Friday, November 29, 2013

Expectations of Troublous Times

Joseph Herrin (11-29-2013)

I have had some individuals write to me asking me what my expectations are for the end of this year, and for 2014. Some are mindful of an article I posted earlier in the year that discussed an advertisement in ESPN Magazine.

It is a bit premature to offer any conclusions of this year, or the fourth quarter in particular, as there is more than a month remaining. It is possible that we will experience some further shaking before this year is out, but I will share publicly, as I have with others in private, that my anticipation lies more with what will occur in 2014.

Last January I posted a blog titled 2013 - Year of Acceleration.

In that post I shared my expectations for this current year. I foresaw it as a time when darkness would accelerate, and when events would occur in rapid fire order to set the stage for the establishment of a New World Order (Satan’s kingdom). This year has certainly fulfilled those expectations. We have observed in this year an immense focus on government spying programs. The mainstream media has even given this subject great attention, which leads me to conclude that the powers that be want the populace to become conditioned to the thought of government intrusion into all areas of their lives.

This topic has been discussed at great length, especially as it relates to the disclosures of Edward Snowden. With each new announcement of some further government spying program, the people become inured to such news. They are growing accustomed to the thought of the government breaching everyone’s privacy. The result is that mankind is becoming more accepting of the idea of a global caretaker government that reaches into the most private parts of every citizen’s life.

We have also seen an acceleration of the militarization of America’s police organizations. We observed one of America’s great cities, Boston, Massachusetts, locked down under martial law with all citizens commanded to remain in their homes. That the citizens passively accepted such an extreme suspension of their personal liberty, all because the authorities were searching for a single person, reveals how far American attitudes have changed in the last decade since the “war on terror” was first declared.

Another area of acceleration has been the expansion of the Executive Office of the President. Throughout Obama’s tenure he has relied upon Executive Orders to alter laws and set in place national policies that will have far reaching repercussions in coming days. He has used Executive Orders to empower agencies under his authority to wrest control of all facets of national life during a time of emergency. All travel can be suspended at the President’s command (it worked just fine in Boston.) All communications can be placed under the government’s control. All farming activity can be federalized, including taking possession of the private property, lands and farming equipment, that belong to private citizens.

In recent months we have observed the President making alterations to laws without consultation, deliberation, or vote of Congress. At his whim, the President has altered dates for compliance with various parts of the Affordable Care Act. This is a serious infringement of the powers of the Congress who alone are tasked with writing the nation’s laws. All of this is further conditioning the people to receive their direction from a single figure who acts with dictatorial powers.

This year has seen a great acceleration of moral depravity. Homosexuality is now not only accepted in the military, but expressing any judgment of homosexuality as immoral will result in acts of discipline, even discharge, from the military ranks. In the nation at large, the government has overturned the Defense of Marriage Act, removing anything that would hinder homosexuality from being normalized, even redefining marriage to include two members of the same sex. Such actions have been forced upon the people, despite the objection of the majority of voters. This too serves to demonstrate to the people that their government does not serve them, but they serve the government.

This year has seen 15 states make homosexual marriage legal. It has also seen California laws enacted that would permit school students to choose which sex bathrooms they will use, opening the door (literally) for young men to go into girl’s bathrooms. Such immoral policies are also being adopted in other states. When two young girls in a Colorado public school complained that a male transgender student was harassing them in the girl’s bathrooms, they were threatened by the school staff, being told that they could be banned from participating in school athletic teams and could even be charged with a hate crime.

Transgender advocates are now declaring that the story was fake, citing an article in the Transadvocate (a publication promoting transsexuality) that reports that the school officials have not been able to substantiate that actual harassment took place. The basic facts of the matter, however, are not disputed. The school does have a male student who is transsexual who has been using the girl’s bathrooms, and some of the girls have reported harassment. America is quickly becoming Sodom, and the government is intentionally corrupting the lives of the nation’s youth.

I could go on and on citing examples of the different ways in which great darkness is falling upon the nation. The economy is in no better shape. The number of unemployed is over 20% yet the government touts numbers that are far less. The nation is hemorrhaging jobs, and the obviousness of America’s dire state would be far more obvious if the government were not creating so many federal jobs, massively expanding the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies. All of these government jobs add a further drag to the economy as salaries must all be paid from taxes, or from the trillions of dollars the government is borrowing from the international bankers who own the Federal Reserve.

The charade of a healthy economy is further bolstered by a record stock market, one that is very clearly manipulated by the government’s plunge protection team and the Federal Reserve. The nation is being subjected to increasing deception, as lies are now the norm, rather than the exception, in the pronouncements of the mainstream media and the government.

This year has most assuredly seen an acceleration of all forms of darkness. Lying and deceit are the principles upon which the government and media now subsist. The populace are becoming accustomed to feeding upon falsehood. Right has become wrong, and wrong has become right.

Isaiah 5:20
Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness;
Who substitute bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

Darkness is accelerating in order to prepare the way for the establishment of Satan’s kingdom. His kingdom is marked by lies and deception, for he is “the great deceiver who deceives the whole world,” and Christ declared Satan to be “the father of lies.” His kingdom is marked by stealing, violence, and murder, for he is the thief who comes only to “kill, steal, and destroy.” Is it any wonder that in a nation of growing darkness that youth are now roaming the streets of their respective cities and sucker punching strangers in what has become known as “the knockout game”? When joy is found in acts of random violence committed upon women, the elderly, the homeless, and others who are unable to defend themselves, a nation’s epitaph is not long to be written.

Why do I have an anticipation that the darkness that has been accelerating in this year will manifest in profound changes to this nation in the next? There are numerous reasons. First is the record of history. Satan follows patterns in the same way that Yahweh does.

I mentioned in an earlier post that America’s capital, Washington, D.C., was burned by the British in the year 1814. This is symbolic of the destruction of government.

Washington, D.C. in Flames

This happened during the time of the 13th Congress. The number 13 in Scripture signifies “rebellion, apostasy, defection, corruption, disintegration, revolution, or some kindred idea.” (Source: E.W. Bullinger, Number in Scripture) It seems hardly coincidental that it was in the year 1913 that the Federal Reserve Act was passed, leading to the American government falling under the control of international bankers. The Affordable Care Act that has kicked off in 2013 is simply a continuation of the transformation of American society into a socialist/communist system ruled by the global money powers. The middle class will be completely destroyed as the entire burden of paying for trillions of dollars of medical care is placed upon their shoulders. It is the greatest redistribution of wealth ever carried out in America. Thus the years 1913 and 2013 stand forth as the darkest of years for this nation.

The 113th Congress runs through the end of the year 2014. I therefore anticipate far greater “rebellion, apostasy, defection, corruption, disintegration, and revolution” to manifest before the end of this Congress’ present term. Additionally, the One World Trade Center is scheduled to be opened for occupancy in 2014. This is 13 years after the destruction of the former World Trade Center towers.

For a greater understanding of the symbolism of this tower, and what it signifies for America and the world, I recommend the following two writings.

Babylon Rising

The Darkness Draws Nearer - Part One

Satan has certainly chosen the date and time for this occult monument to be completed. It parallels the rise of his own kingdom of darkness.

One World Trade Center - Almost Complete

There is a parable to be observed in the construction of this tower, which is a monument to Satan’s New World Order, his one world government. Even as the previous towers were destroyed in a planned, cataclysmic event that occurred suddenly, so too must the New World Order arise out of the ashes of the old system. There has to be a complete destruction of the Old World Order of independent nations, and specifically of America’s government as a constitutional republic, in order for that which is new to replace it. Like a great phoenix rising from the ashes of destruction, the New World Order must arise out of the ashes of the old order. The ushering in of the New Order will be accomplished only through great violence, massive destruction, and the loss of millions of lives.

A brother in Christ (thank you Mark) informed me yesterday of a movie to be released in March of 2014. The movie is titled Noah. Understanding that Hollywood is controlled by Satan, I look with suspicion upon the messages being proclaimed in any production that arises there. Following is a movie poster for Noah. Pay attention to the words on the poster.

The words under the name Noah state, “The end of the world... Is just the beginning. COMING SOON.”

This present world system must end in order for Satan to initiate something new. This message is further revealed in the movie trailer.

Note that at the beginning of the trailer that Noah, played by Russell Crowe, dreams of walking outside and he finds that blood is leaching up out of the ground. This is an allusion to the following Scripture.

Genesis 4:10
The voice of your brother's blood is crying to Me from the ground.

Truly, the blood of more than 60 million babies is crying out from the soil of America. Their voices are crying out for judgment, and judgment will come. The trailer proceeds to reveal that Yahweh is judging the earth due to the violence and bloodshed that has become rampant. Is not the world ripe once more for judgment?

The movie focuses on the destruction of the earth and new beginnings that follow. Christians should anticipate that this movie strays widely from the Biblical narrative. It has many embellishments, including Emma Watson playing the character of Noah’s adopted daughter, and the presence of six angels that protect Noah and his family from wicked men, and a fallen angel named Samyaza. There is also a character named Og, who is described as a Watcher, who aids Noah and his family. This is part of Jewish myth.

Og is mentioned in Jewish literature as being alive from the time of Noah up until the time of his death in battle with the Israelites. It is also written in the Midrash that he had a special compartment in Noah's Ark just for him. Aggadah suggests an alternative to this; that he sat upon the top of the ark, riding out the flood for the duration of the storm from this location.

Christians should not expect in this Hollywood production a faithful Bible narrative of the story of Noah, but I believe there are messages in the movie of which they should be aware. Satan is announcing the destruction of the world in order to start over with a new beginning. He would mimic what Yahweh did in the days of Noah, seeking to annihilate all who stand against his kingdom and his wickedness. He would promise his human servants a future world in which they rule, and have the mastery of all things and all people.

A few days ago I received a visit from a brother in Christ named Joe Boes. He told me of an experience he had recently. He was driving in his car (he is from the Atlanta area) when the vehicle directly in front of him was involved in a very serious collision. A pick-up truck pulling a large trailer with landscaping equipment on it, pulled out directly into the path of the person in front of him. Joe said he barely saw the car’s brake lights flash before the vehicle struck the trailer. The car was demolished.

Joe got out of his vehicle and cautiously approached the wrecked car. He did not know what he would find. Someone shouted out to him to not move the person. He did not know whether the driver was dead, alive, or greatly injured. Upon getting closer he saw that every airbag in the car had deployed. There was an Asian woman inside, and she was shaking violently in a state of shock. She was initially unresponsive to his words, but after a while began to calm down. She was encouraged to remain seated until the ambulance arrived as there did not appear to be any danger of her vehicle catching fire.

The woman was checked out on site by EMTs when they arrived, and appeared to be fine, complaining only of soreness where her seat belt had restrained her. Joe was asked by police to write up a report as he was a direct witness to what occurred.

Joe expressed to me that he had a strong witness from the Father that what is coming to the nations will be very much like this accident. Something sudden and shocking will happen. He will be a witness to it. I believe Yahweh has been preparing a remnant to render assistance, counsel, and comfort to many in the days ahead.

Will we see some calamitous event before 2013 has closed? I have no revelation from the Father on the matter. My anticipation is more toward the year 2014. I believe 2013 has been a year when the plans of the adversary have been accelerating and many things prepared for that which is to follow. Even as this year saw great progress in the construction of One World Trade Center, and it will be open for occupancy in 2014, I anticipate that we will see a fuller revelation of Satan’s kingdom in the coming year.

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

Monday, November 25, 2013

Yahweh's Book - The Manuscripts of the Bible

Dead Sea Scrolls - Isaiah Scroll

The followers of Yahshua owe a great debt to the Hebrew people. The Bible exists because Yahweh inspired Hebrew men to record His words for mankind. Although the Bible has One primary Author, that being the Spirit of God, it has numerous human authors. We are told in the Scriptures that Yahweh’s Spirit inspired holy men of old to record His words. These men were all Jews. The apostle Paul affirms this in his epistle to the Romans.

Romans 3:1-2
Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the benefit of circumcision? Great in every respect. First of all, that they were entrusted with the oracles of God.

The word “oracle” may be unfamiliar to modern believers. In the day in which Paul wrote, the word “oracle” was well understood. Temples were built for the various Greek and Roman deities, serving as centers of worship for these pagan gods and goddesses. It was common to appoint an individual at these temples to hold a sacred role as the spokesperson, or mouthpiece, of the deity. People would come from far and wide to inquire of these individuals. They were even sought out by the rulers of nations who hoped to receive counsel from the gods. These temple servants who spoke for the deity were referred to as “oracles.” Somewhat confusingly, the words they spoke were also referred to as “oracles.”

Yahweh has appointed oracles to speak His words as well. We recognize these individuals today more readily as “prophets.” Moses is declared to be a prophet. He is also said to have been entrusted with the oracles of God.

Acts 7:37-38
“This is the Moses who said to the sons of Israel, 'God shall raise up for you a prophet like me from your brethren.' This is the one who was in the congregation in the wilderness together with the angel who was speaking to him on Mount Sinai, and who was with our fathers; and he received living oracles to pass on to you.”

The manner in which Yahweh moved upon these men to proclaim His words is aptly defined by the word “inspiration.” The apostle Paul attests to the Bible being written through means of men being inspired by the Spirit of God.

II Timothy 3:16
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness...

The word “inspiration” came into English via the Latin word inspirare which means “inflame; blow into.” This is an interesting derivation. One can imagine a man sitting by a small stack of kindling that is smoldering. In an attempt to get the material to combust, to erupt into flames, he would blow upon it. Suddenly flames would appear, light and heat would be produced, as the breath of man exhaled upon the material caused it to ignite. Even as the breath of man “inspires” a fire to burst forth, so too does the breath of Yahweh inflame the soul of man.

One can readily see the similarity between the words “spirit” and “inspiration.” Throughout the Bible words for breath and wind are commonly used to describe both the spirit of man and the Spirit of God. On the day of Pentecost in the book of Acts, there was a sound as of a mighty, rushing wind. Then tongues of fire appeared over the heads of the 120 individuals gathered in obedience to Yahshua’s command. These individuals were “inspired.” The Spirit came upon them and manifested as tongues of flame above their heads.

A prophet can aptly be described as a man set aflame by the Spirit of God. Jeremiah used a term related to fire to describe the sensation of containing the words of God within his being.

Jeremiah 20:9
But if I say, "I will not remember Him or speak anymore in His name," then in my heart it becomes like a burning fire shut up in my bones; And I am weary of holding it in, and I cannot endure it.

I believe what Jeremiah described in these words was the common experience of many prophets. When the Holy Spirit moved upon them, the words of God would be like a fire within them seeking to erupt. The divine breath seeks a way to be expressed, to go forth as a purifying flame altering everything that it touches.

Isaiah 55:11
So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

When Yahweh set forth to deliver to mankind a book of divine authorship, He sent His Spirit upon appointed men who acted as conduits of His words. These “oracles,” or “prophets,” were borne along with the Spirit who entrusted to them the message of Yahweh.

II Peter 1:21
For no prophecy ever originated because some man willed it [to do so - it never came by human impulse], but men spoke from God who were borne along (moved and impelled) by the Holy Spirit.
[Amplified Bible]

We can be sure when Moses set out in obedience to Yahweh to write the first five books of the Old Testament, that his writings were marked with the breath of God. These were divine writings, and the message of Yahweh was communicated faithfully. This is true of all of the writings contained in the Bible and designated as holy Scriptures. The most recent of these anointed writings are nearly 2,000 years old, and the oldest of them are about 3,500 years removed from this present day. Understandably, none of the original autographs of these “holy prophets” (Luke 1:70) remain to this day. The animal skins, papyrus, or other material upon which the Scriptures were written were subject to decay, destruction, and loss.

The Hebrew people who were entrusted with the words of God placed great emphasis upon maintaining the holy writings. A group of men were assigned the task of safeguarding the divine words, of making new copies of the Scriptures when the existing ones began to show wear. These men were known as scribes.

The Bible itself does not set forth any instructions for scribes to follow, but the Jewish people developed elaborate instructions to guard against the encroachment of any aberration into the word of Yahweh. In the Talmud (writings of Jewish civil and religious law) we find some of the earliest recorded instructions to scribes.

A synagogue scroll must be written on the skins of clean animals, prepared for the particular use of the synagogue of the Jew. These must be fastened together with strings taken from clean animals. Every skin must contain a certain number of columns, equal throughout the entire codex. The length of each column must not extend over less than forty-eight, or more than sixty lines; and the breadth must consist of thirty letters. The whole copy must first be lined; and if three words be written in it without a line, it is worthless. The ink should be black, neither red, green, nor any other colour and be prepared according to a definite recipe. An authentic copy must be the exemplar, from which the transcriber ought not in the least to deviate. No word or letter, not even a yod, must be written from memory, the scribe not having looked at the codex before him...

Between every consonant the space of a hair or thread must intervene; between every word the breadth of a narrow consonant; between every new parashah, or section, the breadth of nine consonants; between every book, three lines. The fifth book of Moses must terminate exactly with a line; but the rest need not do so. Besides this, the copyist must sit in full Jewish dress, wash his whole body, not begin to write the name of God with a pen newly dipped in ink, and should a king address him while writing that name he must take no notice of him...

[Source: Our Bible and the Ancient Manuscripts, Frederic Kenyon]

These words were recorded in the early centuries following the time of Christ. It can be assumed that similar instructions had been passed along orally for many centuries prior. Around 500 A.D. a group of scribes called the Massoretes (meaning “tradition”) arose. They are renowned for their attention to accuracy as well as for innovations to preserve the pronunciation of Hebrew words. Before you read the following quotation from the writing of Neil R. Lightfoot, let me define the words “codex” and “codices” for those to whom they may be unfamiliar. The earliest Biblical writings were recorded on scrolls. This began to change around the first century A.D. at the same time that the Christian church came into being. The Romans began to place their writings in book form. Such a book was called a “codex.” The plural of this word is “codices.” At first, the pages of these books were made from wood, and later from papyrus, vellum, or paper. The Latin word “codex” literally means “trunk of a tree.”

Chinese Bamboo Book, or Codex

In Europe, the bark of the Beech tree was used for the pages of a codex. It is from the word “Beech” (German bok  - pronounced “boke”) that we get our English word “book.”

The following excerpt describes the meticulous attention to detail employed by the Massoretes to ensure that the Hebrew Bible was copied with flawless precision.

The Massoretes, who go back to about A.D. 500, succeeded the earlier scribes. The Massoretes of Tiberias were the most important of the Massoretes, and the Ben Asher family of Tiberias, with whom several of the model codices are associated, are especially renowned.

The work of the Massoretes is truly significant. Their labors are spread out over a period of four or five centuries, and their contributions are many. They are perhaps best known for their system of vowels and accents which they devised for the Hebrew text. It will be remembered that all of the letters in the Hebrew alphabet are consonants. Thus the Old Testament was first written without vowels. Although this may seem strange to us, it was sufficient during the many centuries when Hebrew was a spoken language. When eventually Hebrew was no longer spoken, the danger was imminent that the proper pronunciation of the consonantal text might be lost. To meet the danger, the Massoretes, on the basis of their well-kept traditions, inserted vowel points above and below the lines of the text. It must be emphasized, however, that they did not bother the text itself; they only added a means by which to ensure the correct pronunciation of the text.

The Massoretes were not concerned with only such things as proper pronunciation. They also sought ways and methods by which to eliminate scribal slips of addition or omission. This they achieved through intricate procedures of counting. They numbered the verses, words, and letters of each book. They counted the number of times each letter was used in each book. They noted verses that contained all the letters of the alphabet, or a certain number of them. They calculated the middle letter, the middle word, and the middle verse of the Pentateuch; the middle verse of the Psalms, the middle verse of the entire Hebrew Bible, and so forth. In fact, they counted almost everything that could be counted. With these safeguards, and others, when a scribe finished making a copy of a book, he could then check the accuracy of his work before using it.
[Source: How We Got the Bible, Neil R. Lightfoot]

You may wonder why I would write about Scribes that created copies of the Hebrew Scriptures as recently as the tenth century A.D.. The reason is that these copies that the Massoretes made are the oldest existing copies of the Hebrew Scriptures known today. (The Dead Sea Scrolls are much older, but they contain primarily fragments of the Hebrew Bible.) There are actually much older copies of the Old Testament in languages other than Hebrew, such as the Greek Septuagint, but these are not valued as highly because they are a translation, and not the original language of the Old Testament.

You may well ask, “What happened to the older Hebrew manuscripts, for they first began to be recorded as far back as 1,500 B.C.?” This means that there are no existing manuscripts of the first 2,500 years of the Hebrew Scriptures. Neil R. Lightfoot provides the answer for us.

The Jewish scribes looked upon their copies of the Scriptures with an almost superstitious respect. This led them to give ceremonial burial to any of the texts that were damaged or defective. Their motive was to prevent the improper use of the material on which the sacred name of God had been inscribed. Before burial, however, faulty manuscripts were hidden away in a “ginizah” (from Aramaic genaz, to hide), a kind of storeroom for manuscripts that were unusable. But however noble the intentions, the replacement of older copies with newer ones, and the burial of those discarded, have deprived us of early Hebrew manuscripts.
[Source: Ibid]

The modern Hebrew Bible (Old Testament only) is based upon the Massoretic text of the Scriptures. Following is a list of five of the most important Hebrew manuscripts.

1. The Aleppo Codex. First in rank among the Hebrew manuscripts, the Aleppo Codex derives its name from the city in Syria where it had long been located. A beautifully written codex of the entire Hebrew Bible, it was finished sometime in the tenth century. Unfortunately, it is no longer complete; large sections of it were destroyed in Arab riots against the Jews...

Arab mobs, looting and burning and killing, destroyed all the synagogues in Aleppo, including the 1,500 year old Mustaribah Synagogue. Found in the ashes of this synagogue was the prized Aleppo Codex. A quarter of the manuscript had been destroyed - almost all of the Pentateuch and all of a number of other books as well. Smuggled out of Syria to Jerusalem, it is now being used as the base of a new critical edition of the Hebrew Bible to be published by Hebrew University.

2. The Leningrad Codex. Of equal rank with the Aleppo Codex is the Leningrad Codex. Now the oldest complete manuscript of the Hebrew Bible, it was written in Cairo about the year 1010. It, too, is a beautiful manuscript, with pages ornately wrought.

The manuscript today is in the National Library of St. Petersburg, Russia. Although the city’s name is once again St. Petersburg, the manuscript is still known as the Leningrad Codex... It is the Leningrad Codex that mainly underlies most editions of the modern Hebrew Bible...

3. The Cairo Codex. This manuscript of the Former and Latter Prophets was written by Moses ben Asher in 895. Subsequently, it came into the possession of a Jewish sect in Jerusalem known as Karaites. After being carried off by the Crusaders and later returned, it made its way to the Karaite community in Cairo, where it remains today.

4. The Leningrad Codex of the Prophets. Written in 916, this manuscript includes Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the Minor Prophets.

5. British Library Codex of the Pentateuch. Containing most of the Pentateuch, this codex is an important witness to the text. An undated manuscript, which formerly was thought to be from the ninth century, is now dated a century later.

Since we have no ancient manuscripts of the Bible in the Hebrew language, how do we know whether it has been copied accurately during the preceding two and a half millennia? There are actually a number of ways. Although the Dead Sea Scrolls do not contain the entirety of the Hebrew Bible, they do include large portions, including the entire book of Isaiah on a single scroll. The Dead Sea Scrolls were made by a sect of Jews called the Essenes who dwelt in the wilderness of Judea from the first century B.C. until the second century A.D.. This means their writings are nearly a thousand years older than the existing Hebrew Scriptures copied by the Massorete scribes. Among the Dead Sea scrolls is a copy of the book of Isaiah. When comparing the Isaiah scroll to the Massoretic text copied nearly a thousand years later, they have been found to be nearly identical. In a thousand years there was no significant change to the text. Comparison of the Massoretic text to other scrolls and fragments discovered with the Isaiah scroll reveal that there has been no substantial change to the text. This takes us much closer to the original writings, but we can go further back still if we look at the Old Testament in other languages.

In the second century B.C. the Greek ruler of Egypt, Ptolemy II, wanted to build a great library. There were many Jews dwelling in Alexandria, Egypt at the time. These Jews spoke Koine Greek, and were not fluent in Hebrew. Ptolemy sponsored a translation of the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek, and 70 Jewish scholars were appointed to make the translation. The word “Septuagint” means “the seventy.” The Septuagint became a very important translation for the Jews, for many Jews no longer spoke Hebrew fluently.

There are diverse views among scholars regarding the differences/similarity between the Greek Septuagint and the Hebrew Masoretic Text. Some scholars focus on the similarities, for the same thoughts are conveyed in both Hebrew and Greek in the great majority of instances. This has led some scholars to suggest that the translators of the Septuagint must have worked from a Hebrew manuscript very similar to that of the Masoretes. Other scholars focus on the differences between the Greek and Hebrew Old Testaments, for the fact that there are differences cannot be denied. There are verses found in the Hebrew that are absent in the Greek Septuagint, and vice versa. The Septuagint also contained numerous apocryphal books, and some sections from apocryphal writings were added directly into the text of books such as Daniel.  However, in the great many places where we find agreement between the old Greek texts and the Masoretic texts of the Scriptures, we are once more assured that the basic message of the Bible has remained consistent throughout its thousands of years of existence.

Keep in mind that the Old Testament was written over a span of about one thousand years. The last book, Malachi, was likely written somewhere between the years 445 and 420 B.C.. The Torah portion of the Septuagint was written in the 3rd century B.C., and other books were completed in the next two centuries. Therefore, the gap between the time the last book of the Old Testament was written, and the translation of the Hebrew scriptures into Greek was at most a few centuries. There are existing manuscripts containing some books of the Septuagint that date back as far as the 2nd century B.C..

Although the Latin Vulgate is a translation of the Bible into a secondary language, it is important due to its antiquity and the prominent role it has occupied in the church age. The word “vulgate” means “common.” This Latin translation was the standard Bible used in Europe for more than a thousand years.

In 382 A.D., Pope Damasus I commissioned Eusebius Hieronymus (also known as Jerome) to create a standardized Latin edition of the Bible. At the time many disparate Latin translations existed, and a need was perceived to bring some order and harmony to the Latin scriptures. Jerome began by producing a revised Latin version of the four gospels. This was completed in 384 A.D. shortly before the death of Pope Damasus I. Jerome then fell out of favor in Rome and departed to the Holy Land where he took up residence in Bethlehem. There, he obtained access to a copy of the Hexapla, a version of the Scriptures produced by Origen in about 150 A.D.. The Hexapla was an ancient form of what may be compared to a parallel Bible today. Origen’s Hexapla listed six translations of the Bible in parallel columns. This massive work spanned some 6,000 pages and was originally contained in 15 volumes. Included in the Hexapla was a Hebrew Bible (written in the Hebrew alphabet), as well as a Hebrew Bible transliterated in Greek letters, a copy of the Greek Septuagint, and three additional Greek versions of the Scriptures written respectively by Theodotion, Symmachus, and Aquila of Sinope. Using the Hexapla as his primary resource, Jerome was able to complete his Latin translation of the Old Testament.

By the 6th or 7th century, Jerome’s Latin translation of the Bible had become the standard throughout Europe, replacing the Old Latin scriptures. In 1546 at the Council of Trent, the Roman Catholic Church officially assigned Jerome’s Latin scriptures the title “Vulgate,” making this the official Bible of Romanism. One rather serious shortcoming of this official sanction of the Roman Church is that when Catholic translations of the Bible were later made into English, they were translated from the Latin Vulgate, rather than from the original Hebrew and Greek. Thus, Catholic Bibles in English have actually been translations of a translation.

When Gutenberg invented the printing press, one of the first books to be printed was the Latin Vulgate, which was done in the year 1456.

The Textus Receptus

In 1516, Desiderius Erasmus sought to revise Jerome’s Latin Bible, improving upon it. Perhaps in order to demonstrate the superiority of his translation, Erasmus placed the Greek text of the Scriptures in parallel with the Latin. The inclusion of a Greek text of the Bible proved to be quite valuable, causing Erasmus’ Bible to be highly sought after. For many, the Greek portion of Erasmus’ Bible became far more valuable than the Latin. Erasmus’ Greek New Testament would eventually become known as the “Textus Receptus,” meaning “Received Text,” though Erasmus himself never referred to it as such. More will be mentioned about this in the next chapter.

Undoubtedly, the great prominence attained by Erasmus’ Greek and Latin text was due to the fact that it was the first Greek New Testament to be published in Europe. Note the emphasis on the word “published.” There were many extant Greek New Testaments at the time, but none had ever been published using the relatively new invention of the printing press. The printing press made books much more financially accessible to the general population. To have a book copied by a scribe was prohibitively expensive. A great many Bible scholars and students rejoiced to find a printed copy of the Greek New Testament that they could afford.

Erasmus’ Textus Receptus
(Latin and Greek Text Side by Side)

Erasmus’ Greek New Testament has been criticized due to the fact that he had access to only six Greek manuscripts, none of them of great antiquity, and there were some portions of the New Testament missing from the manuscripts (specifically the last six verses of the book of Revelation).  It is suggested by numerous scholars that Erasmus was under some pressure to quickly produce his Latin/Greek translation, which led to hasty, and somewhat sloppy work. Rather than seeking out a Greek manuscript with the missing verses from Revelation, Erasmus re-created the missing verses by translating backwards from Latin into the original Greek, a process whereby he was forced to guess what Greek words were originally used by the New Testament writers. There were also numerous spelling errors in his translation, and many other corrections that needed to be made. Erasmus would eventually publish five versions of his Greek New Testament, making corrections and improvements with each edition.

Erasmus’ Greek New Testament proved to be highly sought after by European Christians who wanted to produce a Bible translation in their native languages. Martin Luther used Erasmus’ Greek New Testament when creating his German translation of the Scriptures (Luther’s New Testament was completed in 1522 and the Old Testament in 1534). William Tyndale used Erasmus’ New Testament when creating his English Bible, as did the translators of the Geneva Bible and the King James Bible. In fact, from the 16th through the 19th centuries, most English Bibles used the Textus Receptus as the foundation for their translations. In the 19th century, older, and more reliable, Greek manuscripts began coming to light, leading to better Greek New Testaments. Westscott and Hort published their Greek New Testament in 1881 based largely upon the highly regarded Codex Vaticanus. The Textus Receptus has declined in favor among Bible scholars and translators as more ancient Greek manuscripts have come to light.

The Great Manuscripts

I will bring this chapter to a close by making mention of three of the oldest and most valuable (to scholars) Bible manuscripts extant today. All three of these manuscripts were discovered AFTER Erasmus published his Greek New Testament, and AFTER the King James Bible was published. These manuscripts, listed in the order of their importance, are as follows.

Page from the Codex Vaticanus

Codex Vaticanus
The Codex Vaticanus contains both the Old and New Testaments and is written in Greek. It derives its name based upon the place in which it resides. Since the 15th century this manuscript has been located in the Vatican library. The codex became known to Western scholars due to a correspondence between Erasmus and the Vatican, but access to the manuscript was restricted until 1889-1890 when a complete photographic facsimile was produced. The Codex Vaticanus is regarded as the oldest and purest quality New Testament manuscript, and it is among the oldest Old Testament manuscripts in any language, though it is not in the original language of Hebrew.

The Codex Vaticanus is missing the following portions of Scripture:

Genesis 1:1-46:28
Psalms 106-138
Hebrews 9:14 to end of book.
I and II Timothy

The Codex Vaticanus has been dated to the first half of the 4th century A.D. (Prior to 350 A.D.). It differs significantly from both the Latin Vulgate and the Textus Receptus.

Codex Sinaiticus

Codex Sinaiticus
A close rival to Codex Vaticanus is Codex Sinaiticus. It is dated accurately to between the years 325 A.D. and 360 A.D.. The nearer date would make it slightly more recent than the Vatican manuscript. The Sinaiticus manuscript was discovered by Constantin Tischendorf at St. Catherines Monastery near Mount Sinai. The discovery was made in the late 19th century. The manuscript is currently divided up between four locations, with the majority of it residing at the British Library. The story of the discovery of the manuscript, and Tischendorf’s efforts to gain access to it, makes for exciting reading. Like Codex Vaticanus, it is written in Greek. The Codex Sinaiticus is especially valued because it contains the complete Greek New Testament.

Codex Alexandrinus
The Codex Alexandrinus is a 5th century Greek Bible. It contains the majority of the Septuagint and the New Testament. The manuscript resided for some time in Alexandria, Egypt, from whence its name is derived. It was later taken to Constantinople in the possession of the Eastern Orthodox Church. It was subsequently gifted to King Charles I of England (the son of King James VI of Scotland  - King James I of England) in the 17th century, and now resides in the British Library along with Codex Sinaiticus. Thus the manuscript came to England too late to be of use to the translators of the King James Bible.

Aside from the Bible manuscripts in their original Hebrew and Greek, and translations into other languages such as the Greek Septuagint and Latin Vulgate, there exist ancient manuscripts in Syriac, Coptic, Georgian and other languages. These are also valuable to use to compare with the original language manuscripts. There additionally exists a large assortment of writings by the early church fathers in which nearly every Bible passage is discussed. These writings include quotations of the various passages of Scripture, and are also valuable to Bible scholars who are seeking to arrive at the original words of the Bible.

Although there exist a great many variations in the existing Bible manuscripts, the vast majority of the differences are nothing more than the spelling of specific words, alterations of word order, or other non-critical differences. There are no differences that would alter the basic doctrines of the faith. The Bible is by a wide margin supported by a greater number of ancient manuscripts than any other book in the world today.

Heart4God Website:    

Parables Blog:    

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

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Answering the Call

Joseph Herrin (11-24-2013)

Jude 22-23
And have mercy on some, who are doubting; save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh.

I am deeply grateful for all those who took the time to pray for the young man I mentioned in the previous post. The outpouring of prayers was heard in heaven, for a brother in Christ (James) who lives in Birmingham responded. In his own words he wrote: “I am not sure if this is my call to help, but I am willing.” He went on to share that he was willing to be a mentor to Devondre, while expressing a sense of inadequacy for the task.

I was very impressed with the humility James manifested, for truly none of us have the power or wisdom within ourselves to save a life from destruction. We are all woefully inadequate. It is Christ who makes us adequate for every task. As someone has stated, “Christ does not call the qualified. He qualifies the called.” Did He not say, “Behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age”?

I did not mention the specific issues Devondre is dealing with, but they are quite serious. It will require patience and persistence for him to overcome the serious besetting sins in his life, to put them behind him and move forward with the Lord. There are sensitive matters that need to be addressed, the resolution of which may even lead to time in prison. I would invite the readers of this post to please lift up James as he makes himself available to speak forth the light and truth of Christ to this young man. Please pray that James might receive an anointing from the Holy Spirit to discern what needs to be said and done, that he might be an instrument in Yahweh’s hands to rescue Devondre from the grasp of Satan and to deliver him from the punishment that awaits those who work evil.

James and his wife spent over an hour on the phone with Devondre last night. Please pray that Devondre might be willing to meet with them face to face, and that Satan would be restrained from hindering this work of mercy and redemption.

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

Friday, November 22, 2013

A Special Request

I have recently been contacted by a young African American male who lives in Birmingham, Alabama. He has never had a father figure in his life, and growing up in the midst of a godless society that thrives on rap music, drugs, violence, and sexual immorality, he has already experienced the depths of depravity in America’s godless culture.

Devondre is twenty years old, and is under conviction. He is reaching out for someone to help him find peace with God, knowing that his many sins have separated him from a holy Creator. Devondre’s writing skills are limited making it untenable for me to provide via the Internet or e-mail the type of discipleship training he needs.

I am writing to ask the readers of this blog if they know of any individual, or church, in the Birmingham area who walk by the Spirit, fearing God, and who have a heart to rescue the perishing. If you do, please let me know that I might be assisted in making contact with those who can supply the godly influences that this young man so desperately needs. If you do not know of anyone in the Birmingham area who would be suitable, please join me in praying that Yahweh would be gracious in raising up someone to be a spiritual mentor to Devondre.

Thank you,

Joseph Herrin

Heart4God Website:    

Parables Blog:    

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

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Yahweh's Book - The Languages of the Bible

A story is told about the first woman governor of the state of Texas, Miriam Amanda (Ma) Ferguson, who was elected to office in 1924. A debate was raging in Texas as to whether children immigrating from Mexico should receive public education courses in their native language of Spanish. Reports of the event state that Ma Ferguson brought a hasty end to the debate when she held up a Bible and declared, “If the King’s English was good enough for Jesus Christ, it’s good enough for the children of Texas!

I have found that many Christians are confused about the languages that the people in the Bible spoke, as well as the languages in which the Scriptures were written. As a youth I was aware that the Bible was written in different languages. I had a Strong’s Concordance that I began using before I was a teenager. At that age I sometimes had trouble remembering which Testament of the Bible  was written in Hebrew and which one was written in Greek. Later I also learned that parts of the Bible were written in Aramaic. I had no idea what Aramaic was, or who spoke it, for churches do not typically teach such things to their members. The subject of Biblical languages is not difficult to understand. I believe following the history of God’s people makes the subject of Bible languages easy to comprehend.

When Yahweh first created mankind, there was only one language. We are not told what language Adam and Eve spoke. I have heard some suggest that it was Hebrew, but I am not persuaded by the arguments. (You may understand my objections after reading more on the history of the Hebrew language.) For the first 1500 years of mankind’s existence all humanity spoke the same language. It was after the flood of Noah that Yahweh confused the speech of man. After the flood men began to multiply. Yahweh had instructed them to scatter across the earth, but man disobeyed. They congregated at Babel where they attempted to build a great city and a tower to reach to the heavens.

Genesis 11:6-9
And Yahweh said, "Behold, they are one people, and they all have the same language. And this is what they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them. Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another's speech." So Yahweh scattered them abroad from there over the face of the whole earth; and they stopped building the city. Therefore its name was called Babel, because there Yahweh confused the language of the whole earth; and from there Yahweh scattered them abroad over the face of the whole earth.

From this time onward mankind was divided into people groups based upon the languages that they spoke. This was the beginning of the various “tongues and tribes and nations.”

To grasp well the history of Bible languages, a very good place to start is with Abram/Abraham. When Yahweh chose a specific people to be His unique possession in the earth, He began by calling forth one man to be the head and progenitor of this people. This was Abraham.

We know that Abraham’s descendants are identified as Hebrews. The Hebrews are a distinct race of people, all descending from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Yet many Christians are stumped when asked what people group Abraham belonged to before Yahweh called him. Abraham wasn’t always a Hebrew. He belonged to one of the major families of mankind. The Bible tells us plainly which one.

Deuteronomy 26:5
And you shall answer and say before Yahweh your God, “My father was a wandering Aramean, and he went down to Egypt and sojourned there, few in number; but there he became a great, mighty and populous nation.”

Yes, Abraham was formerly an Aramean. He lived among the descendants of Aram. The language these people spoke was Aramaic. Aramaic is not one single language, but it is a family of languages. As often occurs, a people who speak one language become fragmented. In their isolation from other groups who speak the same language, differences begin to enter in. New words are adopted. Various expressions become unique to one people group. At times even the alphabet and spelling of words may change. If the differences in these related languages are relatively minor, they are referred to as dialects. However, if the changes are such that others who speak the original language can no longer understand the evolved speech of a group of people, the dialect may be referred to as a distinct language.

Hebrew, Syriac, and Phoenician are all Aramaic languages. Abraham was born around the year 2,000 B.C.. He lived for 175 years, which places him about a century before Hammurabi. As previously mentioned, Abraham was born into the people of Aram. The Arameans settled along the Euphrates River in an area that became known as Babylonia.

(Click on Image to View Larger)

You will notice a city down toward the bottom of the map that is named Ur. The Bible declares Ur to be the ancestral home of Abraham.

Genesis 11:27-28
Now these are the records of the generations of Terah. Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran; and Haran became the father of Lot. And Haran died in the presence of his father Terah in the land of his birth, in Ur of the Chaldeans.

Because the Arameans were not the only family of people to dwell in this area, Aramaic was not the exclusive language spoken. Another common language in Babylonia in the time of Abraham and his forefathers was Akkadian. During a period of about a thousand years from the time of Abraham until the  Neo-Assyrian and Neo-Babylonian periods (934 B.C. - 539 B.C.), a great influx of Arameans came into this area. Consequently Aramaic became the common language of the land. It was during the Neo-Babylonian period around 600 B.C., that Judah was led away into Babylonian captivity. Daniel was carried into Babylon during this time, so it is not surprising that much of the book of Daniel was written in Aramaic, rather than Hebrew. The book of Ezra was also written during the time of the Babylonian exile, and the Jews return from Babylon. It too contains sections that were written in Aramaic. Of approximately 23,000 verses in the Old Testament, roughly 250 of them are written in Aramaic. The remainder are written in Hebrew.

If we follow the life of Abraham, we can readily identify the languages of the Old Testament. Abraham was an Aramean who spoke Aramaic. Over time, as his descendants dwelt in the distant land of Canaan where they were cut off from other speakers of Aramaic, their speech began to change. The influence of the Canaanite languages had an impact on the language of the Hebrews dwelling in the land. As time passed the language spoken by Abraham’s descendants in Canaan became so distinct that Aramaic and Hebrew were considered separate languages.

We see evidence of the profound changes that occurred in the Hebrew’s speech in an account found in the book of II Kings. About 1300 years after Abraham’s descendants had been dwelling in Canaan, King Sennacherib of Assyria laid siege to Jerusalem in the days of King Hezekiah. Sennacherib’s commander, Rabshakeh, came out to speak to the Jews, taunting them. Rabshakeh spoke openly in Hebrew in order to discourage the people of Jerusalem. One of Hezekiah’s ministers urged Rabshakeh to speak to Hezekiah’s servants in Aramaic, for the common people of Judea no longer understood the language.

II Kings 18:26
Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, Shebna, and Joah said to the Rabshakeh, "Please speak to your servants in Aramaic, for we understand it; and do not speak to us in Hebrew in the hearing of the people who are on the wall."

The speech of Abraham’s descendants was still considered an Aramaic language in Hezekiah’s day, but we see that it had become so differentiated from the Aramaic of the land of Assyria and Babylon that the Hebrews could no longer understand Aramaic. A century after this, the Jews were taken captive into the land of Babylon and were once more subjected to the Aramaic language. It became a matter of necessity for the Jews to speak Aramaic so that they could dwell in the land, conduct business, and converse with their neighbors. Consequently, when the Jews returned from the Babylonian exile they were now speaking Aramaic. While in Babylon, the Jews had also abandoned the Paleo Hebrew alphabet and adopted the Aramaic square script.

The alphabet above would have been familiar to the inhabitants of Canaan during the time Joshua led the Israelites in to conquer the land, circa 1,500 B.C..

The Alphabet above is what the Jewish people adopted while in Babylonian captivity around 600 B.C.. This shows how much a single language can change over the course of time. While the Jewish people were dwelling in Babylon, Aramaic became the every day language of the people. Aramaic remained the common language of the Jews in what is referred to as “the Second Temple Period.” This time spanned between 539 B.C. when the Jews returned from Babylon, and 70 A.D. when the Temple was destroyed, along with Jerusalem, by the Roman General Titus. These years fully encompassed the life and ministry of Christ in Judea. That Christ and His disciples spoke Aramaic is evident from the New Testament Scriptures. The following verses all include examples of Yahshua speaking in Aramaic.

Mark 5:41
And taking the child by the hand, He said to her, "Talitha kum!" (which translated means, "Little girl, I say to you, arise!").

Mark 7:31-34
And again He went out from the region of Tyre, and came through Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, within the region of Decapolis. And they brought to Him one who was deaf and spoke with difficulty, and they entreated Him to lay His hand upon him. And He took him aside from the multitude by himself, and put His fingers into his ears, and after spitting, He touched his tongue with the saliva; and looking up to heaven with a deep sigh, He said to him, “Ephphatha!” that is, "Be opened!"

Mark 15:34
And at the ninth hour Yahshua cried out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?" which is translated, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

Notwithstanding Ma Ferguson’s claim that the Son of God spoke “the King’s English,” we observe
that Christ was speaking a language very different from English. As one might anticipate, when the Jews returned to the land of Israel after their sojourning in Babylon, the Aramaic they spoke once again began to differentiate itself from that which was spoken elsewhere. Over time it once more became distinct so that in the time of Christ the speech of the Jews was once more referred to as Hebrew. Many language scholars, however, believe it is more accurate to describe the language spoken by the Judeans of Christ’s day as “the Aramaic vernacular of the Jews.”

This brings us now to the third and final language of the Bible, Koine Greek. The word “Koine” means “common.” In the time of Christ, Judea lie under the power of the Roman Empire. The Greek Empire proceeded Rome, spreading across many of the same lands that Rome would eventually conquer. As the Greek Empire spread, the Greek language went with it. When Rome supplanted Greece, the Greek language had already become entrenched. It had become the lingua franca of the day. (Lingua franca is defined as “a language systematically used to make communication possible between people not sharing a mother tongue.”) The Greek language tied together people groups from all around the Mediterranean. This included the Jewish people who continued speaking Hebrew/Aramaic, while also learning Greek.

Hebrew/Aramaic was the native language spoken by the Jewish people in the time of Christ. However, many Jews were polyglots, that is to say, they spoke multiple languages. By adopting Greek as a second language, or even a primary language, the various people groups of the Roman Empire were able to speak to one another. Although none of the Bible was originally written in Latin, it too was a common language in Christ’s day, and many Jews would have been familiar with it. Latin was the language of Italy where the city of Rome was located. Although Rome acquiesced to embracing Greek as the common language of the Empire, Latin remain the official language of Rome. This explains why Pilate, the Roman Governor of Judea, chose Latin as one of the languages to inscribe his message above the head of Christ.

John 19:19-20
And it was written, "YAHSHUA THE NAZARENE, THE KING OF THE JEWS." Therefore this inscription many of the Jews read, for the place where Yahshua was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Latin, and in Greek.

Inscription written first in Hebrew/Aramaic, Latin, then Greek.

Christ and His disciples undoubtedly spoke Aramaic with one another. There are many evidences of this found throughout the New Testament. Continuously, Aramaic words are inserted into the text of the New Testament. Following are a few examples of Aramaic words that are found in our Bibles today.

Abba - meaning “father.”
Raca - meaning “empty head” or “fool.”
Mammon - meaning “material wealth” or “greed.”
Rabboni - meaning “master.”

In the New Testament which was written in Koine Greek, the word for “Aramaic” is never used to describe the speech of the people of Israel. Instead, the Greek word “Hebraisti” is used to denote the language of the Jews in the time of Christ and the apostles. Nevertheless, some Bible translations render “Hebraisti” as Aramaic rather than Hebrew, for the language of the Jews was truly a dialect of Aramaic. Following is an example of the differences one might find in various Bibles.

John 19:16-17
And they took Jesus, and led him away. And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha:

John 19:16-17
So they took Jesus, and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha.
English Standard Version

To summarize, the entire Bible was written by descendants of Abraham. Thus, the languages of Abraham’s descendants were employed to write the Scriptures. Abraham was an Aramean. He was born into a nation of people who spoke Aramaic. When Abraham was called to leave his father’s house and travel to Canaan, he took the Aramaic language with him.

Over the course of centuries, isolated from their Aramean forebears, the language of the descendants of Abraham began to change until it was unrecognizable to those who spoke Aramean. The language the Hebrew people spoke was identified as their own language, being called Hebrew.

When the Jewish people were taken back to the land of their forebears, being led into captivity in Babylon, they were once more introduced to Aramaic. In Babylon the Jews adopted the Aramaic language and Alphabet, and upon their return to Judea they took Aramaic with them. Aramaic remained the language of the Jewish people until the time of Christ, though it once more began to differentiate from the Aramaic of other people groups. Thus, the language of the Jews in Christ’s day is interchangeably called both Hebrew and Aramaic.

The vast majority of the Old Testament is written in Hebrew, with less than 2% of its text being written originally in Aramaic. When Jerusalem and Judea fell under the rule of Greece, and later of Rome, they were introduced to the Greek language. Many Jews were multi-lingual, speaking both their native Hebrew tongue as well as Greek. This proved very helpful when the disciples of Christ were commissioned to take the gospel to the nations. Since the Jews were familiar with Greek, and it was the lingua franca of the Roman Empire, the New Testament was written in Greek and spread rapidly.

We understand, therefore, that the Bible was NOT written in English. It was written in ancient languages known unto the descendants of Abraham, the wandering Aramean.

Heart4God Website:    

Parables Blog:    

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

Monday, November 18, 2013

Washington Destroyed - America Ripped in Two

Joseph Herrin (11-18-2013)

American Flag Ripped During National Anthem

The headline of this post may seem overly dramatic, for Washington (D.C.) is still standing, and America continues her steady descent into moral and spiritual darkness. Yet, if I were to provide an interpretation for events that occurred yesterday, Sunday November 17, 2013, then the title of this post sums up the matter well.

An intense series of storms swept across the Midwest yesterday, giving birth to numerous tornadoes. The most extensive damage appears to have occurred in the city of Washington, Illinois. Hundreds of homes were damaged or destroyed in the city of 15,000 inhabitants. Scanning through photos of the damage this morning I came across one image of a shredded American flag in the town of Washington.

The damage elsewhere throughout the town was severe as the powerful tornado ripped through neighborhoods.

Washington Tornado

Damage in Washington, IL

Perhaps this event serves as a prophetic warning of what is coming to America on the 200th anniversary of the destruction of Washington, D.C.. In 1814 the British Army invaded Washington and burned much of the city, including the White House and the Capitol Building.

A second witness to this event in Washington occurred in Buffalo, New York on the same day. As the national anthem was playing, National Guardsmen rushed onto the field to spread out an immense 100 yard long American flag. This flag was very sturdy, and has been used in other venues in numerous cities. Yet this day, as National Guardsmen stood holding the flag, the winds in the stadium ripped the flag in two.

The Flag Moments Before it was Torn Asunder

What makes this a particular poignant parable is that the Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, had greeted the National Guard members just before this occurred.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo Greets National Guardsmen

It is the Governor who has authority to call out the National Guard in times of emergency. Significantly, the image of the flag ripping that has been broadcast the most over the news websites, shows the flag upside as it is torn. An upside down flag is internationally recognized as a sign of distress, or emergency.

A further event occurred during this football game in Buffalo. A Buffalo Bill’s fan in the upper deck of the stadium foolishly attempted to slide down the railing when he lost his balance and fell over backwards into the lower seating section about fifteen feet below him. The man survived, but was injured and also caused a head injury to another person that he struck in his fall. Both individuals were taken to the hospital. Thus a time of pleasure suddenly turned into a time of tragedy, adding further affirmation to the sign of the flag being torn asunder.


As mentioned, both the flag ripping, and the city of Washington, IL being struck by a powerful tornado, occurred on the same day. The date was the 17th, a number which also bears significance. In Paul’s epistle to the Romans he lists 17 things that Christians are likely to suffer, assuring the saints that none of them can separate them from the love of Christ.

Romans 8:35-39
"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall

1.    Tribulation
2.    Or distress,
3.    Or persecution,
4.    Or famine,
5.    Or nakedness,
6.    Or peril,
7.    Or sword?

as it is written, For Thy sake are we killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that,

8.    Neither 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 creature,

shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Yahshua our Lord."

The Spirit has been testifying for some time that very difficult days lie ahead for the nation and Yahweh’s people. It will be a time when many are purged, purified, and refined. The wicked will continue to do wickedly, not understanding what Yahweh is doing, but those with insight will understand (Daniel 12:10).

Whether America will be torn asunder in 2014 in a parallel to Washington, D.C. being sacked and burnt in 1814 remains to be seen. It is a time to be watchful and to seek the Lord, ordering our lives in righteousness before Him.

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

I know that many readers like to hear about my daughter Kristin and how the Father is using her. She will be going to Florida once more in a few weeks to minister to women in prisons there. She has done this on numerous occasions both in Florida and South Carolina prisons. The ministry she works with recently posted a video with images of some of the women ministering in the prisons. At the 33 second mark you will see my daughter kneeling down with a Bible in her hand reading to a woman through her cell door.

Heart4God Website:    

Parables Blog:    

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

Friday, November 15, 2013


Joseph Herrin (11-15-2013)


(Click on Image to View Larger)

This post is not written as a diatribe against America’s current President. Rather, it is written as a judgment of the American public who twice elected him to office. Americans of varied political backgrounds, of both sexes, of all races, and a great many who profess to be Christian, voted for this man. Some complain that it was African Americans who put him in office. According to the most recent census figures, 12.2% of America’s population are African American. Yet in 2008 Obama garnered 52.9% of the popular vote of all Americans, and in 2012 he won with 51.1%.

The apostle Paul in his letter to Timothy wrote the following:

I Timothy 5:22
Do not lay hands upon anyone too hastily and thus share responsibility for the sins of others; keep yourself free from sin.

Paul was warning the youthful Timothy to be careful in endorsing any man. Though the context of Paul’s words refers to matters within the church, the principle applies more widely. We share in the responsibility for the sins of those whom we endorse. To cast a vote for a person is to endorse them. To vote a person into office is to place in their hands power and authority. This power and authority can be used for good, or it can be used for great evil.

As a senator in Illinois, one of the few votes Obama actually cast was to kill a bill that would have required that life-saving medical care be given to babies that were born alive after a failed abortion attempt. By casting this vote, Obama demonstrated that not only does he approve of the murder of babies within their mother’s womb, but he supports infanticide. This places him in the same company as past rulers who have approved the slaughter of infants, including Pharaoh and King Herod.

Exodus 1:15-16
Then the king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah, and the other was named Puah; and he said, "When you are helping the Hebrew women to give birth and see them upon the birthstool, if it is a son, then you shall put him to death; but if it is a daughter, then she shall live."

When the midwives did not perform Pharaoh’s commandment because they feared Yahweh, Pharaoh gave an additional order.

Exodus 1:22
Then Pharaoh commanded all his people, saying, "Every son who is born you are to cast into the Nile, and every daughter you are to keep alive."

Similarly, in the period following the birth of Christ, Herod ordered the slaughter of the innocents as he sought to destroy the Son of God.

Matthew 2:16-18
Then when Herod saw that he had been tricked by the magi, he became very enraged, and sent and slew all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its environs, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had ascertained from the magi. Then that which was spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled, saying, "A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children; And she refused to be comforted, because they were no more."

America’s sin is far greater than the transgression of these rulers because the people of America are active participants in the slaughter of their babies. America has voted for men and women who have upheld free access to abortions. They are not coerced to go to clinics to have their children slaughtered, but seek them out voluntarily. They even manifest a willingness to pay for this “service.”

Appallingly, there has been a campaign launched recently called “1 in 3.” This is a reference to the number of women in America who at some point in their lives will have an abortion. The “1 in 3" campaign’s focus is to change the public’s perception of women who have had abortions. Their theme is “Abortion Without Apology!”

The “1 in 3" campaign have planned 100 events in 32 states where women will share how having an abortion was a good thing, improving the quality of their lives, while positing that it was also a good choice for the child they murdered. The website for “1 in 3" lists testimonies of dozens of women who have had abortions. These testimonies have been made into a book which is available on the website. Following is one testimony that is typical of what one will find.

I was 22, had just finished college and was dating a guy who already had three kids by three other women. He was not allowed contact with any of these women or their children. He drank a lot, did a lot of drugs, and was largely unemployable. (I’m a smart girl and have never understood why I chose him as a partner in the first place.) There was nothing beneficial about my relationship with him, so I severed ties easily and moved away. Then, I learned that I was pregnant. It was five days before Christmas, I was visiting my family and preparing to leave the US for several months. There was no way I was willing to stay connected to this person for the rest of my life, or bring one more child into the world without a loving, present father. I didn’t love the guy, so how could I commit to raising a child with him?! Raising a child on my own was out of the question at that point in my life. Making the choice to have an abortion is one of the best decisions I have ever made, and I have never second-guessed it for a moment. I am proud of myself for having taken control of my own life, for having made a strong and difficult decision without regret, and for having set my life on a course of confidence, independence and clarity.

Before the eyes of God, can this woman truly justify an “abortion without apology”? She was college educated and surely knew the consequences of having promiscuous, unprotected sexual intercourse. She entered into a sexual relationship with a man who had already gotten three other women pregnant. He was known to this woman to be such a threat to these women and their children that he was banned from having any contact with them. This 22 year old woman was aware that the man was a heavy drinker, a frequent user of illegal drugs, and could not hold down a job. Nevertheless, she chose to engage in a pattern of sexual intercourse with an immoral, reprobate man. When it quite naturally followed that she became pregnant she continued to think only about herself and chose to destroy the life growing within her. Astonishingly, this woman speaks of her actions in the most glowing terms, describing her pride “for having taken control of my own life, for having made a strong and difficult decision without regret, and for having set my life on a course of confidence, independence and clarity.”

I can imagine a similar letter written by a pedophile who covers up his sexual abuse by strangling and burying the body of his victim in some remote location. The “1 in 3" campaign asks men and women to sign a pledge to end the stigma of abortion. The pledge reads as follows:

I pledge to speak out against the shaming of women who have had an abortion. I will help build a culture of empathy, justice, and support for access to abortion care and for the 1 in 3 women who will have an abortion in her lifetime. The silence and stigma end here.

The Bible speaks of women who not only engage in sexual immorality, but who are brazen in their lack of remorse and guilt.

Proverbs 7:10-18
And behold, a woman comes to meet him, dressed as a harlot and cunning of heart. She is boisterous and rebellious; Her feet do not remain at home; She is now in the streets, now in the squares, and lurks by every corner. So she seizes him and kisses him, and with a brazen face she says to him: "I was due to offer peace offerings; Today I have paid my vows. Therefore I have come out to meet you, to seek your presence earnestly, and I have found you. I have spread my couch with coverings, with colored linens of Egypt. I have sprinkled my bed with myrrh, aloes and cinnamon. Come, let us drink our fill of love until morning; Let us delight ourselves with caresses.”

The Scripture above describes a woman who is an adulteress, acting as a harlot. Yet this woman declares that she has made peace offerings and paid her vows to God. With these words she implies that she has peace with God, having no cause of shame. Such a woman manifests intentional self-deception. She can pretend that her life and actions are acceptable before God, but Yahweh will not be mocked. Solomon ends this passage with the following words.

Proverbs 7:27
Her house is the way to Sheol, descending to the chambers of death.

On the “1 in 3" website is the following graphic.

The Brazen Woman

The brazen woman says, “I will fornicate and commit adultery whenever I choose. I will engage in unprotected sex when I do not intend to nourish, care for, love, or raise the child that results from my behavior. I will kill the child in the womb if I become pregnant, and I will apologize to no one for doing so!”

People of God, the judgment of Yahweh cannot tarry long when a people flaunt their transgressions openly and embrace an attitude of rebellion toward all that is holy and righteous. A people that will murder their children without compunction cannot long escape the wrath of a righteous and holy Creator. The blood of 50-60 million babies cries out from the ground of America. Yet those who commit unrighteousness, and those who applaud them, add to their abominations by raising their fist before God and saying, “We will not repent, or express any shame for our actions!”

How does this issue relate to the election of Barack Obama? Women in both elections disproportionately voted for Obama. In 2012 68% of single women voted for Obama. This is the demographic group most likely to engage in promiscuous sex and to have abortions. Even as Obama has been unapologetic in his promotion of gross immorality, acting as a champion of homosexual behavior and pushing to alter the definition of marriage to include same sex partners, there is a noticeable change in the attitude of women who are becoming increasingly brazen and unapologetic for the immoral lifestyles they have embraced.

America is sinking fast into the darkness of unrestrained immorality. Earlier today I came across a new government sponsored ad campaign that is promoting the benefits of Obamacare to college age Americans. The ad campaign endorses a hard-partying and sexually immoral lifestyle.

(Click on any Image to View Larger)

The poster above states:

Hey Girl, You’re excited about easy access to birth control and I’m excited about getting to know you. She got insurance. Now you can too. Thanks Obamacare!

The above ad links the ability to participate in irresponsible drinking to obamacare. The next advertisement is the most immorally blatant of all.

The caption states:

Let’s Get Physical
OMG, he’s hot! Let’s hope he’s as easy to get as this birth control. My health insurance covers the pill, which means all I have to worry about is getting him between the covers. I got insurance. Thanks Obamacare!

The government of America is actively promoting unrestrained immorality. The destruction of families, the devaluation of life, the denigration of purity, and scorning of righteousness are being zealously pursued. America is a nation that is accelerating into depravity, and the consequences of this slide cannot be avoided.

Proverbs 14:34
Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.

America has become an object of disgrace. Her reputation is in great reproach among the nations. Her abandonment of all that is decent and upright has sealed her fate. Judgment will not tarry.

Though it is a lengthy passage, I encourage you to read the words Yahweh spoke to Israel, warning them of what would happen if they forsook righteousness and justice and gave themselves to the pursuit of evil. As you read, consider how many of these curses have already struck America, yet she has not repented. Yahweh has given the nation time to repent, and she has shown that she will not do so. She has hardened herself as a rebellious youth. She has spoken impudence.

If you are among those who sigh and groan over what you see occurring all around, it is a time to make Yahweh your hiding place. America’s pride has become insufferable. Her rebellion against God cries out for judgment.

Deuteronomy 28:15-29:1
"But it shall come about, if you will not obey Yahweh your God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes with which I charge you today, that all these curses shall come upon you and overtake you. Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the country. Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. Cursed shall be the offspring of your body and the produce of your ground, the increase of your herd and the young of your flock. Cursed shall you be when you come in, and cursed shall you be when you go out.
Yahweh will send upon you curses, confusion, and rebuke, in all you undertake to do, until you are destroyed and until you perish quickly, on account of the evil of your deeds, because you have forsaken Me. Yahweh will make the pestilence cling to you until He has consumed you from the land, where you are entering to possess it. Yahweh will smite you with consumption and with fever and with inflammation and with fiery heat and with the sword and with blight and with mildew, and they shall pursue you until you perish. And the heaven which is over your head shall be bronze, and the earth which is under you, iron. Yahweh will make the rain of your land powder and dust; from heaven it shall come down on you until you are destroyed. Yahweh will cause you to be defeated before your enemies; you shall go out one way against them, but you shall flee seven ways before them, and you shall be an example of terror to all the kingdoms of the earth. And your carcasses shall be food to all birds of the sky and to the beasts of the earth, and there shall be no one to frighten them away.
Yahweh will smite you with the boils of Egypt and with tumors and with the scab and with the itch, from which you cannot be healed. Yahweh will smite you with madness and with blindness and with bewilderment of heart; and you shall grope at noon, as the blind man gropes in darkness, and you shall not prosper in your ways; but you shall only be oppressed and robbed continually, with none to save you. You shall betroth a wife, but another man shall violate her; you shall build a house, but you shall not live in it; you shall plant a vineyard, but you shall not use its fruit. Your ox shall be slaughtered before your eyes, but you shall not eat of it; your donkey shall be torn away from you, and shall not be restored to you; your sheep shall be given to your enemies, and you shall have none to save you. Your sons and your daughters shall be given to another people, while your eyes shall look on and yearn for them continually; but there shall be nothing you can do. A people whom you do not know shall eat up the produce of your ground and all your labors, and you shall never be anything but oppressed and crushed continually. And you shall be driven mad by the sight of what you see. Yahweh will strike you on the knees and legs with sore boils, from which you cannot be healed, from the sole of your foot to the crown of your head. Yahweh will bring you and your king, whom you shall set over you, to a nation which neither you nor your fathers have known, and there you shall serve other gods, wood and stone. And you shall become a horror, a proverb, and a taunt among all the people where Yahweh will drive you.
You shall bring out much seed to the field but you shall gather in little, for the locust shall consume it. You shall plant and cultivate vineyards, but you shall neither drink of the wine nor gather the grapes, for the worm shall devour them. You shall have olive trees throughout your territory but you shall not anoint yourself with the oil, for your olives shall drop off. You shall have sons and daughters but they shall not be yours, for they shall go into captivity. The cricket shall possess all your trees and the produce of your ground. The alien who is among you shall rise above you higher and higher, but you shall go down lower and lower. He shall lend to you, but you shall not lend to him; he shall be the head, and you shall be the tail. So all these curses shall come on you and pursue you and overtake you until you are destroyed, because you would not obey Yahweh your God by keeping His commandments and His statutes which He commanded you. And they shall become a sign and a wonder on you and your descendants forever. Because you did not serve Yahweh your God with joy and a glad heart, for the abundance of all things; therefore you shall serve your enemies whom Yahweh shall send against you, in hunger, in thirst, in nakedness, and in the lack of all things; and He will put an iron yoke on your neck until He has destroyed you.
Yahweh will bring a nation against you from afar, from the end of the earth, as the eagle swoops down, a nation whose language you shall not understand, a nation of fierce countenance who shall have no respect for the old, nor show favor to the young. Moreover, it shall eat the offspring of your herd and the produce of your ground until you are destroyed, who also leaves you no grain, new wine, or oil, nor the increase of your herd or the young of your flock until they have caused you to perish. And it shall besiege you in all your towns until your high and fortified walls in which you trusted come down throughout your land, and it shall besiege you in all your towns throughout your land which Yahweh your God has given you. Then you shall eat the offspring of your own body, the flesh of your sons and of your daughters whom Yahweh your God has given you, during the siege and the distress by which your enemy shall oppress you. The man who is refined and very delicate among you shall be hostile toward his brother and toward the wife he cherishes and toward the rest of his children who remain, so that he will not give even one of them any of the flesh of his children which he shall eat, since he has nothing else left, during the siege and the distress by which your enemy shall oppress you in all your towns. The refined and delicate woman among you, who would not venture to set the sole of her foot on the ground for delicateness and refinement, shall be hostile toward the husband she cherishes and toward her son and daughter, and toward her afterbirth which issues from between her legs and toward her children whom she bears; for she shall eat them secretly for lack of anything else, during the siege and the distress by which your enemy shall oppress you in your towns.
If you are not careful to observe all the words of this law which are written in this book, to fear this honored and awesome name, Yahweh your God, then Yahweh will bring extraordinary plagues on you and your descendants, even severe and lasting plagues, and miserable and chronic sicknesses. And He will bring back on you all the diseases of Egypt of which you were afraid, and they shall cling to you. Also every sickness and every plague which, not written in the book of this law, Yahweh will bring on you until you are destroyed. Then you shall be left few in number, whereas you were as the stars of heaven for multitude, because you did not obey Yahweh your God. And it shall come about that as Yahweh delighted over you to prosper you, and multiply you, so Yahweh will delight over you to make you perish and destroy you; and you shall be torn from the land where you are entering to possess it. Moreover, Yahweh will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other end of the earth; and there you shall serve other gods, wood and stone, which you or your fathers have not known. And among those nations you shall find no rest, and there shall be no resting place for the sole of your foot; but there Yahweh will give you a trembling heart, failing of eyes, and despair of soul. So your life shall hang in doubt before you; and you shall be in dread night and day, and shall have no assurance of your life. In the morning you shall say, 'Would that it were evening!' And at evening you shall say, 'Would that it were morning!' because of the dread of your heart which you dread, and for the sight of your eyes which you shall see. And Yahweh will bring you back to Egypt in ships, by the way about which I spoke to you, 'You will never see it again!' And there you shall offer yourselves for sale to your enemies as male and female slaves, but there will be no buyer."

Heart4God Website:    

Parables Blog:    

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