Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Spring Forward

Joseph Herrin (03-30-2016)

There is something about the Spring of the year that puts people into a mood for house cleaning. I think it has to do with being able to open up the doors and windows and let the fresh air in as well as a greater abundance of sunlight. This stimulates us to air the house out, and along with it, to clean out the dirt and clutter. At times this leads to even greater improvements to our living spaces.

Most readers know that I live in a school bus that I converted into a motorhome. I have been living full-time in The Dreamer for the past six years. (Time sure does fly.)

This photo was taken just a moment ago. If you look closely on the left side of the photo you can see Champ “dreaming” away as he soaks up the Georgia sunshine. I am parked on some property in a rural area of south-central Georgia. It is ideal for a ministry of writing as it is quiet and peaceful. Pollen has been giving my sinuses fits for the past week or two, but that too is an annual rite of passage for me.

The image at the top of the page shows the interior of my bus where my office area is located. Typically, one would have seen a standard RV dinette in this space, but I removed it to make way for an upgrade.

This is the dinette, minus the cushions and table, outside of the bus. Girlfriend, Champ’s new best buddy, is doing her best Vanna White impression as she shows off the furniture. She is actually showing off how very pregnant she is. Girlfriend should be having her first litter of puppies this week. I am looking forward to having some puppies around. Doesn’t everyone love a puppy?

Girlfriend is a Boxer. She has a very sweet personality. She loves people, demonstrating the social graces which Champ lacks (until he gets to know you).

With the prison ministry increasing I have found the need for more desk space. The dinette was staying cluttered up and since it had to do double duty as my office and dining space, it was increasingly awkward in these roles. In hindsight, I am surprised that I did not replace the dinette with a desk long ago. I rarely entertain others for meals, and when I do, it can often be accomplished outside at a picnic table.

What initially prompted me was that I began looking into some way to get exercise during my long sessions at the computer. There are some peddling and elliptical machines that are made to fit under a desk and to serve this need. I ended up getting an under-desk elliptical machine. It fit under my dinette, but since I had to enter the dinette from the side I was always having to step over the machine under the table, which was awkward, and painful if I forgot it was there. I concluded that a desk would work much better, and that I could gain some much needed space as well as having some drawers for storage. I prayed about it and asked the Father to give me grace in finding what I needed to complete the project.

I began by looking at some floor cabinets that are typically used in kitchens. I figured I could put one on either side of my chair and construct a top to use as a desk area. I looked at Lowe’s and Home Depot, but the quality of their cabinets was very poor. It was all made out of press-board and held together with staples and plastic bracing. It was definitely not up to the challenge of motorhome use.

I then looked on Craigslist for used desks and found one for sale in a nearby town that looked like it would perfectly fit the bill. The desk was very solidly built and was 6 feet wide, the precise size of the room occupied by my dinette. It was a very heavy desk, so I rented a small, open sided U-Haul trailer for $25 and enlisted Nicholas to help me pick up the desk this past Saturday. Nicholas is doing very well, by the way. His parole will be ending on May 23rd, which is a landmark event for him. Nicholas was charged with an offense at the age of 16 and he is now 23 years old. He has been out of prison for about a year and a half, but has had numerous restrictions which are part of his parole requirements. He is on a curfew and has to pay for a special phone service where he is called at random times when he is supposed to be home. He also has to take a lie detector test every few months and attend classes every Saturday. All of these things are expenses he has to pay for himself, so it will be a relief to him to no longer have these parole requirements.

Nicholas has been doing well since he spent six months living with me in my bus. I suppose I needed the dinette then. He moved out on his own in May of last year and is renting a manufactured home and working at a local hardware and sporting goods store owned by some Christian men from the church he attends. Before getting on with them, Nicholas worked at a Mennonite storage building manufacturer as a contract laborer. He got in a bit of a bind since he was required to file his own taxes quarterly, being essentially self-employed, and he experienced some money management issues. I have no stones to throw there, as I was quite bad at managing money when I was young, and Nicholas has had the added difficulty of being in prison since he was 16 which kept him from having the experiences of many young people as they learn to manage money while still at home. So, other than having a tax liability with the filing deadline approaching on April 15th, Nicholas is doing well. It is all part of growth and learning.

Returning to my home improvement tale, I spent some time thinking about how to best use the space I had for an office. I decided that a U-shaped desk would provide me with the most space, and since I have a lot of different items I use when working on prisoner newsletters, I could use workspace on my right and left for a stapler, paper folding apparatus, and sealing labels. I also thought it would be nice to have a pull out keyboard drawer in the center, for although I use a laptop computer and the keyboard is not detachable, I could use the drawer for eating without the need to clear off my desk. I could simply pull out the drawer when I want to eat and set my plate on it. The desk I purchased already had a pull out center drawer, so this need was met.

In order to transform the desk from a 6 foot by 3 foot rectangle into a U-shaped work space that was at its deepest 41" from front to back and 26" in the center from front to back, I cut the desk into three pieces. I basically cut the drawer sections off of each end and then pulled them forward so that the center section was set back, placing me in the center of the workspace.

Here is the desk, chopped into three pieces and reassembled. I used some metal brackets and screws to join everything back together. I then used a thin piece of paneling to create a unified surface and to even up the desk at the back.

This is the desk with the piece of paneling laid on it before I cut out the center part where the chair goes. Once I cut the panel to the proper shape I used contact cement to glue the paneling to the desktop. I then used some linoleum flooring tile to create a decorative and durable soft work surface.

Here is the desk with the top finished.

Another view of the desk. You may note that the sides of the desk need finishing. They are quite scuffed up from years of usage and show bare wood where I made the cuts. I also raised the desk 4-1/2 inches to give me room for my elliptical exercise machine. I then spray painted the sides with a flat black paint this morning, and it is now done and I can get back to work.

That is the finished product, and underneath I have my elliptical trainer.

So, on those days when I cannot get out and ride my recumbent trike, I can peddle away at the computer.

On a related subject, I discovered last weekend that my printer is quite sensitive to paper that has been exposed to humidity. Many people do not realize that one of the leading causes of paper jams in a printer is moisture that has been absorbed by the paper. I have not yet had this hi-capacity Xerox printer during a Georgia spring time and summer, so I have not had to deal with high humidity on a regular basis. This past week-end was exceptionally humid, with the humidity levels reaching 100% for a number of hours each day. You cannot get any higher humidity than that.

This is a screen shot from the Weather Channel website from last weekend. Note particularly the numbers in the Humidity column. When I ran the prison newsletters the printer began experiencing paper jams about every 5-10 sheets. I realized what the problem was and after trying several different reams of paper, I ended up having to discard about 3,000 sheets of paper and go purchase some more. (I donated the paper, along with the old dinette and some other items to a local charity.) This enabled me to complete the newsletter run. I realized I needed some solution to keep my paper from absorbing excess moisture and I found a dry box for sale on Amazon that will hold 4-5 reams of paper. It fits perfectly under one side of my desk. These dry boxes are typically used for other purposes, such as storing firearms, or ammunition, or electronics, or cigars, but it will do the same job of keeping out moisture and I will add a packet of dessicant to the box for added dryness. (Dessicant is a moisture absorber.)

I appreciate the patience of those who have written to me. I spent a few days without having a desk to work at, but that is the cost of improvement. I am very happy with the new set-up, being confident that it will serve much better for my weekly ministry activities. I want to thank those whose financial giving have enabled me to continue this work and to meet unusual expenses as they arise. Say a prayer for Girlfriend and I will post pictures of the puppies when they arrive.

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

Joseph Herrin

Heart4God Website:    

Parables Blog:    

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

Friday, March 25, 2016

Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras), Ash Wednesday, Lent and Easter - Re-Posted

Joseph Herrin (02-26-09)

Revelation 18:4-5
And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, "Come out of her, my people, that you may not participate in her sins and that you may not receive of her plagues..."

In this hour when the Spirit is testifying that great judgment is coming to the nations, a judgment that must begin at the house of God, the prudent saint should be asking what they might do to escape that which is even now at the door. The Scripture cited above from the book of Revelation provides one answer. The people of God must come out of Babylon.

The Christian religious system of this hour is marked by mixture and spiritual pollution. Doctrines of demons have been mixed in with the true gospel of Christ, and the result has become an abhorrent mixture of the holy and the profane. The Scriptures reveal that Yahweh always judged His people severely when they failed to separate that which is holy from that which is vile. The judgments that are coming to the people of God in this hour are for no different reason than those judgments of Old when Israel was given over into the hands of her enemies.

To understand how very much opposed Yahweh is to any admixture of the holy and the profane we can look at a series of laws that God delivered to His chosen people through His servant Moses. Remember that all of the laws of the Old Testament serve as types and shadows of spiritual principles and serve as instructional tools for the saints in Christ.

Deuteronomy 22:9-11
“You shall not sow your vineyard with two kinds of seed, or all the produce of the seed which you have sown and the increase of the vineyard will become defiled. You shall not plow with an ox and a donkey together. You shall not wear a material mixed of wool and linen together.”

What is the message here for the Christian in this present age? God detests mixture. The specific type of mixture that He detests is righteousness and sin, the holy and the profane, light and darkness, the fruit of the Holy Spirit and the works of the flesh. These things are shown forth in the specific laws given. For example, the priests were directed to wear linen, and to wear no wool when ministering unto God. The reason given is that wool makes men sweat while linen does not. Sweat speaks of the works of man being offered to God. Such an offering is despised by God even as God had no regard for the offering of Cain which arose from the ground from which man’s flesh was formed. God will only regard that which is initiated and performed in the power of the Holy Spirit.

If God has made such a point of differentiating between the holy and the profane, then it is vain for a Christian to reason that God does not care if they are mixing symbols of pagan rites and idolatrous worship with the worship of Christ Jesus, Yahshua the Messiah. God does care.

It is a simple matter to demonstrate Satan’s deceit in leading the saints to mix the holy and profane together. One need look no further than the name of the celebration which is called Easter. The name Easter never appears in Scripture, other than one occasion in the King James Version of the Bible. This is as follows:

Acts 12:4
And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.

The KJV translators did a disservice to the church by rendering this passage in this manner, for the word being translated is “pascha,” the Greek form of the word “Passover.” This grievous error was corrected in later Bible translations, including the New KJV.

Acts 12:4
So when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four squads of soldiers to keep him, intending to bring him before the people after Passover.

We see in this how far the influence of Satan extends. When he is able to get Bible translators to replace the name of one of God’s appointed feasts with the name of a pagan festival. These two observances are far from being equal. Passover was initiated at the leading of Yahweh and its observance communicated to Moses. Easter is a veneration of a fertility goddess that was initiated by Satan and delivered to sinful men.

The very word Easter, that the church has written on the calendar of her annual observances is the name of a goddess of fertility. According to the wikipedia website, the English name of the goddess was arrived at as follows:

The English name, "Easter," and the German, "Ostern," derive from the name of a putative Anglo-Saxon Goddess of the Dawn (thus, of spring, as the dawn of the year) — called aster, astre, and ostre in various dialects of Old English and Ostara in German.

The worship of the fertility goddess who is remembered at Easter goes much further back, however. The mystery religions had their foundations in Babylon. The Bible records the following:

Genesis 10:1-12
Now these are the records of the generations of Shem, Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah; and sons were born to them after the flood... The sons of Ham were Cush and Mizraim and Put and Canaan. The sons of Cush were Seba and Havilah and Sabtah and Raamah and Sabteca; and the sons of Raamah were Sheba and Dedan. Now Cush became the father of Nimrod; he became a mighty one on the earth. He was a mighty hunter before Yahweh; therefore it is said, "Like Nimrod a mighty hunter before Yahweh." The beginning of his kingdom was Babel and Erech and Accad and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. From that land he went forth into Assyria, and built Nineveh and Rehoboth-Ir and Calah, and Resen between Nineveh and Calah; that is the great city.

The mystery religions can be traced back to Nimrod. Extra-Biblical sources tell us that Nimrod’s father Cush married a woman named Semiramis. Semiramis gave birth to Nimrod and, when Cush died, Nimrod married his mother. Thus Semiramis was both the mother and the wife of Nimrod. It is apparent from Scripture that the genealogy of this family was under a curse. Nimrod’s grandfather was Ham, the son of Noah. It was Ham who acted wickedly in exposing the nakedness of his father Noah when Noah had gotten drunk with wine and passed out in his tent. Ham acted rebelliously toward his father, in contrast to his two brothers Shem and Japheth who covered their father’s nakedness and would not look upon him. When Noah learned what Ham had done he cursed both Ham and his offspring (Genesis 9:20-26).

It seems apparent that the sins of the father (Ham) were passed on to the sons, for wickedness continued in this bloodline. Sources outside the Bible tell us that this wickedness was manifested in Cush, who is attributed with the establishment of a system of rebellious idolatry that was continued in his wife Semiramis and his son Nimrod. This idolatry became heinous, being associated with all that is profane, and with many immoral sexual rites including orgies and prostitution.

Alexander Hislop, in his book The Two Babylons, does a remarkable job of documenting and bringing together many ancient sources that reveal the history of this wicked family and the founding of the ancient mystery religions. According to Hislop, the profane practices of Nimrod and his tyranny over many people increased until Shem, the son of Noah rose up against this “mighty one” and made war with him. Shem, having defeated Nimrod, then cut his body into pieces and sent it throughout the land as a warning to all who should openly partake of the profane idolatry of Nimrod.

Out of fear of punishment, those who continued in idolatry were forced to practice their rites in secret, and the most vile parts of their practices were known only to those who had passed through the rites of initiation and been admitted into the deeper teachings and practices reserved for those whose loyalty had been proven. This is the origin of the “Mystery Religions” that have their source in ancient Babylon. One had to be initiated and pass through degrees to be admitted into the mysteries, and those who were outside, or whose loyalty had not yet been proven, were restricted from the true knowledge of the mystery religion. That which had once been practiced openly under the reign of Nimrod, was forced into secrecy when Shem slew Nimrod.

This same pattern of initiation, terrifying oaths against disclosure, and the cloaking of truth to those whose loyalty is not yet proven is observed in Freemasonry, which itself is merely one of the latest incarnations of the idolatrous practices of ancient Babylon.

We also see another pattern here. Shem, the son of Noah, became father of the Shemites, or the Semitic people. It was from this family that Abraham and his descendants arose. Why did God choose a people from among the descendants of Shem to be His chosen people in the earth? If the account is true of Shem rising up to cleanse the land of the idolatrous practices of Nimrod, his actions might have played a part in Yahweh’s decision.

I hope that the Christian today can understand that Yahweh will certainly use the same standard of measure when He chooses those who will be numbered among the overcomers, and who will be granted access to His presence and to His most holy things. That God will make a division among the saints based upon their involvement in idolatrous practices is prophesied in Ezekiel 44:6-19.


Images of Semiramis and Tammuz

Idolatrous worship of Semiramis and Tammuz spread from Babylon.

After Nimrod was killed by Shem the mystery religions teach that he ascended into the heavens and became the Sun god. Semiramis is herself associated as the Moon goddess. Semiramis continued to be sexually active, and when she became pregnant she claimed to have conceived without intercourse. Satan, as the great deceiver, sought to bring forth a false belief in a counterfeit virgin birth that was sufficiently corrupted to suit his ends. Semiramis gave birth to a son named Tammuz, and it was declared that Tammuz was the reincarnation of Nimrod.

In this we see attributes of Yahweh’s plan of salvation. There is a child born without a woman being sexually intimate with a man. The child is supposedly the offspring of deity. Yet a clear departure from Scripture is that the mother assumes a more prominent role than the son. This emphasis on the mother is continued to this day through the Catholic Church which teaches things about the mother of Yahshua that are nowhere found in Scripture, but which do find agreement with the Babylonian mystery religions. When God confused the languages of the people at Babylon and scattered mankind throughout the earth, its idolatrous religion centered around the trinity of Nimrod, Semiramis and Tammuz was already pervasive and it was carried throughout the world where the main characters took on many different names while maintaining much of the central element of the original mystery religion.

Alexander Hislop writes:

The Babylonians in their popular religion supremely worshiped a goddess mother and a son who was represented in pictures and images as an infant or a child in his mother’s arms. From Babylon this worship of mother and child spread to the ends of the earth. In Egypt, the mother and child were worshiped under the names Isis and Osiris. In India, even to this day, as Isi and Iswara; in Asia as Cybele and Deoius; in pagan Rome as Fortuna and Jupiter-puer “Jupiter the boy”; in Greece as Ceres, the Great Mother, with the babe at her breast, or as Irene, the goddess of Peace, with the boy Plutus in her arms, and even in Thibet, in China and Japan...

Other manifestations of these same characters are seen as Aphrodite/Cupid and Ashtoreth/Orion. Some of these characters are mentioned in the Bible.

Ezekiel 8:14-16
Then He brought me to the entrance of the gate of Yahweh’s house which was toward the north; and behold, women were sitting there weeping for Tammuz. He said to me, "Do you see this, son of man? Yet you will see still greater abominations than these." Then He brought me into the inner court of Yahweh’s house. And behold, at the entrance to the temple of Yahweh, between the porch and the altar, were about twenty-five men with their backs to the temple of Yahweh and their faces toward the east; and they were prostrating themselves eastward toward the sun.

Worshiping the Sun (Nimrod) and worshiping Tammuz were abominable acts in the sight of God. Yahweh judged the people for this idolatry. The church is in great peril of not recognizing the consequences of embracing similar rites and symbols today. It was an offense to God that these pagan rites were being conducted in the temple of God. Today the saints are the temple of God, and God is equally offended when abominable practices are observed by those who constitute this living temple of the Holy Spirit.

I Kings 11:4-6
When Solomon was old, his wives turned his heart away after other gods; and his heart was not wholly devoted to Yawheh his God, as the heart of David his father had been. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians... Solomon did what was evil in the sight of Yahweh, and did not follow Yahweh fully, as David his father had done.

How did the high places become established in Israel? We read that Solomon’s heart was turned aside by his wives whom he loved. These wives were idolaters, many of them foreigners, and they wanted to continue to worship the gods and goddesses they had known from childhood. Their rites and symbols to them were just as dear as the rites and symbols of Christmas and Easter are to many Christians today. Solomon acquiesced to the pressure of his wives’ desires and built high places of worship for them.

Lest we condemn Solomon out of hand, the Christian should consider that the same pressure is exerted upon the saint today to maintain the celebration of pagan festivals. Our children and spouses may love the traditions that they have grown up with, and they may express their desires very passionately to maintain an observance of the things they love. How many saints are willing to stand fast and choose a course other than the one Solomon chose? When Yahweh reveals the truth of these practices and makes His will known, then the Christian is brought to the test. Do they love Yahweh more than all others? Will they choose obedience to God over satisfying the desires, and even demands of their family?

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

Christianity, as it is practiced widely today, costs individuals very little. The reason is that there is so much compromise. The church has embraced the world, and has even adopted the practices of pagan religions. True Christianity, however, is very costly. As the Scriptures declare:

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

The reason there is so little persecution and so little cost to being a professing Christian today is that men and women are not living godly lives. They have not come out of the world and out of Babylon. Solomon found it easy to get along with the members of his family if he accepted their idolatry. Even so, the world has no problem accepting Christians who will accept their values and practices. But should a Christian begin to differentiate between the holy and profane, then he or she will know the disapproval of those who have embraced that which is not holy.

Sacred Egg of Heliopolis

Mystic Egg of Astarte
(Ishtar Egg)

This same goddess Ashtoreth, for whom Solomon built a high place, is also called Ishtar, from which we get our word Easter. The church also has a high place erected to her. Every year the church celebrates a holy day that bears the name of the pagan goddess of fertility whose original was Semiramis, and who is known by a profusion of names throughout the various cultures of the world. Heliopolis is a city of Egypt where Semiramis was known by the name Isis. As mentioned, Semiramis was a moon goddess, and therefore we see an image of the moon atop her sacred egg.

The mystery religions teach that Semiramis was herself immaculately conceived and was lowered from the heavens to the earth in a giant egg. This egg came to rest in the waters of the Euphrates river. Eggs are also symbols of fertility, and as Semiramis was also a fertility goddess the symbol of the egg became thoroughly associated with her worship. Those who knew Semiramis under the name of Ishtar spoke of Ishtar’s egg, from which we get our current Easter egg.

 Egg Roll on White House Lawn, Easter 2006

The above picture was taken in April 2006 during the annual White House Easter celebration. An egg roll has been held on the South Lawn since 1878. There was some controversy on this particular year as 200 gay and lesbian families planned to attend this event. Some saw this as an attack on Christian values, not understanding the true origins of the Easter celebration.

In the presentation Freemasonry, the Spirit of Babylon it was demonstrated that America serves as the seat of Babylon at this time, even occupying the country of Iraq in which the ancient city of Babylon was located. It should give Christians something to consider when they realize that the United States government has banned all Christian symbols from government spaces, even to the recent order to remove the ten commandments from all courthouses, yet this same government has no complaint about the annual observance of an Easter Egg roll on the White House lawn. Why is this? It is because Easter Eggs have no association with Christianity. They are clearly pagan in their origin and can be traced directly back to Babylon.

When one looks into the sexually immoral practices of the worship of the fertility goddess, it is actually more appropriate that gay and lesbian couples attend this event than that Christians attend.

 Hot Cross Buns

Another tradition of Easter that is clearly pagan is that of hot cross buns. These buns were initially made in memory of Tammuz, the son of Semiramis, who suffered an early death from being injured by the tusk of a boar. There were forty days of weeping for Tammuz leading up to the Ishtar celebration, which now finds its correspondence in the Catholic Church’s forty days of Lent, which is a time of mourning.

On Ash Wednesday millions of people who profess to be Christians went to their churches to participate in a ceremony that began in Babylon.

Ashes applied to the forehead on Ash Wednesday

You will not find the people of God in either the Old or New Testament being commanded to observe such a practice as this, but we do find that pagan practices entered into Israel where the women of the nation mourned for Tammuz. The symbol of Tammuz was the Tau, or the cross. It is the same symbol seen on hot crossed buns. It is this symbol of mourning for Tammuz that is practiced among millions of Christians on Ash Wednesday.

The women involved with the mystery religions would bake buns for Tammuz (originally called bouns). These were either marked with the sign of a horn, or possibly a tusk, or with the letter T for Tammuz. The sign of the cross, where a Catholic uses his fingers and marks the sign of the cross on their chest is derived from the worship of Tammuz. It is this same symbol that the priest makes on the forehead of professing Christians on Ash Wednesday.

Jeremiah 7:18
"The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead dough to make cakes for the queen of heaven; and they pour out drink offerings to other gods in order to spite Me.”

Another name for Nimrod, whom Tammuz is said to be a reincarnation of, is Woden. The day of the week we call Wednesday is named after Woden. It was handed down to us as Woden's Day, and in English it became Wednesday. It is on Woden's day, as one commemorates the death of Tammuz, killed by a wild boar, that ashes are applied to the forehead as a symbol of mourning for this pagan deity. The practice of eating ham at Christmas and Easter also derives back to the veneration of Nimrod and Tammuz. As it was a boar that killed Tammuz, people would slay a boar and serve this meat during these "holy day" seasons.

Even if done in ignorance, is it not an offense to God to carry on traditions that are steeped in idolatrous worship and profane practices? We read in Ezekiel that the women of Israel were weeping for Tammuz. The Israelites also offered oblations to the Queen of Heaven (Semiramis) and her son Tammuz, as is seen in the above verse from Jeremiah, and elsewhere.

Jeremiah 44:16-19
"As for the message that you have spoken to us in the name of Yahweh, we are not going to listen to you! But rather we will certainly carry out every word that has proceeded from our mouths, by burning sacrifices to the queen of heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, just as we ourselves, our forefathers, our kings and our princes did in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem; for then we had plenty of food and were well off and saw no misfortune. But since we stopped burning sacrifices to the queen of heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have lacked everything and have met our end by the sword and by famine. And," said the women,"when we were burning sacrifices to the queen of heaven and were pouring out drink offerings to her, was it without our husbands that we made for her sacrificial cakes in her image and poured out drink offerings to her?"

The pagan traditions of the mystery religions have even been passed down to our children as they sing the little song that speaks of hot cross buns.

Hot cross buns
Hot cross buns
One a penny
Two a penny
Hot cross buns

If you have no daughters
Give them to your sons
One a penny
Two a penny
Hot cross buns

What does this mean “if you have no daughters, give them to your sons?” Remember, this was the celebration of the goddess of fertility and her son. By offering oblations of liquid and foods to Semiramis and Tammuz the people were asking for the gift of fertility. This fertility was petitioned from the goddess by offering drinks and cakes in order that their crops, livestock, and their own families might be blessed with abundance. Many a tradition that seems innocent today has found its origin in practices that are detestable to Yahweh.

This past week in New Orleans as the Mardi Gras celebrations began. Mardi Gras means "Fat Tuesday." It is a day of feasting and celebration just before the forty days of fasting and mourning begin on Ash Wednesday. This celebration is observed with much debauchery. There are homosexual events. There is a surfeit of sexually impure behavior. During Mardi Gras bead necklaces will be exchanged in return for sexual favors such as a woman exposing her breasts to any man (or woman) who would present the beads to them. It was out of this debauchery surrounding Mardi Gras that the x-rated videos Girls Gone Wild had their beginning.

The impure fruit of these celebrations are readily apparent, yet millions of Christians continue to participate in these celebrations which create a detestable mixture of the holy and the profane.

Tuesday, as the Mardi Gras parades were being held in New Orleans, seven people were shot along the parade route.

7 wounded by gunfire on Mardi Gras parade route
By MICHAEL KUNZELMAN, Associated Press Writer Michael Kunzelman, Associated Press Writer Wed Feb 25, 6:52 am ET

NEW ORLEANS – The shootings of seven people, including a toddler, marred Fat Tuesday partying as ear-piercing gunfire sent revelers ducking for cover and brought Mardi Gras' final stream of truck floats to a horrifying halt.

The 20-month-old child was grazed by a bullet and wasn't seriously injured. Two suspects were in custody, police said.

Gunshots erupted near the Garden District about 1:40 p.m. as a stream of truck floats passed by after the last major parade, Rex, had ended. Thousands of people partied in the streets on the last day of Carnival before the violence broke out along the oak-lined Uptown streetcar line.
[End Excerpt]

Fat Tuesday is the last day of Carnival. The word carnival literally means "flesh rising." Seven is the number of finality. The Spirit is testifying that this nation is truly at the end of its carnival season. The hour of judgment is at hand. If you would escape the judgment, then heed the words of the Spirit of Christ. Come out of the sinful and corrupt practices of a religious system that has embraced all the mixture of Babylon. Come out of confusion, and be separate, for we serve a holy God.

II Corinthians 6:17
Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate ," says the Lord. "And do not touch what is unclean; and I will welcome you."

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

Sunday, March 20, 2016

The Fearful Inmate

Joseph Herrin (03-20-2016)

What follows is a correspondence I have had with a man in prison who has frequently expressed fear due to threats against his life which are present where he is incarcerated. Fear does not always bear evil fruit in our lives. There are times when Yahweh will use it for our good. The correspondence below begins with two letters this man wrote to me in the same week.

Mr. Herrin,
This is Randy. I am now on Parables Bookshelf series 1.9.2 (The Divine Quest), and love it. Sir, I’ve been in prison a while now and Satan has been at me with gangs and I struggle with this area of my life. Yes, God may be showing me and teaching me to trust and to stand in faith that He has got me cared for. Mr. Herrin, I’m trying really hard to have faith as Abraham and Paul, to be a humbled servant. I do pray with bowed head three times a day, also on my bed, etc., trying to be right. I do pray with a sincere heart and I recite Scriptures to Him also as I pray.

I have a question. When I pray, do I keep asking over and over daily? Like I’ve been focusing on faith and fear - asking for stronger faith and to take fear away. Do I keep asking over and over, or do I ask one time and then in my prayers start giving praise and thanks for God answering my prayer? Or is that like the “Prosperity Message”? I can tell the Lord has led me through many storms and attempts that gang members have tried to get to me to hurt me, and their next attempt is now (pill call) - 5:00 A.M.. I am in the hole, but I can trust none of them and their actions.

Mr. Herrin, I want faith to move mountains as Abraham - not as in the “name-it-and-claim-it” Christians. I want to learn and understand faith, and to stand on God’s word.

Sir, I also lost my mother on October 5th, 2015. She was 58 years old. I’m asking for a special prayer for my sister. She said she feels as if she’s in a fog. Some days she says she don’t care if she lives or dies, and it takes all she has in her to put one foot in front of the other. I ask for prayer that the Father God lift this fog from her, the depression she’s having. Again, do I keep praying this, or do I praise/thank God for it?

I did write to my sister and tell her to follow God and start going to church and to call on Jesus.

Please respond. Thank you,
Mr. Herrin,
Hi. This is Randy. Sir, I love you and your family. May the peace of God surround you and may you experience peace and joy. Joseph Herrin, I struggle on my daily walk and I do struggle with fear of gangs/gang members in prison. I really don’t know where to start at. But first, all the Parables, all of them, have brought light to my eyes and understanding on so, so much of my walk. Thank you. And I’m man enough to admit my faults. The epistle I sent you last year was wrong on many, many things. I’ve asked for forgiveness from the Father, and I ask you for forgiveness. Mr. Herrin, the last three newsletters on faith has really touched my heart, walk, strength. It’s hard, and yes I’m scared to endure some things again. I was stabbed in 2011, 6:30 A.M., while in the chow hall eating. But thank God, I’ve not had to endure more of that, but many, many attempts have been made since 2011.

I started my walk June 1st, 2011. I escaped, made channel 3 news at 12:00 and 4:00 P.M. - I ran because of my own lies and use of cigarettes and pot in county camp. But I’ve endured the hole since then at every camp, and well, I’ve turned to God/Jesus, studying and learning, battling with fear of gangs and demons of many types. As I read series 1.9.3/1.9.2/1.9.1 - this one understanding, to lean in faith came to me, for as you said, sight is the enemy of faith. Sir, I’m searching for deep insight, relief, bolder faith as Paul and Abraham, and to grow. I want to be part of the 144,000.

I lost my mom October 5th, 2015, and my fiancee moved to Florida. Yet all I want to do is preach the word of God and tell others that the message of Jesus equals love! I wrote a prayer this morning that I believe God gave to me. I am sending it to you to give you an idea of what my prayers are like. Please send the prayer back to me after you read it. I bow toward the floor in the A.M. before breakfast, then write prayers and read my Bible daily, a lot. Now I am in the Old Testament. I am on my second time reading the Bible from front to back. I don’t just read the Bible, but I am reaching toward being a man of integrity. Mr. Herrin, a man who was a preacher laid hands on me in 2002 and said God would use me as He did Paul of the Bible.

I’ve only endured one stabbing in 2011, and yes I am in fear of that kind of suffering, but still at the same time I stay seeking His will for my life. I’ve been struggling with the understanding of faith for a while. Sir, will you say a special prayer for me for protection from gangs, and to be bolder in faith. I am to be released in September 2016, so I have just a number of months to go, and all I want to do is preach and make it home alive.

I admire your writings. Yes, you’ve endured a lot of attacks of Satan. Sir, I get so overwhelmed at times and get confused as well. I need prayer and ask for prayer for my sister also and my roommate who has been in for 20 years and is asking for release in 2017. Mr. Herrin, thank you for your time and response to my 2 letters. I’m only seeking an honest, loving wife, to preach with integrity, and to have a home and to flourish with my new toolbox (Galatians 5:22).

May you have a great day. Amen. Your Friend,

Hello Randy,

It was good to hear from you again. You certainly wrote a lot at this time. I am blessed to see that the book you have been receiving in the Parables Bookshelf Newsletters has been stirring you up so much. I think it has had such an effect on you because it is a timely word that speaks to the situations you are facing in prison. When our life is threatened daily, and we carry a burden for the welfare of those we love (such as your concern for your sister’s depression), we find that we have a great need for faith. It is at such a time that Yahweh is able to speak to us and know that He has our attention.

Randy, I have no doubt that God has permitted you to face the various threats and difficulties in your life at this time in order to bring about spiritual growth in your life. When I first was led of the Spirit of Christ to leave my comfortable job and life as a computer professional in 1999, I had no idea of the experiences I would face. For several years I faced trials and difficulties every day. I had pressures without and fears within (II Corinthians 7:5). Every single day was a struggle between faith and fear. I felt like the weakest man God had ever chosen. I was beset with doubts and unbelief. Nevertheless, I did not turn back. I continued to cling to Yahweh and He saw me through every trial, every threat, every reproach, every fear.

In your letters you asked what the manner of your prayers should be. Should you continue to make the same requests to God day after day? Should you claim the answer you desire and begin praising God for giving you your desire?

Randy, these are excellent questions. They are questions every person who is subject to dire situations and great need should ask. I think it is a very good sign of your spiritual sincerity and seriousness that you are asking such things.

From what I have gleaned from the Scriptures, and from my own experiences, I have found that it is necessary to hear something from God BEFORE we are able to rest in a matter and switch from pleadings and petitions to praise and thanksgiving. I think many people err by being presumptuous. They ASSUME that God must give them what they ask for, whether it is to meet some desperate need, to protect them from injury or sickness, to keep them from suffering, or something else. Yet, in my life I have known all of these things. There are times when Yahweh chooses to subject us to difficult and painful experiences for our own good, for such things in their proper time can be a great aid to spiritual growth.

Randy, what we can trust God for is that He will always deal with us as a loving Father with His sons. He will never subject us to any trial, or experience of suffering, that is greater than our ability to bear. He will never allow us to face a greater threat than we can meet with calmness and peace. When it is our time to suffer, He will give us abundant grace to endure, and to overcome. He will even give us the strength and grace to forgive those who are our persecutors and to bless those who curse us, and do good to those who do evil to us.

Certainly we should pray and ask Yahweh to protect us from evil people and the attacks of Satan. If we are threatened every day, we should pray every day, committing our lives into the Father’s care and entreating His favor and protection. At the end of each day we can thank Him for bringing us through another day, and as we awake to each new morning we can thank Him for a night of safety and rest.

Randy, what Yahweh wants His sons to do is for them to approach Him as sons. We are not to come to him as wizards or enchanters who are required to say the right words in a precise way in order to get God to do for us what we desire. That is how Satan operates, but Yahweh wants us to be “real” with Him, and to pour out our hearts before Him. Be honest. Be sincere. Make your requests known to your Father, and do so with thanksgiving, acknowledging that He has heard you and that you trust in Him.

Philippians 4:6-7
Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. And God's peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
[Amplified Bible]

It is quite natural for a man to have to struggle to arrive at a place of peace, for we are clothed with this weak and sinful flesh. We have to overcome the flesh in order to walk as spiritual men. We may have to cast down fears and unbelief 100 times a day, but as we do so we are overcoming sin and Satan, refusing to be ruled by our flesh.

As for repeating specific prayers, such as the one you wrote out, I have never been led to do so. I have preferred to allow my prayers to be more spontaneous, speaking to my heavenly Father whatever is on my heart. There have been times when I have “prayed the Scriptures,” as some describe it. I have taken the promises of the Bible, or specific Bible passages which apply to my situation, and I have spoken them to Yahweh. This has given me comfort, for I know He gave us these words of Scripture to instruct and encourage us. Many of David’s Psalms have often been a part of my prayers.

I think what we should seek to avoid is our prayers becoming mere repetitions. We should speak to the Father as we would speak to another person, disclosing to Him our heart, and inviting His response. There is no right formula for prayer, anymore than there is a right formula for me to write this letter to you. What you want from me is for me to connect with you spiritually, and our Father wants us to connect with Him as well.

I have prayed for you and for your sister. I have also changed the print queue for the newsletters you receive. I think you would benefit by reading The Gate and The Way, and Living Epistles. Both of these books address the subject we are discussing, and I think you will benefit from reading them.

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

Joseph Herrin
Mr. Herrin,
Hi. I hope you and your family are well. May the peace of God and the Joy of our Lord Jesus fill your day with His goodness. Mr. Herrin, I am still reading your messages you sent. Thank you! Sir, I am now back against the wall. Facing the road that lies ahead. I am really having to rely on Jesus in faith for safety. As you said, nothing good or bad happens without God’s say so. He truly controls all things in our lives. Gangs continue to plot against me. I have 6 months left in prison. I just tell God/Jesus daily, “I need you God/Jesus. I cannot do this alone. Guide my path. Amen!”

Next Morning...

Good morning sir. (I received newsletter 1.14.4  - Awesome. I will read it today.) I very much need your help and guidance and understanding.

Mr. Herrin, gang members want to kill or hurt me. If I say anything to the warden he will only place me at one or two other prisons (Valdosta or Autry). I have been in both during my current sentence. Both are very rough prisons. I am not a snitch, but some of the gang members say I am. I’ve only asked the prison staff to keep me safe and unharmed Mr. Herrin.

I need your help on a spiritual matter. This morning I told the officer that God’s Holy Spirit told me to tell him that these people, the inmates, are not his friends. Sir, this thought was impressed on my mind, but to be honest, I’m not 100% sure if it was the Holy Spirit. I don’t want to blaspheme against the Holy Spirit. By me saying this, did I do that and not realize it??? (Help)

I don’t understand sir. I try hard daily. I read my Bible from 5 AM to 3 PM daily. I pray the best I can and know how. I had a preacher lay hands on me in 2002. He spoke in tongues as he prayed and then went on to tell me that God was going to use me as He used Paul in the Bible.

Mr. Herrin, I’ve been trying since 2011 to live for Jesus. I have prayed much, and yes God has answered so many prayers of mine. I just express praise, thanks for His guidance daily. But how does one know when it is the Holy Spirit speaking? Have I blasphemed? I need your insight - ASAP.

Please, I’m scared. I’ve prayed twice already asking for sincere forgiveness if I was wrong. I just want to preach by the Spirit and follow His will. I want my mouth when I speak to produce good fruit (Matthew 15:18-20, Luke 6:45, Jeremiah 17:9, Proverbs 18:21). I believe and know these things. I am always humble and meek. I share my food with others.

Mr. Herrin, for a long time I’ve wanted to tell others “God says this,” or “God says that.” I just want to help others. My soul is in a scared anguish of fear of gangs. This is a weakness I struggle with.  I need your help, and please pray a prayer that I might understand what the Spirit is speaking to me.

Your Friend,

Hello Randy,

I received your most recent letters. I have been praying for you regarding your safety and protection from gang members in prison. I will also ask others to pray for you as well.

After praying for you, a thought came into my mind that I want to share with you. In your letters to me you have expressed numerous times that you want to serve God and lead a life that is pleasing to Him. We often find ourselves motivated to make declarations of obedience and devotion to God when we are facing some severe threat in our life, but when the pressure is removed we find that our motivation is fleeting. Man has a tendency to relax his vigilance and to give into temptation when he feels more secure and less needy.

Viewing your record on the Georgia Department of Corrections website, it is evident that you have been a repeat offender. You have one of the longer rap sheets that I have seen. You have been in and out of prison like you were stuck in a revolving door.

Yahweh wants to break this cycle in your life, so He has allowed your experience in prison to get progressively worse. You were stabbed in 2011, and you have lived in fear of being attacked again ever since. I believe there is a purpose in this experience for you. Yahweh wants you to find the experience of being in prison so unpleasant, so frightening, that when you are released in six months time, you will walk in the fear of Him. He wants you to know that your experience will be even worse if you transgress again and are sent back to prison.

There is a passage of Scripture in Hebrews where the apostle Paul speaks of God disciplining all of His sons. Paul writes that the discipline of God will get progressively worse if we do not respond to it by changing our behavior.

Hebrews 12:4-13
You have not yet struggled and fought agonizingly against sin, nor have you yet resisted and withstood to the point of pouring out your [own] blood. And have you [completely] forgotten the divine word of appeal and encouragement in which you are reasoned with and addressed as sons? My son, do not think lightly or scorn to submit to the correction and discipline of the Lord, nor lose courage and give up and faint when you are reproved or corrected by Him; For the Lord corrects and disciplines everyone whom He loves, and He punishes, even scourges, every son whom He accepts and welcomes to His heart and cherishes. You must submit to and endure [correction] for discipline; God is dealing with you as with sons. For what son is there whom his father does not [thus] train and correct and discipline? Now if you are exempt from correction and left without discipline in which all [of God's children] share, then you are illegitimate offspring and not true sons [at all]. Moreover, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we yielded [to them] and respected [them for training us]. Shall we not much more cheerfully submit to the Father of spirits and so [truly] live? For [our earthly fathers] disciplined us for only a short period of time and chastised us as seemed proper and good to them; but He disciplines us for our certain good, that we may become sharers in His own holiness. For the time being no discipline brings joy, but seems grievous and painful; but afterwards it yields a peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it [a harvest of fruit which consists in righteousness--in conformity to God's will in purpose, thought, and action, resulting in right living and right standing with God]. So then, brace up and reinvigorate and set right your slackened and weakened and drooping hands and strengthen your feeble and palsied and tottering knees, and cut through and make firm and plain and smooth, straight paths for your feet [yes, make them safe and upright and happy paths that go in the right direction], so that the lame and halting [limbs] may not be put out of joint, but rather may be cured.
[Amplified Bible]

Randy, I am confident that Yahweh will protect you, and you will make it to your release date in September. At the same time, Yahweh wants you to so dread the thought of being returned to prison that you will be very careful to not fall back into old behavior patterns once you are released. There is no guarantee that if you re-offend and are returned to prison that you will survive another stint behind bars or that you won’t experience another stabbing.

Be assured that Yahweh is not seeking to torment you. He is disciplining you for your own good. You have not yet demonstrated that you will seek to live a life honoring to God when you are free, and out in the world. Yahweh is seeking to give you the necessary motivation to break free of old patterns and to establish new habits of righteousness and to live every day with a commitment to honor Him.

You mentioned a preacher speaking a word of prophecy over you in 2002. This has led me to conclude that you God was dealing with you back then, and you were even at that time attending church services and showing some interest in spiritual things. Yet, despite this interest back in 2002, you have been in and out of prison several times since then, and have been convicted of numerous offenses. As a loving heavenly Father, Yahweh wants to help you break free of this cycle. If it requires that He make prison seem like a very terrible place so that you would never want to be sent there again, He is doing so for your own good.

Randy, you have six months left before your release in which you can develop new patterns and habits. You can separate yourself from all sinful behavior in prison. You can choose each day to honor God in your words and actions so that when you are released these new ways of thinking and acting will already be established in your life.

I am going to print out and mail to you a writing of mine from many years ago. It is titled The Necessary Fear of God. I believe it will speak to you and help you to understand your present experiences.

In your letters you also mentioned a desire to speak the words of God to others, and your concern that you may have erred by telling an officer that God had a message for him. This is an important matter to consider, and I will share some things with you.

You have evidently had some experience with what are called “Charismatic Christians.” For example, you spoke of a minister who prayed in tongues over you and then prophesied that God was going to use you as He used Paul. Sadly, there are a great many people who speak words of prophecy over others that God has not given them to speak. Such ones are speaking out of their own souls, rather than speaking by the Spirit.

I do believe in the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and I believe they are available to be used by Christians today. However, I believe these gifts can be misused and they can also be counterfeited. Satan has often used unclean spirits to place words and thoughts in people’s minds, attempting to trick them into believing they are words from God. Because the gifts of the Spirit can be abused, and can also be imitated, it is necessary to practice much discernment to know whether a word is from God.

In the book titled Sabbath, I spoke of people abusing spiritual gifts, using them in a way in which God does not approve. I will insert a portion of that writing here.
Yahweh is looking for man to also enter into this place of rest where there is no initiative anywhere in creation other than Yahweh’s own initiative. When the Father wills one thing, and others will something else, no matter how noble or good it appears, this is defined as striving. Striving is willing something that has not originated in the mind of the Father.

Christianity is striving continuously. They are always willing things the Father is not willing. They are continuously setting their hands to do things which they have not received by the Spirit of God. It does not matter how noble or right it seems. A person can share the gospel with another human being and be striving. A person can heal the sick and be striving. A person can cast out a demon and be striving. A person can prophesy and be striving. A person can perform all manner of miracles and be striving.

How can these things be? How could it be striving and sin to do any of these things? The answer is revealed in the following words of Yahshua.

Matthew 7:21-23
“Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’”

The Lord reveals that on the day of judgment there will be many who will come to Him thinking they will receive praise and honor, yet dishonor and punishment will be their portion. What is the sin that these have committed? Their actions were that they were prophesying in His name, they were casting out demons in His name, and they were performing miracles in His name. What could possibly be wrong with these activities? Why are these people condemned as those who practice lawlessness?

Yahshua is not speaking against adulterers, thieves, or murderers here. Such transgressions were clearly forbidden in the ten commandments. If one has eyes to see, however, they will realize that what is spoken of here is also in violation of one of the commandments. The commandment is “remember the Sabbath, to keep it holy.”

As we have already defined Sabbath, it is entering into the rest of God. Sabbath is only doing that which the Father leads us to do. Whether one does an apparently good act, or an evil act, it is still a violation of Sabbath if the Father is not the originator of it. Any activity arising of man’s own initiative, even seemingly good deeds, is a violation of Sabbath. Yahshua did all of the things He spoke of in this passage; He prophesied, He cast out demons, and He performed miracles. However, He never did any of these things of His own initiative. He only did that which the Father instructed Him to do.

It was very possible for Yahshua to do miraculous works of His own initiative. Before He began His ministry He was tempted in this very point. After fasting for forty days in the wilderness we are told that He was hungry. Satan came to tempt Him and his first temptation was for Christ to turn the stones into bread and thereby satisfy His hunger. Yahshua could have done this.

One might ask, “What would be the evil of such an act?” Yahshua was hungry. He was the Son of God. It wouldn’t have hurt any man or any part of creation to turn the stones into bread. It would have only violated one thing, it would not have been the Father’s will.

Matthew 4:3-4
And the tempter came and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread." But He answered and said, "It is written, 'Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.'"

Yahshua understood this matter of Sabbath and doing the Father’s will, and His answer to Satan addresses this very important point. In essence He said, “True life is found in doing only those things which God reveals to us.” In another place Yahshua said, “My meat is to do the will of the Father who sent Me” (John 4:34). The Father already had a provision for His Son’s hunger. After Satan departed we are told, “and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him” (Matthew 4:11).

Christianity at large does not understand this most vital concept. If put in a similar circumstance, how many saints would consider whether doing an act within their power is the will of the Father? Most only think of what they are able to do. They give no thought to whether the Father would have them do it. It is possible to prophesy, and many do so very often. Few consider whether the Father would have them do so. They only concern themselves with “Can I prophesy?” They do that which seems good to them, falsely believing that any prophesying is pleasing to the Father if it is a true word of prophecy.

Many saints are involved in casting out demons, and again most only concern themselves with whether or not they can do so, not considering whether it is the will of the Father. The same is true of performing miracles, including miracles of healing. There are some who say that it is always the Father’s will to heal and there is no need to seek the mind of the Father in this issue. Such people are deluded and they should take the words of Yahshua to heart. He said, “Many will come to Me in that day” and they will say, “Did we not do these things in Your name?”

The word many in this passage can have the connotation of meaning the majority. How incredible to think that the majority of saints will stand before Christ in judgment and they will falsely believe that they were pleasing God when they were doing all of these works of their own initiative. Yahshua clearly defines in this passage what pleases His Father. The one who will enter into the kingdom of heaven is “he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven.”

The saint who only considers what he can do is on the wrong track. His first thought should always be to discern the mind of the Father in any matter. If the majority of saints are displeasing to the Father, then there is no value in being in the majority. Simply because the masses of Christendom are thinking and acting in a certain manner is no reason to join them. What comfort will there be in knowing that you and a majority of saints hear the words, “Depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness”?

To those who still doubt the meaning of Yahshua’s words here, consider why He referred to these who were doing this prophesying, casting out demons, and miracles as those “who practice lawlessness.” Lawlessness is the state of being out from under authority. Lawlessness is having your own law, disregarding the established law.

Yahweh is the only true law. He alone has the power to determine what man should do. Yahshua proclaims that men who do the will of the Father in heaven will enter into the kingdom of heaven. Those who fail to do His will are considered lawless, even if their actions are seemingly good, and even if they appear to be of a supernatural nature.

You may wonder that the saints could perform such supernatural deeds if the Father is not directing them to do so. How could they have the power to do these things unless the Spirit is guiding and leading? The scriptures plainly reveal that men can do so. Yahshua could have turned the stones to bread, and likewise Yahshua has given the same power and authority that He walked in to mankind. Consider the implications of the following passage of scripture.

I Corinthians 14:27-33
If anyone speaks in a tongue, it should be by two or at the most three, and each in turn, and let one interpret; but if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in the church; and let him speak to himself and to God. And let two or three prophets speak, and let the others pass judgment. But if a revelation is made to another who is seated, let the first keep silent. For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all may be exhorted; and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets; for God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.

The church in Corinth was a church that was out of order. There was great confusion in their meetings, and this confusion was not the will of God. What was the source of confusion? Were people fighting and screaming and fornicating and indulging in every form of debauchery in their meetings? No! (Although, these things did exist among them.) Their chaos was the result of people exercising spiritual gifts. They were speaking in tongues and prophesying, but it was sheer bedlam.

Did Paul say that these people were prophesying and speaking in tongues by the power of Satan? No, he never asserted any such thing. The anointing of God was present in these things, but these saints had not learned that they needed to submit all such activity to the Father and to seek His mind and His will. To exercise these spiritual gifts apart from the leading of the Father is lawlessness, and lawlessness leads to chaos, which is what they had in their meetings.

Did you note Paul’s words, “the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets”? In essence he is telling them, “Just because you can do a thing doesn’t mean you have to do a thing. Just because you can speak in tongues doesn’t mean you must. Just because you can give a word of prophecy doesn’t mean you have to do so. You can control yourself. The spirit within you is subject to you.”

Some saints mistakenly think that every time they sense a tongue or a prophecy is present within them that they must speak it out, even if it causes a disruption to the assembled body. No! Paul is saying, “You can control it. The spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.”

The Father is not honored when people speak a tongue, when they prophesy, when they cast out demons, when they perform miracles. He is only glorified when people do these things as He directs them. Yahshua did not heal every leper. He did not open the eyes of every blind man. He did not heal all those who were sick. He only did those things the Father led Him to do. He did nothing of His own initiative.

What a critical matter this is. Christianity is running over with personal initiative. There is little consideration for the will of the Father. People only consider what they can do, disregarding whether it is the will of the Father. For this reason the majority will appear before the Lord on that day of judgment and He will say, “Depart from Me, you lawless ones.”

If the Corinthian believers had considered the words of Yahshua they would have seen their own error. He said, “For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me commandment, what to say, and what to speak” (John 12:49). Yahshua could have spoken many profound things. He could have proclaimed mysteries. He could have spoken astonishing revelations. When He taught He could have spoken plainly instead of cloaking His meaning in parables. He could have done all of these things, even as saints today can speak many things, but He did not do so. He only spoke that which the Father commanded Him to speak, and so should we.

There are many things people can do today, but they are not all the will of the Father. Many saints mistakenly believe that because something is supernatural that the Father must be the author of it. This is not true in the supernatural realm anymore than it is in the natural.

In the natural realm we are told that all things in heaven and earth have been created by God, and in Him all things consist or hold together (Colossians 1:16-17). The presence of God is everywhere in His creation, and we are told that He is “over all and through all and in all” (Ephesians 4:6). Yet just because He is present in His whole creation we cannot argue that everything done by man is the will of the Father.

Man was created by God, and man’s abilities were given to him by the same. The power of procreation is one such ability, and indeed there is much that is supernatural in this ability of man. We cannot say that because man can go out and have relations with any woman he desires, and that this intimacy can result in offspring coming forth, that it is the will of God that man do so. In fact, we have clear words from the Father telling us that it is His will that man should NOT be promiscuous in this manner. Yet the Father allows man to do this if he should desire.

It is no different in spiritual matters. The Holy Spirit has given gifts to men in the church, and they can exercise them much as they please, but it is not the will of the Father that they do so. A saint cannot assert that because he was able to prophesy that it was the Father’s will, anymore than he can say that because he could raise up offspring by a woman that is not his wife that it was the Father’s will. The scriptures state that spiritual gifts are good, given to edify the body, and it also states that children are a blessing from God. However, both spiritual gifts and the power of procreation can be misused in a lawless manner.

As one considers this, and as they understand what Sabbath truly means - perfect agreement with the Father and His will in every situation, it is possible to see that virtually all of the sins of this world are the result of Sabbath breaking. They are the result of man doing something of his own initiative.
[End Excerpt]

Randy, what you did in telling the officer that God’s Holy Spirit had a message for him was not the same thing as “blaspheming the Holy Spirit.” If you misspoke and confessed it to God, then you are forgiven. You need not fear. At the same time, God would have you be very careful about putting words in His mouth. If you have sincere doubts about whether God has placed the thoughts in your head that you are thinking about sharing with someone else, be patient and ask God to confirm whether they are from Him, or from another source.

Where men often get in trouble is that they have personal desires in the matter. Maybe a person wants to appear spiritual to others. This is one of the most common snares. You mentioned in your letter that you have wanted for some time to tell people “God said this,” or “God said that.” Why have you wanted to do this? You said it is because you want to help people, but a desire to help people can lead to abuse as well. It is at times hard for men to know their own hearts.

In my own experience, I found that God began using me to speak to others by speaking to them things they did not want to hear and which I did not want to tell them. This is a true test of obedience. Yahweh will test His sons to see whether they will be faithful messengers of His words, or whether their motives are to be men-pleasers. He will place words in our mouths that are not pleasing to other people to test our hearts.

Yahweh will also through many experiences teach a man to die to the praise and criticism of others. He will teach His servants to die to the opinions of men. For years Yahweh chose for me to endure criticism, reproach, rejection, anger, and the false judgments of other men and women in order to teach me to die to the opinions of men. It is far more perilous to experience the praise and applause of men than to experience their reproaches and condemnation. This is why Yahweh has to teach His sons to die to ALL the opinions of men, whether good or bad, before He can use them in a significant way to speak His words to others.

Men’s opinions are worthless, and man’s praise or criticism only has value to the extent that it is in agreement with the thoughts of God. This is seen clearly in the life of Yahshua. Toward the end of Yahshua’s life, only a few days before He was to be crucified, He rode into Jerusalem seated on a donkey as the crowds cheered Him and shouted, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.” Just a few days later these same people were shouting “Crucify Him!” The same people who can be praising you one day, can be condemning you the next. Men and their opinions are faithless and fickle.

It is a fool’s errand to try to be a man-pleaser. As sons of God, the only opinion we should concern ourselves with is God’s. Randy, I share this to tell you that if you want to speak God’s words to man for any other reason than to obey and honor God, you will be at risk of sinning in this matter. It is easy to confuse wanting to help people with wanting to tell people things they will like hearing. I am suspicious of the word the minister spoke to you in 2002 for it was a word that you would surely like to hear. What man would not want to be told that God wants to use them like the apostle Paul? Such a word makes a man feel important. Do you also want to experience the sufferings that Paul experienced? You cannot have a ministry like Paul’s unless you are willing to suffer like Paul.

Randy, please understand that I am NOT saying that God does not desire to use you in significant ways, or that He does not have good plans for your life. But all such things are based upon whether we qualify ourselves to be used of God. It is necessary to separate yourself from sin, to live an upright and holy life before God if you are to be used of Him as a vessel of honor. Keep your focus on God and your heart set on pleasing Him, and He will use you according to His will.

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

Joseph Herrin

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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The Angry Inmate

Joseph Herrin (03-16-2016)

Not all of the correspondence I receive from men in prison is positive and affirming. As might be imagined, there are a significant number of men in prison who are angry, selfish, inconsiderate, prideful, and in the habit of attempting to bully others. I occasionally have opportunity to interact with such men, and I appreciate these opportunities. I have had more than one such man to show a very different character after they discovered that I was not offended, nor cowed, by their abusive speech, but that I continued to reason with them and seek their ultimate welfare.

Many bullies are like children who never grew up. Some seek to intimidate through physical force, others through storming about with mental arguments and accusations. Following is one such correspondence with a man whom I will call Brutus. Brutus is a 23 year old male, 6'-1" tall, and 195 pounds. He is in prison for robbery, possession of a weapon during a crime, and aggravated assault. He received a 20 year prison sentence, and is not scheduled for release until November of 2032. Those who are in prison for violent crimes are more inclined than others to manifest an attitude of pride and bullying. It is my hope that they would humble themselves and seek reconciliation with God while they have opportunity, for one day they will stand before the judge of all the Earth. He will not be bullied, or intimidated.

Following is my correspondence with Brutus, I did not keep his original letter where he initiated this correspondence, but I quoted from his letter in my initial reply to him which should make this conversation intelligible.
Hello Brutus,

I am sending you two packets of writings. One includes the Babylon Rising series which you requested. The other packet has numerous other writings which you asked for me to send you. At the end of your letter you wrote the following:

Now I think you are a great informative person, but I must ask what makes you believe in a God? I don’t think a mystery flying being in the sky can save me. How can you think it’s real? If God is so powerful why hasn’t he manifested himself to us today, or why does he sit and watch the terrible things of this world happen? I’m sort of torn! Why can’t I just be a good person and live righteous without believing in a God, and still go to a happy place when I die? That’s terrible that I feel like I have to be bullied into religion because if I don’t I will suffer eternally. Please send your opinion on this. It’s a sensitive topic for me. I want to inquire and ask more, but I will keep it as brief as I can to insure a good response.

Brutus, I am quite willing to answer your questions. Let me begin by stating that I don’t believe you really think there is no God. I think your actual problem is that you don’t want to acknowledge God, for then you would be accountable to Him for your behavior. I believe you have a strong root of rebellion in your life and you don’t like the idea of having to answer to God for your actions. Brutus, the Bible states the following.

Psalms 14:1
The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God."

I don’t think you are a fool. I think you actually believe there is a God. Your real issue is that you don’t want to abide by anyone else’s laws, including God’s. This is evident in your letter when you wrote, “I feel like I have to be bullied into religion because if I don’t I will suffer eternally.” Brutus, God is not bullying you anymore than the State of Georgia is bullying you by putting you in prison.

According to the Georgia Department of Corrections website you were born in 1993. In 2010 you committed robbery and received a 20 year sentence for that crime. You must have been only about 17 years old at the time. In 2012 you were charged with aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during a crime. Brutus, would you not describe your own behavior as bullying? You assaulted and robbed people, threatening them with injury or death with a gun. Brutus, when you did these things you knew they were wrong. They were violations of love. Rather than doing good to others as God created men to do, you chose to do evil to others for selfish purposes.

Brutus, you asked, “If God is so powerful why hasn’t he manifested himself to us today, or why does he sit and watch the terrible things of this world happen?” Would you rather that God struck you dead the moment you committed assault and robbery? God could have done that. There is a reason He did not do so, however. The Bible states:

II Peter 3:9
But He bears patiently with you, His desire being that no one should perish but that all should come to repentance.

Psalms 86:15
But you, Lord, are a merciful and gracious God, slow to anger, and abundant in loving kindness and truth.

Romans 2:2-11
And we know that God, in his justice, will punish anyone who does such (wicked) things. Since you judge others for doing these things, why do you think you can avoid God's judgment when you do the same things? Don't you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can't you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin? But because you are stubborn and refuse to turn from your sin, you are storing up terrible punishment for yourself. For a day of anger is coming, when God's righteous judgment will be revealed. He will judge everyone according to what they have done. He will give eternal life to those who keep on doing good, seeking after the glory and honor and immortality that God offers. But he will pour out his anger and wrath on those who live for themselves, who refuse to obey the truth and instead live lives of wickedness. There will be trouble and calamity for everyone who keeps on doing what is evil - for the Jew first and also for the Gentile. But there will be glory and honor and peace from God for all who do good - for the Jew first and also for the Gentile. For God does not show favoritism.
[New Living Translation]

Brutus, what these Scriptures are saying is that God is patient, giving wicked men time to turn from their sins, to repent and to live righteously. God could judge all sinful acts immediately and harshly. The Bible says “the wages of sin is death.” Every person on the face of the Earth has come under the curse of sin. Everyone violates the righteous standard of God at some point. This is what is stated in the following passage.

Romans 3:10-18
“There is none righteous, not even one; There is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God; All have turned aside, together they have become useless; There is none who does good, there is not even one." "Their throat is an open grave, with their tongues they keep deceiving," "The poison of asps is under their lips"; "Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness"; "Their feet are swift to shed blood, destruction and misery are in their paths, and the path of peace have they not known." "There is no fear of God before their eyes."

I too was born a sinner. In my flesh there is a desire to do all manner of selfish and wicked things. I too would take advantage of those who are weaker, or less clever than me, if I had not come to fear God. I could put all men who are in prison to shame with my wickedness if God had not delivered me from slavery to the pull of sin in my flesh. Brutus, the Bible says that the penalty for all sin is death. If God were to exact His righteous judgment on all mankind the moment they sinned, there would not be any men, women, or children left on the face of the Earth. He would have to strike us all dead. God does not want to do this, however. He takes no pleasure in putting men to death. He would much rather than men like you, or like me, would turn from our sin that we might live.

Ezekiel 18:31-32
"Cast away from you all your transgressions which you have committed, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! For why will you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies," declares Yahweh God. "Therefore, repent and live."

God bears patiently with sinful men and women, for He wants them to repent, to turn their back on their selfish and sinful lives, and begin to walk uprightly before Him that they might be spared. You should certainly appreciate this aspect of God’s nature, for you too have committed sins worthy of death in God’s sight. Are you not grateful that God is patient with you?

In your letter you asked, “Why can’t I just be a good person and live righteous without believing in a God, and still go to a happy place when I die?” Brutus, have you been a good person? If you are honest you must admit that you have not been. A good person does not rob others. A good person does not carry a gun and commit crimes. What else did you do? Did you have sex with multiple women? Did you get some of them pregnant? Do you have children you are failing to raise in a safe, loving, and nurturing environment? Have you given yourself to drunkenness? Have you used illegal drugs? Do you take the Lord’s name in vain? Do you curse and swear and speak many wicked and evil things? Do you take pleasure in the wickedness of others? Do you lie?

If you do any of these things, how can you describe yourself as one who is living righteously? You are not even trying to live righteously. But even if you did try, you would find that you are unable to do so. You are a slave to wicked, selfish, rebellious, and ungodly desires. You may attempt to live righteously, but you will always fall short. The reason for this is that when our forefather Adam sinned in the Garden of Evil we were still in him, for we were his seed. When Adam sinned, he fell under the rule of sin, and all his offspring which were still in his loins also became slaves to sin. The apostle Paul explains this truth in the following manner.

Romans 7:5-25
When we were controlled by our old nature, sinful desires were at work within us, and the law aroused these evil desires that produced a harvest of sinful deeds, resulting in death... Well then, am I suggesting that the law of God is sinful? Of course not! In fact, it was the law that showed me my sin. I would never have known that coveting is wrong if the law had not said, "You must not covet." But sin used this command to arouse all kinds of covetous desires within me! If there were no law, sin would not have that power. At one time I lived without understanding the law. But when I learned the command not to covet, for instance, the power of sin came to life, and I died. So I discovered that the law's commands, which were supposed to bring life, brought spiritual death instead. Sin took advantage of those commands and deceived me; it used the commands to kill me. But still, the law itself is holy, and its commands are holy and right and good. But how can that be? Did the law, which is good, cause my death? Of course not! Sin used what was good to bring about my condemnation to death. So we can see how terrible sin really is... So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. I don't really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don't do it. Instead, I do what I hate. But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can't. I want to do what is good, but I don't. I don't want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don't want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. I have discovered this principle of life - that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God's law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God's law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.
[New Living Translation]

Brutus, when you asked your question, “Why can’t I just be a good person and live righteous...?” you were acknowledging that there is right and wrong in this world. Who determines what is right and wrong? God does, of course, for He is the Creator of all things. The truth is, however, that neither you, nor I, nor any other person could live a good and righteous life in God’s eyes by our own efforts. Like the apostle Paul who wrote the words above, we can try to do so, but we will fail. As much as you might want to be a good person and live a righteous life, you cannot do so. If you will be honest with yourself and look at your life experiences so far, you will admit this is true.

The problem is that we are born into this world with a serious deficiency. As much as we might want to live righteously and please God, we cannot do so for there is something missing inside of us. This is not God’s fault. It is man’s fault, for Adam turned his back on God and chose to rule himself. We are born deficient because Adam, our forefather, sinned against God. The thing we lack is the character and life of God inside of us. Instead, we have the character and life of Satan. We are born rebellious. We are like little children when their parents tell them not to touch something. All we can think of is doing the thing we were told not to do. If our parents tell us we can have one cookie, then we want to take two. If they tell us to sit down and be quiet then we want to run around and make noise.

We are the same way with God. God gave us His Law in the Old Testament of the Bible to show us that we are sinners and rebels who cannot obey Him even if we try. One of the men who loved God the most in the Old Testament was David, yet David committed adultery and murder. In a moment of temptation, David gave into the sinful passions of his flesh and committed acts worthy of death. Should God have killed David? David’s actions deserved death, but God has compassion on man. He chooses to have mercy on us, but He will punish evil, and David was punished.

God determined that He would make a way for sinful men to overcome their slavery to the flesh and sinful desires. He would place His own divine life in man. But first someone would have to pay the penalty for man’s sins, for God could not simply sweep all sin under the rug. The penalty of sin could only be paid for by someone who had never sinned. There was no man born of Adam who met that criteria, for we are all sinners. Therefore God sent His own Son to be born as a man, to be tempted in every way as we are, yet to never sin. Because Jesus Christ/Yahshua the Messiah was man, and He was perfect and righteous in God’s sight, He could pay the penalty for our sins and we could be forgiven. In effect, God would place our sins on His Son, and He would place His Son’s righteousness on us.

II Corinthians 5:21
He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

This is what occurred when Christ went to the cross. Christ accepted the penalty for our sins, which was death, so that we could live.

Christ’s sacrifice of Himself on the cross only bought us forgiveness, however. We needed something further if we were to be able to overcome sin and no longer be a slave to its power. We would have to receive the life of Christ into our own bodies. Therefore, God sent forth His Spirit to come into our lives and to produce in us both the desire and the power to live a righteous life and overcome sin. Brutus, if you have not received the Holy Spirit into your life, you cannot live a righteous life. You are still a slave to sinful desires.

In the long passage we read above, the apostle Paul talks about his desperate condition of wanting to do good, but not having the power to do so. He says, “O wicked man that I am, who will deliver me from this body of sin and death?” He then answers his own question by saying, “Thank God. He has through Jesus Christ His Son!” When Christ rose from the dead and ascended to heaven He sent forth His Spirit to indwell His disciples. The power of Christ’s Spirit living in man gives man the ability to do what he formerly could not. Now we can both desire to do God’s will, and we can do it. We no longer are slaves to sin, but are freed to live in righteousness.

Philippians 2:13
[Not in your own strength] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight.
[Amplified Bible]

Brutus, when men and women receive the Spirit of Christ the struggle with the flesh does not end, but they now have the power to overcome temptation. They never again have to sin. Sin’s power has been broken.

I Corinthians 10:13
For no temptation (no trial regarded as enticing to sin), [no matter how it comes or where it leads] has overtaken you and laid hold on you that is not common to man [that is, no temptation or trial has come to you that is beyond human resistance and that is not adjusted and adapted and belonging to human experience, and such as man can bear]. But God is faithful [to His Word and to His compassionate nature], and He [can be trusted] not to let you be tempted and tried and assayed beyond your ability and strength of resistance and power to endure, but with the temptation He will [always] also provide the way out (the means of escape to a landing place), that you may be capable and strong and powerful to bear up under it patiently.
[Amplified Bible]

When a man or woman receives the Spirit of Christ they are assured by God that no sinful temptation will ever be greater than their power (through the Holy Spirit in them) to choose obedience to God. Because you have not received the Spirit of Christ, you CANNOT please God. You are always going to fall short. Every man must humble himself, confess his sin to God, and accept the forgiveness that God’s Son has purchased for them by the sacrifice of His own life on the cross of Calvary. Then the man must ask God to send forth His Holy Spirit into His life so that he can be freed from sin and have the divine life of God inside of Him. The man must come to God confessing that he is not able to please God apart from receiving God’s Spirit. The man must ask God to give him His Spirit so he can be set free from sin. Christ spoke of the manner in which we must ask God for His Spirit in the following passage.

Luke 11:5-13
And He said to them, "Suppose one of you shall have a friend, and shall go to him at midnight, and say to him, 'Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine has come to me from a journey, and I have nothing to set before him'; and from inside he shall answer and say,' Do not bother me; the door has already been shut and my children and I are in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.' I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs. And I say to you, ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it shall be opened. Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he? Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?"

God knows we need His Holy Spirit to have victory over our flesh’s sinful desires. He will give us what we need if we come to Him in faith asking for it.

Of course, no man will acknowledge these things as truth, or humble himself before God to receive what he needs, unless he is ready to be done with his rebellion. If you want to accuse God of being a bully for establishing the laws upon which His own creation operates, then you are not yet done with your rebellion. Seeing that God has made a way for you to not only be forgiven, but to conquer the sin in your flesh, is it not a just thing for Him to punish those who reject His provision? God is being far more than just. He is being merciful. But if you reject His mercy you must experience His wrath. That is both fair and reasonable.

Brutus, if you want to know more about these things, I have written a book that explains all of it in much more detail. The book is titled Overcoming Addiction by the Spirit of Christ. Don’t be put off by the title. All sin is addictive, for it rules over us until its power is broken by Christ. This book sets forth the nuts and bolts of the truth of God’s plan to redeem man from sin. If you are interested, I will be glad to add you to the Parables Bookshelf Newsletter mailing list which contains this book, and I will send this book to you first. Just let me know your decision. For my part, I hope you will choose to be done with your rebellion toward God and accept His provision for your forgiveness and transformation so you truly can live a life pleasing to Him.

Respond to God while He is calling you. You have no guarantee that you will experience His drawing at a later time.

Joseph Herrin
This is the response to the letter you wrote me. Matthew 7:1-2! This verse basically talks about passing judgment on another. In the letter you wrote, “You assaulted and robbed people, threatening them with injury or death with a gun. Brutus, when you did these things you knew they were wrong. They were violations of love. Rather than doing good to others as God created men to do, you chose to do evil to others for selfish purposes.”

I usually don’t do this, but for the sake of conversation I will happily oblige. In July of 2010 a group of young teens, including myself, were walking through Forsyth Park in Savannah, Georgia. This group contained family members of mine. It was our yearly family reunion. So not only were my cousins in attendance, but also aunts, uncles, mothers, fathers, etc.. As my cousins and I walked through the park we had the misfortune of walking past two “Caucasian” people, male and female. The male, out of nowhere uttered, “Get ya’ll black (expletive deleted) away from here.” Might I add that this comment was made of free will and by no provocation by anyone in my group. In response, my younger cousin said “(expletive deleted).” The male replied and said, “I don’t care. I have AIDS, so if you want to do something, beat my (expletive deleted).” Me, being the oldest, I tried to diffuse the situation and then we walked towards our large group of family members. About 5 to 10 minutes later several police, including an undercover detective jumped out on us and took us into custody. As I sat in the police car, my family sat around just as confused as I was.

I was taken out of the car while bright lights were flashed in my face while a Caucasian male and female pointed their fingers at me. Shortly after, I was hauled away to the police precinct where I gave my story and was told that I was charged with “Armed Robbery.” To add insult to injury, the male and female claimed that I came up to both of them while sitting and put a six inch sharp blade to each of their throats and demanded their belongings. They complied and then I and several other African Americans ran off.

It’s funny that where I was arrested you could clearly see the spot where this alleged crime had happened and also when I was detained and searched I had only a lighter and one dollar in my possession. The detective told me, “No matter what I say or do, I’m going to jail. It doesn’t matter if you did this or not.” Long story short, I went to jail and the male and female people came to court several times and lied under the oath of “God” and said I committed this deed. Yet a family of at least 20 people came and testified on my behalf under the oath of “God” that they witnessed this and the claims were false! Still, the court was in favor of the so-called victims. Where was “God” at these moments Joseph? I was convicted, served time, and given probation on the condition of “first offender status.”

As for the aggravated assault, yes I did shoot that person “in the head” because gang members were threatening my life and my younger brothers because we had on a specific color. We weren’t bothering anyone, or doing anything. I was convicted on that crime and also re-convicted on the armed robbery and given 20 years because part of my conditions were not to catch any felonies. So, was that my fault or Yahweh’s fault for setting those obstacles in my way?

[Joseph’s Note: Brutus’ defense of his actions as the victim in both of these experiences is unconvincing. Men in prison frequently lie to others about their involvement in crimes, and there are numerous details of Brutus’ explanation which call his narrative into question. In the first story he says he was the oldest family member present when he encountered the male and female in the park, yet he says that 20 family members testified in court that they witnessed the events and the testimony was false. If these 20 family members, many of whom were “mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, etc.” were present and witnessed the events, why did they not intervene? And if they were present, then Brutus was not the oldest family member present.

Secondly, Brutus explains his innocence in shooting another man “in the head.” He says he and his brothers “were not bothering anyone,” yet they were wearing gang colors and Brutus was carrying a gun, which itself was a violation of his parole terms. Brutus would have me to believe they were just some unlucky armed gang members, who were in fact upstanding citizens. Brutus’ denial is made more egregious by his laying the blame at the feet of God for putting “obstacles in [his] way.”

Note that I am not saying there were not misrepresentations at the trial, but Brutus’ accounting of events is no more credible than the official narrative. By his own admission, Brutus shot another man in the head, and was a member of a gang, and was a convicted felon illegally carrying a gun. Does it not show the deceitfulness of the human heart that such a person could declare himself innocent and then lay the blame for his troubles at the feet of God?]

Knowing how holy you are, you might quote Matthew 5:39. In so many words it says “If someone strikes you on the one cheek, turn to him the other.” I don’t think so. In your writing “Champ the Serpent Sounder” you talked about Champ running into a Water Moccasin. What did you do to the snake? You killed it, did you not? Last time I looked, one of the 10 commandments says, “Thou shall not kill!” I’m pretty sure animals fall under the standard of that, after all a snake is part of Yahweh’s creation. Just like you said, “I’m a robber.” You’re a murderer. The difference is that I have proof you are a murderer, while you have only a report on a website that I am a robber.

What will you have to counter that, Ecclesiastes 3:3, “A time to kill”? Well, with that being said, these words reveal a clear contradiction in the Bible. Not only that, but the Bible is filled with conundrums. You quoted Psalms 14:1, “The fool has said in his heart ‘There is no God.’” Which definitely is not true if you read Psalms 82:6-7. Does it not say, “Ye are gods”? Can you refute that? How about St. John 14:12-14. It says I can do greater works that Jesus, and also that whatever I ask will be given to me if I ask in His name. Well, I’ve tried prayer and it didn’t work for me and I’m pretty sure it didn’t work for you either.

I don’t think you know the history of Christianity, and if you do you clearly don’t care what you found. I’ve come to realize that a lot of religious extremists such as yourself have a very strong pattern of denial. Denial of fools! In actuality, you avoided the questions I asked you. If you are a minister and your job is to show and convert people to Christ, you do a very poor job. You have no facts to prove anything you’ve said other than the Scripture! Let’s delve into your Bible some more. Who created you, Joseph? Of course, you will arrogantly and confidently say, “Yahweh.” Great. Let’s take a look. Genesis 1:26 “And God said, ‘Let US make man in our image, after OUR likeness.” Who is Yahweh referring to when he says, “OUR image”? Clearly, He is making a clear indication that creation was crafted by another, more than 1 entity! Who is the “OUR” Joseph?

Please spare me your belligerence and ignorance by not saying “The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.” Let’s be honest and logical. Does not God claim to be the one and only supreme being, the creator of man, the heavens and earth? From the accounts of the Bible that would be false. Sorry. Let’s rewind Genesis 1. It speaks of how the earth was without form and how he created the universe. Before he chose to magically create this universe, what was he doing? Was he sitting in the dark void of space twiddling His thumbs? Or was he walking around in nothingness until he had this epiphany of his intricate plot to create every single living thing in the universe? Was he bored? Or was he more like a child and wanted to play with a few toys he had at His disposal? If you believe that he did such things, grits aren’t groceries, eggs aren’t poultry, and Mona Lisa’s a man.

This earth is billions of years old. It always has been and always will be. If no one but God existed at the time of creation, who took account of his works? Did he have a transcriber, and passed his words down to us? Better yet, he said and did these wonderful things then somehow just magically put the words in someone’s head. Even if that was remotely true, the Bible is roughly 2 to 3 thousand years old at least. The Bible Constantine compiled is 1,700 years old! Do you not think that from all that time to now that those are still the same words? Anyone with at least one iota of common sense, intelligence, rationale, and honesty would say that the words and teachings of the Bible are distorted, due to passing through so many generations, centuries, millenniums, whatever period of time you choose to use.

We both know the Bible has been rewritten over 100 times! Did you know that Joseph? Better yet, do you care? In that case, you’re not reading Yahweh’s word as you know it, but MAN’S word. Can you prove any different? Did the Bible drop from the sky? Was it sitting on a cloud? Don’t say “Yes,” because I have several ways to prove clouds are just particles in the air! Did God hand write this book and hand deliver it to the world? I think not. The Bible is a book of stories and testimonies written by MAN, not Yahweh, but MAN! Try to prove me wrong and refute that claim. So ask yourself, “Are you living in accordance with Man or God’s word?” Brush up on your research and see what you come up with. 

Another point I would like to raise is “Why don’t Christians or religious persons have any substantial proof to claims of God?” Have you ever seen him? Exodus 35:20, I Timothy 6:16. I believe they say no man can or will see God. Correct? How do you know how to follow his instructions? Do they come as dreams? Are they dropped from the sky? What is it?

Yahweh is a bully! He tells me I have to do any and everything he says, and if I do not I will face consequences. Why cannot I live life as I please? Joseph, ask yourself, “Are you better than the illuminati or freemasons?” You fill people’s heads up with propaganda and lies and want them to believe it. You try to scare people with hell and torment, and if they choose to live life freely, that it is terrible. I know you’re lost and just don’t want to accept truth. There is no god or devil. One day hopefully you will realize and come to true knowledge. I can go through the Bible and find inconsistencies and half truths and falsehood.

This is what I honestly say. If you can provide me with full, concrete, scientific proof that God is real, I will worship him and be forever grateful to you. If you can, please help me, I am very open-minded.

Do not take this letter personally. I’m conversing with you as a grown man and with full respect. Do not be intimidated by me, or think I’m the anti-Christ, or a demon or devil worshiper. I can care less about the devil as much as god. They might have power with you, but don’t have power with me!

I will compile a list of questions I would like for you to respond to. If you’re up to it! On a lighter note, I thank you for all of your writings on the government conspiracy, etc.. They are very informative and very much true. I hope you continue to provide me with, and write these great books. Until the next time we cross paths, stay safe and peace unto you,


P.S. Pet Champ on the head for me.

1. Who is the author of the original Bible, and when was it created?
2. Is anything in Christianity original, or does it derive from another religion?
3. Can the devil do anything that Yahweh does not allow?
4. Have you ever seen Yahweh, seen anyone raised from the grave, or anyone walk on water?
5. Was Jesus married and did he have a child?
6. Are there contradictions in the Bible?

Hello Brutus,

I received your letter. You would likely be surprised to know that like you, I have many disagreements with the teachings and practice of Christianity as it is commonly observed today. You appear to have a modicum of familiarity with the Bible. You should know then that in the last book of the Bible, the book of Revelation, it starts out with Christ addressing seven churches located in Asia Minor. This book was written by the apostle John when the church and Christianity had been in existence for less than a century, yet we find Christ reproving five of the seven churches, some quite severely. They had already fallen into great doctrinal and moral error.

Brutus, the Bible is an account of Yahweh’s dealing with sinful men and women who are continually going astray. You should not need anyone to persuade you that men have serious moral failings, and that those who walk in integrity and truth are hard to find. You are in a prison surrounded by inmates who have done many wicked, selfish things, violating the principle of divine love on a regular basis.

You are making a serious mistake if you believe the Bible is written to a bunch of holy men and women who never do anything evil, or do not have continuing issues with false teachings. The Bible reveals the church to be prone to severe lapses, continually straying into doctrinal and moral failure. You can read any of the apostle Paul’s writings in the New Testament, and observe that one of his main themes is correcting false doctrine, and another is reproving Christians who are behaving in immoral ways.

A true understanding of Christianity does NOT assert that the church is without fault. It never has been without fault. This is why the Scriptures contain so many passages warning believers of the consequences of their walking in a manner that is unworthy of Christ. I could fill up pages with examples, but you are evidently quite good at quoting from the Bible, so you don’t need my assistance to know that what I am saying is true.

Brutus, as a minister whom Christ has appointed to serve as a teacher among the members of His body, the church, a major focus of my writings and teachings has been to correct both the doctrinal errors held by Christians today, as well as the moral failures of their lives. You recognize many of these failures, for you made mention of a number of them in your letter to me. Where you have erred, and erred seriously, is in concluding that these doctrinal and moral failures among Christians are evidence that God is not real and that the message of the Bible is false. Quite the contrary, the Bible affirms that men are easily deceived and constantly going astray. This is why God has appointed shepherds and teachers to correct and guide the church. Yet, even so, we are informed that only a remnant among those who profess to be Christians will be approved by God when they stand before Him in the judgment.

Matthew 22:14
"For many are called, but few are chosen."

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 Bible teaches that many of those who profess to be Christians will be cast into the lake of fire because they walked in a manner which was unworthy of Christ.

Revelation 3:5-6
“He who overcomes shall thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

Revelation 20:15
And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Putting these two passages from the same Biblical book together, what is the message that comes forth? The Spirit of Christ is speaking to “the churches.” It is the churches who are warned that they may have their names erased from the book of life, and all whose names are not found in the book of life are cast into the lake of fire.

Consequently, it is neither offensive, nor disturbing to me if you should speak of there being problems with the church’s behavior and beliefs today. The Bible says the same thing. Listen to the following words of the apostle Paul.

II Timothy 3:1-5
But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; and avoid such men as these.

Who is it who hold to a form of godliness, but deny its power? It is Christians. Paul further states the following.

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.

Brutus, this is the hour we live in. The church has departed from truth. They will not endure sound doctrine. Instead they heap up to themselves teachers to proclaim error and falsehood to them. It is the remnant who will be approved by Christ in the day of judgment.

Consequently, if you point out false beliefs and immoral behavior among those who profess to be Christians today, you are doing nothing more than agreeing with the Bible, for it prophesied that this would be the church’s condition in the last days before the return of Christ.

You have erred, nonetheless, by assuming that I hold to the errors of the church which you listed. For many years now I have been occupied with pointing out and correcting the false teachings of the church, restoring believers to the truths of Scriptures. This activity includes pointing out where men have corrupted the Bible through errant translations and false interpretations of its meaning. You will find that I have no problem admitting that the Bible has errors today. No man should think that they hold in their hand a flawless copy of the inspired word of God. The Bible, just like the church, has ben subject to the failings of men. Some errors have been introduced innocently through men who have not understood what was written. Other errors entered the Bible through unscrupulous men who did not fear God, being motivated by selfish and unrighteous principles.

I am going to send you a portion of a book I wrote titled Foundations. This book corrects some of the foundational doctrines of the church. I send this because it addresses several issues you raised in your letter. Among these are why the book of Genesis speaks of God in the plural; Why the Bible does NOT teach that the Earth is only 6,000 years old, but in fact may be millions, or billions of years old; how Satan could sin and the sin not be charged to God who created him, etc.. You will find that the beliefs you accused me of harboring are not my beliefs at all. Rather, I have spent time refuting the very things that you have assumed that I believe.

The second book I am sending you is titled Yahweh’s Book and is on the history of the Bible, how it was written, who were its authors, how it was preserved, what languages were used in its writing, how errors were introduced into the Bible, the differences between various Bible translations, and why it presents no problem to Christians to have a Bible that is imperfect and contains errors. If you will patiently read these writings, seeking to understand what is being communicated, I have no doubt that you will come to see a number of things you did not perceive previously.

Aside from this, I would share with you something about your use of the Scriptures and the applications you have derived from them. Before I do, let me say to you that I am not offended by anything you wrote, and it is not my intent to offend you. My goal is to pursue truth with all men. I would have you to understand the proper meaning of God’s word, and to not wrest false interpretations of it due to either a superficial reading of the Bible, an absence of integrity, or a deficient desire to truly know what it is teaching. Please consider that I am taking the time to write you lengthy letters because I am assuming that you really want to know truth. If you do not want to know truth, then my time would not be fruitfully used in writing to you. If I should become persuaded at some point that you do not want to know truth, I will discontinue writing to you for I always want to use my time profitably.

Also understand that my taking the time to write to you and send you this material at some expense to myself is an indication that I view you as valuable, and worth the investment of my time and resources. I share this so that you would not view me as an adversary, for I do not write to you as an adversary, but rather as an ally who is seeking to aid you in the pursuit of truth and understanding.

Let me now address your citation of Matthew 7:1-2 and the application you have drawn from it.

Matthew 7:1-2
“Do not judge lest you be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.”

Brutus, have you never observed the fault in others who profess to be Christians, where they take a single statement, often out of context, and use it to derive a principle or teaching that was not intended by the original authors? It is a very common failing among mankind. Again, some do so innocently, by failing to consider the whole counsel of God in the Bible. Others do so unscrupulously, as they are merely seeking a basis to accuse or malign another person, and they don’t really care if they are applying the Scriptures faithfully.

Because my role among the church has been that of a teacher, and I have frequently found myself engaged in correcting error, both in doctrine and behavior, this verse you have cited has been thrown up by individuals who were being corrected on numerous occasions. In fact, it was so common an experience that I found it expedient to write a teaching explaining what the Bible actually says about the subject of judging. That writing is titled The Issue of Judging. I am printing it out and including it among the material I am sending to you.

Another Scripture you cited is “Thou shalt not kill.” You interpreted this to mean man cannot kill anything, or he will be guilty of murder. You applied this specifically to my killing a snake, and concluded that due to this I am a murderer. Brutus, I must say that I do doubt your scruples when it comes to this argument. It is so weak an argument, and easily overturned, that I have to conclude that you were merely seeking to find some point, no matter how indefensible, upon which to accuse me.

As I did in the writing The Issue of Judging, I would counsel you to search the Scriptures to arrive at the Biblical definition of murder. Did not Yahweh command that animals be slain to offer as sacrifices on His altar? Do you think Yahweh would command men to commit murder when He had previously commanded them not to murder? The Law of God also required capital punishment for a number of offenses, such as murder, adultery, etc.. We can understand from these Scriptures that killing animals was not the equivalent of murder, and that even the killing of another man was not always viewed as murder by God. It is the unjust taking of a life, often in anger, or for selfish and evil purposes, that is deemed to be murder.

In the New Testament we read of Christ and His disciples catching fish in a net and cooking them over a fire. Was Christ an accessory to murder because he commanded His disciples to catch fish which were to be eaten? If you are to be consistent in your definition of murder, then you are going to have to charge every person who has ever eaten meat to be a murderer, or an accomplice to murder.

Brutus, when you present indefensible arguments such as this, you do cause me to have concerns regarding whether you are actually interested in arriving at truth. I want to assure you that I am willing to patiently discuss a great many things with you. I do not mind disagreement. I discuss points of disagreement with men continually, and I will be patient and gentle in doing so. I do want to have some evidence, however, that the person I am investing time with is acting with integrity and really has a desire to know truth and share truth with others.

I will close this letter for now since I am sending you a lot of material. I look forward to hearing back from you.

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

Joseph Herrin

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Joseph Herrin
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