Website:  

Parables Blog:  

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