Joseph Herrin (01-24-2010)
Note: I appreciate tremendously the outpouring of welcome at my return to ministry. For all those who have written me, please know that I am grateful for your encouragement. I also look forward to seeing many of you face-to-face as the Father sends me out across America once again.
I know that my last blog has stirred the curiosity of many who would desire to know the details of my being placed in jail. As you can imagine, the tendency of the natural man would also urge me to give a defense of my own obedience in this matter. Yet, I do not sense the freedom of the Spirit to do so. Learning to restrain the soul and submit to the leading of the Spirit is a lesson that all who would walk as overcomers must master.
Many things (such as defending ourselves) appear both urgent and needful in the eyes of man, but are not really necessary. Back in the mid 1990’s I had my first encounter with a man who had a gift of prophecy. The first words God ever proclaimed to me through another man exercising a gift of prophecy were, “I have seen your obedience and I will make it known.” If I believe God, then I can rest in regard to my reputation. Would it not be better for all of us to have Yahweh make our obedience known, rather than declaring it ourselves?
Over the past ten years I have learned that it is seldom the will of God for a man to seek to persuade others of his obedience. See the writing The Silence of the Lambs.
Christ was oppressed and afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth. Our Lord has testified that ALL who would be His disciples must follow in His footsteps. It seems a small matter to me to have my reputation held in contempt by enemies, or questioned by friends. Walking in humility, and being content to bear reproach, is a part of our training as sons of God. ALL must experience such things, and these experiences need not be bitter and noxious to us. If we will live for the opinion of the Father rather than the opinions of man, we will not be moved when men condemn us, or praise us. I am convinced that the greater danger is when men begin to praise the sons of God.
Yahweh spoke to me some years ago and told me that one of the purposes for causing me to bear so much reproach is that I might not place any weight upon the opinions of man. He testified that a day is coming when men would praise those through whom the Spirit manifests in wisdom and power. That we might not succumb to the temptation to be man-pleasers, it is necessary that God’s sons come to esteem the judgment of men very lightly. It was demonstrated in the life of Yahshua that the same masses who one hour were crying out “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” were so unfaithful that a short time later they were crying out, “Crucify Him!”
Joseph, the son of Jacob, also was trained by enduring years of reproach, and of being lightly regarded by man. This served him well when Pharaoh made Joseph ruler over the land and all had to bow the knee before him. Joseph was not moved by the honor men showed him, for he understood that these were the same ones that had for years disdained him, and shown him no regard. It is hard to get puffed up by something that we know is so unsubstantial and transient as the opinions and judgments of man.
I do understand the curiosity of some who would like to know the details of my being placed in jail. It is truly hard to conceive of anyone suffering such things for the sake of obedience to Christ in our modern society. Yet, if you will press into God’s presence you will find Him testifying that such experiences, though rare now, will become much more common in days ahead. These experiences are intended for the perfecting of the saints, for God must have a purified remnant made ready for the return of His Son.
A Ministry to the Few
Do you see that man standing on a hillside in the regions of Galilee? He has no stage, no props, no ministry center. The religious leaders of the synagogues and Temple seek His life that they might slay Him. Therefore He often retreats to remote places to minister, and the crowds gather to Him.
The mass of people make things exciting for His disciples. Surely, they must be thinking, “He is getting very popular now. If things continue this way all Israel will be following Him soon and not even the envious religious leaders will be able to oppose Him.”
Seeing the crowds, Yahshua opens His mouth to speak. He tells them that they are not seeking Him for the right reasons. They are not seeking the spiritual life He can give them. They have no burning desire to be set free from the bondage of sin that they might please the God they call Father. They are following Him because He multiplied the loaves and fish and they were able to fill their bellies. They are seeking carnal things, rather than spiritual.
His words are difficult this day. Few can receive them. He tells the crowds that they must eat His flesh and drink His blood. They are offended, but He is undisturbed. He has not been sent to the masses, but to that small flock given to Him by His Father. The majority who follow Him turn away that day and follow Him no longer. Many who were His disciples leave. The twelve are left, but they too are disappointed. They do not understand God’s ways.
As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew, and were not walking with Him anymore. Yahshua said therefore to the twelve, “You do not want to go away also, do you?” Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life.”
People of God, Christ is today speaking a message that is offending many, even as He did 2,000 years ago. The message He is proclaiming is that all who would follow as His disciples must embrace hardship, suffering, loss and reproaches. Some will even lose their physical lives.
The multitudes on that Galilean hillside were offended by Christ’s words. Note once more that we read that it was “His disciples” who were offended.
When His disciples heard this, many of them said, “This is a hard and difficult and strange saying (an offensive and unbearable message). Who can stand to hear it? Who can be expected to listen to such teaching?”
Christ is not speaking smooth words in this hour to attract the masses. He is speaking costly words, words that will offend the majority. He will at this time separate those who are willing to pay the cost of discipleship from those who are unwilling. Precious few will continue to walk with Yahshua. A great many will fall away. In the parable of the sower who cast seed upon the earth, we read of those who are compared to stony ground.
“And in a similar way these are the ones on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy; and they have no firm root in themselves, but are only temporary; then, when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately they fall away.“
Can you imagine the grief of Christ’s apostles when they observed so many departing from Christ that day on the hillside by the sea? Some of these disciples had walked with Christ for a season, but in the end, they were only temporary. Christ’s words were unpalatable to them. The words of the Messiah offended them.
In an hour when the vast majority who name the name of Christ have been raised in ease and comfort, and fed upon a message of prosperity and blessing, they will fall away in great numbers when it is revealed that they must suffer the loss of all things for His name’s sake.
The Father is sending forth teachers and prophets at this hour who are proclaiming a message of suffering and a personal cross. Few have ears to hear this message. Yahweh is telling His elect to prepare to pass through fiery trials, and to ready themselves to endure all things for the sake of obedience to Him.
The Spirit is testifying that it is to this remnant that He would send me out again. There is a “little flock” who are committed to following Christ with the attitude of the three men cast into the fiery furnace.
Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to give you an answer concerning this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”
There are a few who have the heart of Esther.
“Go, assemble all the Jews who are found in Susa, and fast for me; do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maidens also will fast in the same way. And thus I will go in to the king, which is not according to the law; and if I perish, I perish.“
We must be willing to perish, and to suffer many things, in obedience to Christ. Only with such a resolve will the people of God be able to endure and triumph.
And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even to death.
People of God, this message of complete abandonment to the will of the Father, this message of suffering for righteousness’ sake, of loss and trials and sorrow, is a message that offends. Few can receive it, and many will fall away in this last hour.
“Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations on account of My name. And at that time many will fall away and will deliver up one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise, and will mislead many. And because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end, he shall be saved.”
Observe the connection in these words of Christ between tribulation and falling away. When tribulation comes, “Most people’s love will grow cold.” What love is spoken of here? It is the love of Christians for Christ. Many are the fair weather Christians who sing the praises of the Savior. But let tribulation, suffering, and loss come and “at that time many will fall away.”
The Spirit of Christ has been speaking to me for many months that the eye of the Father is upon a remnant in this hour. This remnant is signified in various ways throughout Scripture. They are symbolized by the 153 large fish that were pulled up in the net on the right side of the boat after Christ’s resurrection. I wrote of this event two years ago, and often since then. I will cite a portion here from that article, for it has great relevance to the coming hour. The article focuses upon the Scripture passage found at John 21:1-14.
Consider for a moment that the question of the identity of Christ is mentioned prominently in all of His appearances after the resurrection… It is mentioned that none dared ask Him who He was, for they knew it was Christ. Is this not strange? If the disciples knew it was Christ, then why even mention that none dared ask who He was? These words serve as a prophecy of that which is to come, for each of Christ’s appearances to His disciples after the resurrection stands for a specific way in which He would appear to His disciples in the next 2,000 years. Many will question as to whether it is truly Christ appearing in this way.
Let me remind you that before I went camping, the last writing I sent out was on the sign given in the constellation Bootes (http://www.heart4god.ws/id655.htm). This sign speaks of Yahshua coming to perform a very specific work of removing flesh from His children. It will be a work of fiery purification to prepare a Bride for Yahshua’s coming as Bridegroom. I believe it is also this same work that is depicted in the form of a parable in the Scripture passage on the 153 fish. John relates that this is the third, and final appearing of Christ before His ascension…
At the end of the age, the Lord will bring His body to maturity. He must have a Bride without spot or blemish prepared for the return of the Bridegroom. What is therefore depicted is a final appearing of the Lord to make complete all that has been lacking in this preparation of the Bride…
In John’s account the disciples, at the Lord’s instruction, cast their nets on the right side of the boat and bring up 153 fish. The right side is indicative of the righteous. In the parable of the sheep and the goats, the sheep are separated onto the right, and the goats go to the left. This haul of fish therefore signifies those who are righteous, the elect and chosen of God…
Consider now the parable of the 153 great fish that were caught. Earlier in the ministry of Christ the disciples pulled a great number of fish up in their nets, but their nets began to break and their boats began to sink. Undoubtedly many of the fish escaped or were lost. At the end of Christ’s ministry the disciples pulled up a great catch of fish once more at the Lord’s command, but this time the nets did not break and no fish were lost. I believe this to be a symbol representing the fact that even as Christ did not lose any of those that the Father gave to Him, that His disciples would not lose that which was given to them…
There is another significant way in which this number relates to the elect of God. The Greek word for fishes used in this passage by John is related to the number 153. Gematria is the study of the relationship between words and numbers. In some languages letters also serve as numbers. For example, most English speaking people are familiar with Roman numerals. The Letter I is the equivalent of the number One; V the equivalent of Five; X the equivalent of Ten; C the equivalent of One Hundred, and so forth. In a similar way, each of the letters of the Greek alphabet are also numbers. When the Greek word Icthus (fish) used by John is rendered as a number its value is 1224 (8 times 153).
Eight is a number representing new beginnings, or the new creation man. Thus, these fish are a symbol of those pulled from the sea of humanity destined to be new creations in Christ. Remarkably, there are numerous other titles for the elect of God that also are multiples of 153. The phrase “Sons of God” in the Hebrew Old Testament is “Beni Ha Elohim” whose value is exactly 153. In the Greek of the New Testament the phrase “Joint Heirs” has the value 1071 (153 times 7). The expression “the creation of God” is 1224 (153 times 8), the words translated “the net” have the exact same value, 1224.
When pondering this parable I considered how it might relate to the ministry of coming days. I was immediately mindful of the fact that the Lord in this appearance has laid fish upon the coals. Fire is the ultimate purifier…
The Lord did not show me these things until after I had cleaned the fish I had caught and placed them over the hot coals to cook. In a recent writing, Joseph – Preparing the Body for Burial, (http://parablesblog.blogspot.com/) I noted that it was the work of the Joseph Company to minister in coming days as they guide the elect through days of fiery trial. The Spirit has used this event as one more testimony during my days of camping to speak of the work to come…
Some further details that are significant are found in the fish I caught and prepared. Randy and I caught and cooked three fish. As mentioned earlier, three speaks of that which is complete, and it is a work that will bring the Bride to complete readiness for the Bridegroom that will be accomplished through the fiery work ahead. The fish were whiting, and the color white is indicative of the Bride who has made herself ready. The first thing I did in preparing the fish was to cut off their heads… Cutting off the head symbolizes having no head of one’s own, but taking Christ as Head in all things…
I will mention once again that there was some question about the identity of Yahshua in John’s account. Peter did not recognize it was the Lord until John told him. I believe this speaks prophetically to the truth that many will question that which will come to the church in days ahead. Some will observe the Lord with fish laid in the coals and will not immediately recognize that it is Him. Many will question whether the Lord could actually be the One who is subjecting His people to the fiery trials that are quickly coming upon the earth.
Saints, I believe that in the days ahead, many of those who fall away will deny that it is Christ who is leading His people to endure fiery trials. Those who are not willing to suffer for Christ will seek to cover their own disobedience by denying that Yahshua is the One who is leading His people to embrace such things. Most Christians today are unwilling to surrender their heads (self-rule and self-direction), and will therefore deny such to be the will of God.
John, in writing the Revelation of Yahshua testifies that losing one’s head is very necessary if one is to walk as an overcomer.
And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Yahshua and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
Revelation is a book of parables. Being beheaded is symbolic of giving up the rule of one’s own life to follow Christ wherever He would lead. From the context of this passage we can see that Christ will lead His elect to suffer many things, yet they will receive thrones and will obtain to the resurrection from the dead to reign with Christ.
There is a Joseph Company who are called to encourage the saints of God, instructing them in the ways of the King of Kings.
Psalms 105:17, 21-22
He sent a man before them, Joseph, who was sold as a slave… He made him lord of his house, and ruler over all his possessions, to imprison his princes at will, that he might teach his elders wisdom.
Do you discern the parable of these words? Joseph became a slave, having no freedom of choice. He was straitened in all his works. He could only do what he was commanded. Pharaoh then appointed Joseph to “imprison His princes” and to “teach His elders wisdom.” All those who would rule and reign with Christ must enter into this experience of imprisonment.
The physical experience of imprisonment I just passed through is a type and shadow of the spiritual experience that God must lead all His sons into. In prison you must eat when they say eat. You have no choice in what you eat. You take a break when you are told. You shower at the time appointed. You sleep when told to sleep. You have no rule over your circumstances, but must accept the restrictions placed upon you. So must all the overcomers in Christ, the princes (rulers) and elders (firstborn), learn to come to an end of all initiative that they might do only the will of the Father.
If you are able to receive this message, and to understand that there is an afflicted path that all overcomers must walk, then I encourage you to pray about attending, or hosting, a teaching series in your area. The Father would have me to share things with His people to help them through these coming days. There is a fiery experience ahead of the people of God, yet it will not be worthy to be compared to the glory to be revealed in God’s people who pass through this season.
Remember Joseph! When his promotion came, he forgot all the pain that preceded it. He named his firstborn Manasseh.
And Joseph named the first-born Manasseh , “For,” he said, “God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.”
So too will all those who embrace the way of the cross forget all their troubles when the hour of their reward arrives.
If you are interested in attending meetings in your area, or are able to host a small group, please contact me. I anticipate it will yet be a few weeks before I begin this teaching tour, and I am tentatively planning on doing a three day series of teachings in each area, consisting of Friday evening and Saturday and Sunday. There are many things the Father desires to impart to His elect at this time.
Final note: The previous blog, the first of 2010, and the one in which I announced that God was sending me back out across the country, received an unusual testimony of the Father of His will in this matter. I spent a couple hours writing it, losing track of the time, and posted it as soon as it was ready. Later the Spirit prompted me to go back and check the time it was posted. Here is what I saw:
It was posted at exactly 1:53:00. I could not have executed such a precise time had I tried. When a number is raised to the level of the hundreds (00 on the end) it speaks of things on a national level. God is testifying that the hour is at hand to go forth to the remnant in this nation and to prepare them to stand in the days ahead.
I am not adequate for such things, but He who called is faithful. He will perform it.
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Montezuma, GA 31063