Joseph Herrin (04-07-2010)
Butterflies Emerging – Callaway Gardens
[Click on Image for Larger Picture]
I believe it was the Spirit of Christ that placed in my heart a desire to return to camping in Pine Mountain, Georgia for a couple weeks. I arrived here Sunday, April 4th. Pine Mountain is where Callaway Gardens is located. Callaway is home to beautiful botanical gardens, as well as a butterfly conservatory. I like flowers and butterflies, and it is an added blessing that there are numerous bike trails spread out over the thousands of acres that make up the gardens.
My upcoming ministry trip has been much upon my mind as the time approaches for me to head out. April 23rd is the beginning date of my first meeting, which will be in Helen, Georgia which is located in the northern part of the state. I do not know where I will be going from there. I am looking to the Father to guide me as He did last year in my travels.
I purchased a large wall map and began putting stickers on the various locations where people have said they would like to attend meetings, or host meetings. You can see from the map that there are 30-40 possible meeting locations already. The blue stickers represent people who have expressed a desire to host meetings, usually in their homes. The rose colored stickers are people who have said they would like to attend if I come to their area.
[Click on Map for Larger Image]
You may have noted that the title of this blog is The Emerging Church. I don’t like to use trendy buzz words to define a people. I am not one to jump on any old bandwagon that comes along. I know this phrase is being bandied about a lot, however, and I thought of it as I was looking at the emerging butterflies at Callaway Gardens’ Cecil B. Day Butterfly Center. The sign in the window identified them as “emerging butterflies.”
I have often shared before that the life-cycle of the butterfly is a parable Yahweh has placed in His creation to testify to His transforming work among mankind. I use an image of a butterfly on the Header for the Parables Blog, and I also had the three stages of the butterfly’s life depicted on the cover of my first book, The Remnant Bride.
The butterfly begins life as a caterpillar. The caterpillar has been described as “a stomach with legs.” Caterpillars eat incessantly. Their body weight increases by as much as 300 times in just a matter of weeks. They are a picture of the Adamic man who obeyed the serpent and fell under the curse of the serpent, the curse of the beast nature.
“On your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life.” I have explained this in the book The Mark of the Beast, if you care to read more about it. The following link directs to the chapter that speaks of this subject.
Man is a slave to his appetites. The apostle Paul used this same imagery to speak of mankind.
For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame – who set their mind on earthly things.
Paul is writing of men and women in the church. These are the ones who are “enemies of the cross of Christ.” Christ said that one must take up the cross and follow Him if they were to be His disciple. The majority of Christians today have spurned the cross. They will gladly point to the cross that Christ died upon, but they will not accept that they must bear the same. The reason is that they have set their mind on earthly things.
This is the tragic condition of Adamic man. When Adam sinned in the garden he enslaved not only himself, but all his seed which was in him. He became subject to the natural appetites. He sunk down to the beast nature when he was created to bear the image of the heavenly.
A caterpillar cannot help setting his mind on earthly things. He is consigned to the earth. He has no wings. He can climb only as high as the trees that sprout from the earth. Adamic man also seeks to ascend as high as possible, but his roots are always in the earth. He doesn’t get off the ground. He may try to fly, but gravity will pull him down. Pity the poor caterpillar that jumps from the highest branch of the tree. He may reason that he was born to fly, and so he was, but he has not yet been transformed. He will surely end up as pulp on the ground.
Yahweh is determined to have sons in His image. His plan has never been derailed, or even interrupted. We are told that Christ was the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8). These Adamic, beastly sons, must be transformed into spiritual creations. The cross is the instrument of our transformation. If there is no cross in your life, there can be no conformity to Christ. No cross, no glory. You will remain a fleshly caterpillar.
There is a tremendous metamorphosis that takes place in the life of this insect. The fleshly caterpillar enters into a chrysalis, or cocoon. This equates to the wilderness part of the journey from Egypt to Canaan. It is a dreadful experience. In order for a new heavenly creation of great beauty to come forth, the old fleshly creature must die. This is the purpose of the wilderness, and it is the purpose of the cross.
Do you want to share the glory of the Son of God? Your Father in heaven very much desires that you should attain to that glory that awaits all the overcoming sons of God. There is only one path, however. It is the afflicted path.
The church today is filled with enemies of the cross. They cry out for ease and pleasure. They are constantly imploring their Father in heaven to sate them with material blessings. They are told that this is the present will of God for His sons and daughters. They are deceived.
“And He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”
There must first be death before there can be a resurrection. It was appointed to Christ to suffer and to die and then to enter into His glory. He is the pattern for all overcoming sons and daughters.
For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake…
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. I noted that an article that spoke of the NCAA Basketball Championship stated that someone had given the Butler University players a Scripture that said, “We are more than conquerors.” That sounds great, and many like to quote just that much of the passage. There is much more, however.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Yahshua our Lord.
People of God, it is the Father’s will for all His sons and daughters to be perfected through suffering. There is no other way to bring forth mature sons after His image. This was prophesied from the very moment of man’s fall in the Garden. Yahweh told Eve, “In pain you shall bring forth children.” The church is the Bride of the Last Adam even as Eve was the Bride of the first Adam. There is only one way to bring forth offspring in the image of either Adam. It is through pain.
We have the promise, however, that the pain will be forgotten for the joy that a man child has been brought forth.
A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.
Christ wasn’t giving a lesson on obstetrics here. He was speaking of spiritual matters. The church must experience her sorrow now that she might bring forth something glorious, something in the image of Christ. It will be through suffering that the church emerges as victorious, overcomers.
I took many pictures of the butterflies emerging from their cocoons. Some did not make it. Some cocoons never open. It is a long arduous task for such a delicate and frail looking insect to pass through. Yet Yahweh has designed it to be so. Some in watching the struggles of an emerging butterfly would ease its struggle. They would help to loose it from its coffin-like cocoon. If they do so the butterfly will invariably die. The struggle is necessary for its development.
In the truest sense, there is only one way to become an emergent church that will attain to the will of the Father. One must yield to the Spirit. One must follow the Spirit wherever He leads. He will lead you through wilderness ways. I can say this with assurance. Everyone has a wilderness to pass through.
A day is at hand for the people of God in Western nations to experience what others have known throughout the history of the church. The time is here for all who would walk as overcomers to be led through an afflicted path that few ever take. It is the road that leads to life, and a mere remnant find it (Matthew 7:14).
I came to Callaway anticipating that the Father was going to speak to me concerning the upcoming ministry trip. I sensed that He would reveal to me that which He would have spoken to His obedient sons and daughters. The message is revealed in the life cycle of the butterfly. To attain to glory, one must be transformed. Transformation involves some pain and suffering.
Last year I was led to write the book Christ in You – The Hope of Glory.
It was written to show the people of God the glory that awaits those who attain to the number of the firstborn. It was written to inspire people to strive to attain to the first resurrection, which is far more glorious than the latter resurrections.
Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection…
Many are called, but few are chosen. The Father has shown me that I must declare to His people that there is suffering ahead, but it is not worthy to be compared with the glory to be revealed in them. As Paul proclaimed, these are but momentary, light afflictions. Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man the things that God has prepared for those who love Him.
Our Father will not remove the suffering. He desires for us too much that we enter into the glorious inheritance before us. He does not want us to experience loss. It was the Father’s good pleasure to crush His Firstborn Son (Isaiah 53:10). He knew that a moment of suffering would lead to long ages of glory. For the joy set before Him, Christ endured the cross.
People of God, this message will not pack out auditoriums. The masses of Christendom will not flock to hear about the need to pass through an afflicted path on the way to life. But a remnant will hear, for they love truth, and recognize it when it is spoken. A remnant will not want to fall short of any good thing the Father has planned for them. They will never walk alone, for nothing can ever separate them from the love of Christ.
Glory lies just ahead. Keep your eye on the prize. Know the comforting presence of the Spirit of Christ. He is saying, “You can do it. I will help you. Don’t shrink back.”
The end will be glory.
Note: For those on FaceBook, I have posted two new albums of pictures taken this week at Callaway Gardens. There are lots of blossoms and butterflies.
Joseph Bradley Herrin
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063