Joseph Herrin (08-03-2015)
This week’s Inmate Mail
Mankind seems to be born in motion. His life is set on a trajectory from birth that seems to have been predetermined for him. In an increasingly godless society where a message of selfish pursuit is drummed into a person’s head from childhood through media such as television, movies, music, magazines, radio, computer games, the Internet, etc., many men simply go with the flow, driven along with the current of society. They seldom stop to consider the end result of the rat race they were thrust into. They think very little, if at all, about the presence of a Creator to whom they will one day have to give an account. God is far from their minds, until something happens to interrupt the course of their life. That event may be a serious accident resulting in injury. It may be the unexpected appearance of sickness such as a heart attack, stroke, or cancer. For some men, the event that ultimately causes them to slow down and consider their life, their Creator, and their eternal future is being cast into prison.
Grand Theft Auto Screen Shot
Most of these men were raised in a culture that encourages them to seek personal fulfillment and pleasure. Television, video games, the Internet and other influences filled their minds with thoughts of how to get rich, have sex, get high, or acquire whatever they wanted out of life through unethical means. Boys grow up playing the immensely popular video game Grand Theft Auto where they can role play doing carjackings, raping women, robbing people at gun point, or other immoral and often criminal behavior.
They are inundated with the same influences at school, in the music they listen to, through movies and television (Breaking Bad, Californication, etc.). Immoral behavior is glorified, and the man has his mind filled with thoughts of reaching out and taking whatever he wants. In many cases doing so may be illegal: having sex with an underage boy or girl; getting rich quick through the illegal drug trade; robbing a local business to get money to purchase drugs to get high; etc..
The mindless pursuit of momentary pleasure and selfish desires comes to a screeching halt for many men when they find handcuffs being placed on them and being brought before a judge who sentences them to years in prison. A significant number of men who have requested to receive the Parables Bookshelf Newsletters that the Lord directed me to make available to the prison population are in their twenties or thirties. A significant percentage have life sentences without parole. Others will be in prison for a decade, or longer.
Having been led of the Lord to spend more than three years at an inner city rescue mission, living among, and working with men struggling with drug and alcohol addictions, many of whom were in and out of jail multiple times, I learned that these men are just like any other men. They have dreams and aspirations, though they have often been crushed. They have fears, hurts, and emotional baggage from their past. They think about God, and their future, and in most instances will listen to someone who reveals a sincere interest in their life and welfare. In truth, I found men who were down and out, considered the dregs of society, to be far more approachable than the typical businessman on the street.
Television and the movies present an unbalanced image of life inside prison. Yes, there is violence. There is drug dealing, and gangs who have distribution channels to bring contraband in. There are guards and other prison employees who are on the take, who engage in sex with inmates, who are as evil as the men and women they oversee. But there are also a significant number of men in prisons who attend religious services regularly, read their Bibles, subscribe to receive religious instructional materials, and who talk to other inmates about spiritual matters.
I have found that being thrown in prison does cause a certain percentage of men to finally slow down their mad pursuit of hedonistic pleasure long enough to listen to the voice of conscience and to begin considering weighty matters that they had never taken the time to ponder while they were free. The apostle Paul preached to the men he shared a prison cell with. He found that some had hearts prepared to hear his message. I too am finding a hunger and eagerness for spiritual food among men in prison that is rare to find in open society.
I have chosen a handful of letters that I received this week from men in prison that I would share with you.
The following letter comes from a 23 year old man who is in prison on burglary charges, and aggravated assault with intent to rape. He has been in prison since he was 18 and will not be eligible to see the outside of a prison for another 5 years.
To Joseph Herrin,
I really appreciate the newsletters. They are a real eye opener and makes you think. Very knowledgeable. I would like some more information on the Christian’s reward, the different rewards and how to gain the different rewards, and how each reward is different from the other.
I am locked down 24/7, so I have a lot of free time. If it is not too much trouble, I would like to receive 2, or maybe more newsletters a week. When I first started to receive your newsletters I saved them till I had the whole book first. I thought I would read a few a week, but as I started reading them I couldn’t stop. Now I kind of desperately wait for the one I get each week.
I like your studies a lot cause they feed you, you’re not just reading, but also kinda growing too. I would like, or better yet, I want to become fully dedicated to Christ. Your newsletter definitely helps.
If you will, will you please enlighten me on what the Bible says life will be like in the hereafter, or heaven,
Sincerely, Wendel (last name withheld)
In my response to this young man, I told him that due to the growing number of men receiving newsletters, and the other duties of ministry and life, I am unable to devise a custom mailing schedule for each man who requests to receive material at a quicker pace. However, I can accommodate requests that can be handled immediately and are not continuing. I printed him out the entirety of the book Christ in You – The Hope of Glory which addresses the subject of the believer’s reward in the ages to come, and he will also continue to receive the weekly newsletters.
I can truly empathize with men who are in solitary confinement, and even those who are out in the general prison population. They have so much time to fill. It is like living in a time desert. There are endless minutes stretching before you, and so little that appears of value or worth that to pass the time as one trods the barren landscape. These men are thirsty for spiritual food and the landscape is bereft of oases. They are truly grateful when someone presents them with a cool, refreshing drink of the living waters of life.
This next letter is from a 69 year old man who will not be eligible for parole until the year 2038. He has very little hope of ever seeing the outside of a prison again. He was charged with child molestation in 1998, so he has already spent the past 17 years inside of prison.
Dear Brother Herrin,
I would like to thank you for sending me the Parables Bookshelf. Hopefully I will received series 1.7.3 this week. Sir, I find your studies to be very impressive; very professional!
In one of your earlier Parables you make mention of a publication called: “The Usage of Divine Names.” This sir, I would like to have, if possible? I have no one on the outside who can do this for me (print off Internet material and mail it to him). I, like yourself, use the divine names in prayer, or when I encounter others who know them.
Sir, I would like to thank you for all you’ve done for me and others like me. You are truly a God-send. Again, thanks so much.
Peace and Love,
James (Last name withheld)
This next letter is from a 33 year old man who is serving his second stretch in prison. He served 5 years of a 10 year sentence that began in 2005. In 2010 he was convicted as second time for aggravated assault and sodomy and given a 15 year sentence. He is eligible to be released in 2020.
Hey – How are you doing? I hope this letter finds you in a sound mind and perfect health. This is Jonathan. Thanks for your response letter on the fallen angels and enclosing the book review on Apollyon Rising 2012. Mr. Herrin, I agree Mr. Thomas Horn was off-key. Your book review was good. I liked it, but in reading it I saw that you have written “Yahweh’s Book” and “In the Presence of Evil.” Is there anyway I can receive those two books?
Mr. Herrin, one last thing, could you also put me on the list to receive the book you have on the Sabbath? I don’t know if anyone told you, but your teaching is (being discussed) amongst the incarcerated people, & Mr. Herrin, we appreciate what you do for us behind these walls. I am closing this letter, but never my fellowship with you, and may Yahweh and Yahshua’s blessing be upon you.
Thanks Mr. Herrin,
P.S. Could you say a small prayer for me that Yahshua help me get my life together and live for Him!!
Brothers and sisters, I find myself welling up with emotion at times as I read the requests of these men in prison. A simple heartfelt request for prayer that a man might get his life on track with our Savior causes tears to well up in my eyes. It is an honor to join with a man in such a prayer. It doesn’t matter what a man has done in His past. Yahshua is able to make a new creation out of him. The apostle Paul wrote the following words to the believers in the wicked Roman city of Corinth.
I Corinthians 6:9-11
Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Yahshua Christ, and in the Spirit of our God.
These ones too can be washed, sanctified, and justified in the name of Yahshua.
The final letter I will share in this post is from a 39 year old man who will not be eligible for release until 2023. He was convicted on child molestation charges in 2007, and he will be behind bars for another 8 years of his life.
Dear Mr. Herrin,
I am writing this day for several reasons listed below:
1) I want to thank you, so very much, for ALL of your hard work and writings you’ve sent – and spent your own money to mail to me and, I imagine, so many others! My favorite is the book “Evidence of Things Unseen,” which has your own personal thoughts, experiences, and testimonies of real-life experiences trying to do your best to follow and serve our Lord God Almighty.
2) Now that I have received that book, in its entirety, I want you to please put the “mailings” on HOLD, for now.
3) I know that one or two times in the past, I have written to you, and you not only responded back [as well as started or continued me with the Parables Bookshelf mailings], but you also did in fact take the time, energy, and thought processing necessary to send me an actual personalized (real) letter back! (Rare for prisoners.) My question is this, “Will you/would you consider doing that again?”
4) Some things (beliefs, issues, practices, life dealing w/God) in your book are really hitting a familiar nerve for me. My curiosities about God (longtime), and the way(s) that my Mom lived her very existence for the past 26 or 27 years – til her recent death (5/1/15). For example, she refused to see a doctor – and one was NOT needed, at all.
5) In your book “Evidence of Things Unseen,” I have a few questions about some things, if you can answer, and, of course, if you feel up to it and everything:
a) Do you yourself observe the Sabbath, and which day, if “Yes”? Do you still attend a church?
b) God is Spirit, and God is Holy, so may I ask why (other than “Christian” [tradtional] beliefs) do you preach/publish that there is a separate “Holy Spirit” when God is already an “Holy + Spirit”??
c) Have you yourself ever actually [heard] God’s voice, as some said they have? Or have you only [discerned] His desires?
d) Things happen in life, God allows them, and they simply just happen. How can we possibly know for sure that this happening or that happening is/was a result of God disciplining us?
e) That was TRULY a miracle about your son Josiah, your diabetes, as well as about your daughter. Did God actually [speak] to you before you made those decisions to “trust Him to heal” and forgo all healthcare visits/benefits?
Thanks so much for your time, my brother, and especially your HONESTY in these regards, as I would really HATE to base some of my most important live’s decisions, on any sort of false/falsified, or exaggerated (even a little) information.
I do not judge you either way, in any of the above issues, that is not for me to do.
I will share my reply to this man’s sincere questioning.
Thank you for writing. As you requested, I have suspended the mailing of the Parables Bookshelf Newsletters to you. If at any time you desire to have them restarted, or to receive a specific series within the newsletters, please don’t hesitate to write back and request it. I will include a list at the end of this letter of some of the writings available that you have not yet received.
In your letter you asked a few questions. I will repeat them here and then provide an answer.
Do you observe the Sabbath, and which day, if yes?
I do not observe a Sabbath day where I rest one day a week, or set the day aside for special devotion to God. The reason for this is explained in the third book I sent out in the series of books I have sent to you. That book was titled Sabbath. It explains that the Old Testament contains types and shadows that were intended to lead us to the spiritual substance that is revealed in the New Testament. The full substance of Sabbath rest is revealed by the apostle Paul in the 4th chapter of Hebrews. It is for a man to come to an end of his own works so that he is only doing those things God has commanded him to do. This Sabbath rest is 7 days a week, 365 days a year, whereas the Old Testament type was only 1 day a week.
God is Spirit, and God is Holy, so may I ask why (other than Christian [traditional] belief) do you preach/publish that there is a SEPARATE “Holy Spirit” when God is already a[n] Spirit?
That is an excellent question. You will find enclosed a chapter from the book Foundations which lays out the divine understanding of Yahweh as a Triune God. You will find that the explanation given is NOT something you will hear in traditional belief. Although what I set forth is thoroughly Biblical, the understanding came by way of divine revelation from the Father. The chapter is titled The Only Begotten Son, but it also speaks of the Son’s relationship to the Father and the Holy Spirit.
Have you ever actually [heard] God’s voice, as some say they have? Of have you discerned His desires?
Yahweh is a master communicator and He chooses to speak in many ways. He speaks through dreams and visions. He speaks through prophecy. He speaks through signs and wonders. He speaks by His Spirit as He imparts His thoughts to mankind Spirit to spirit. He at times speaks in an audible voice that others can hear with their natural ears.
I am assuming that it is this latter form of communication that you are specifically asking about. My answer is, “No, I have never heard an audible voice that entered in through my ears.” However, I have heard God speak to me Spirit to spirit in such a clear and profound manner that I clearly discerned every word He spoke as if He were standing next to me talking. This has occurred several times in my life. One example I gave in my book was after the death of my firstborn son when the Father told me He was going to give me a daughter. I was standing in the shower at the time, and I heard every syllable clearly, unmistakably, and rushed out to tell my wife what God has just spoken to me. The best I can describe this is that it was an inner voice. This should not seem strange for the Bible describes man’s body as a temple of the Holy Spirit. The soul and spirit of a man is who he truly is, and Yahweh is able to communicate directly to this “inner man,” bypassing the shell of the flesh.
Things happen in life, God allows them, and they simply just happen. How can we personally know for sure that this happening or that happening is/was a result of God disciplining us?
This is another excellent question. Let me begin by stating that I do not believe anything “just happens” in our lives. The Bible states the following:
For in Him we live and move and have our being…
And He Himself existed before all things, and in Him all things consist (cohere, are held together).
Man’s steps are ordered by the Lord.
What these, and many other Scriptures testify, is that every breath we breathe is given to us by God. The very atoms of our bodies are ordered and hold together by the power and wisdom of Yahweh. Science does not understand why an electron, orbiting the nucleus of an atom at very high speeds, does not fly off into space. The mass of the electron and nucleus are so small, and the relative distances so great, that gravitational attraction, or any other known force cannot explain this phenomenon. Physicists have consequently theorized that another invisible part of the atom must exist which holds the atom together. They have named this atomic component the “gluon” from the word “glue.”
What science has sought to explain by their theory is declared for us by the Bible. In Him (God) all things consist (cohere, are held together). If Yahweh is so present to hold the very atoms of our bodies together, is it not great unbelief to conclude that there is a time when we are ever outside of His presence and influence over our lives? Although there may be an appearance that some things “just happen,” and are not divinely ordered, I believe this is merely appearance. We may not discern the purpose for everything that occurs in our lives, but a lack of discernment should not be taken as evidence that the experience had nothing to do with God.
You are specifically asking about experiences that could be understood as discipline, so I am sure you have in mind those things men would describe as unpleasant experiences. This could be anything from stubbing your toe, or having one’s store goods stolen, to being in a car wreck and left paralyzed. I do not believe any of these things occur outside of Yahweh’s control and will for a man’s life. Yet, this does not mean that all evil experiences are acts of discipline. There are a variety of reasons for suffering. A man may suffer for righteousness sake. God may also bring suffering into a man’s life to give him an opportunity to exercise the fruit of the Spirit. Such an experience is not necessarily corrective, or punishment. Rather, it affords the man an opportunity to grow spiritually as he overcomes adversity through the indwelling Spirit of Christ.
Ultimately, discerning whether an occurrence in our lives is for the sake of discipline is something we must be informed about as we hear from God.
That was TRULY a miracle about your son Josiah, your diabetes, as well as about your daughter. Did God actually [speak] to you before you made those decisions to “trust Him to heal” and forgo ALL healthcare visits/benefits?
Yes, God speaking to me did precede my decision. I would not have had faith to cancel health benefits on my son, myself, and my family, apart from Yahweh speaking to me first to do so. The Bible says “Faith comes by (ek) hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” The Greek word “ek” translated as “by” actually means “out of.” What this Scripture is stating is that faith needs a foundation to arise out of. If God has not spoken to us, then all we have is either hope, or presumption. However, when we have heard God speak something to us, as I did in these experiences, then a foundation is present for faith to arise out of. Because God told me to cancel health benefits on my son Josiah, I could trust that in taking this action that Yahweh would preserve the health of my son.
Following is a list of some further writings in the Parables Bookshelf series.
Series 11 – The Marriage Covenant
Includes a very insightful section on the body as a temple, specifically addressing the female body as a holy temple and the husband as high priest. Even as there could only be one high priest living at any time who could enter into the temple in Jerusalem, so Yahweh has ordained that only one living man should pass beyond the veil (the female hymen) to the holy of holies in the woman’s body.
Series 12 – Living Epistles
This four newsletter series contains life experiences of different men and women who walked with God in faith in extraordinary ways and found God faithful, often doing miraculous things on their behalf.
Series 13 – Laying Down the Law
This series explains the role and duration of the Law as ordained by God. It addresses the contentious issue of the Law’s role in the life of a Christian, and explains why God has now established “a better covenant” founded upon “better promises.” It sets forth the progress from Law to life directed by the Spirit of Christ.
Series 14 – The Way of the Disciple
This book explains that Christ’s invitation to every man is two-fold. There is a gate to be entered into which signifies our belief in the person of Christ and the work of atonement He has accomplished. There is also a Way to be walked. This is an afflicted path, the way of the cross, and it is designed to bring every disciple through experiences which will transform him from a fleshly being to a spiritual creation.
Series 15 – Dragon Flood
This has proven to be one of the most popular series (10 newsletters) among men in prison. It focuses on the history of America from the Founding Fathers to the present day, revealing the Luciferian influence that has guided this nation from its inception, and the vast amount of deceptions that have been carried out against the people. It is an attempt to peel away the deception and allow men and women to discern the world they live in as it really is.
Series 16 – Foundations
This is the longest book I have written (15 newsletters) and it deals with a number of foundational issues in the Bible, such as the chapter I am sending you that sets forth the understanding of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Series 17 – Push Back
This series confronts the homosexual agenda, laying bare the lies that have been used to propagate this lifestyle that Yahweh condemns and which is in truth a “deathstyle,” not a lifestyle.
Thank you again for writing.
May you be blessed with peace and understanding in these days,
As I was writing this blog post the thought came to me that I should share with this man further about the issue of faith and healing, as this seems to be a particular interest of his at this time. I am printing out the additional writing Understanding Faith and Healing to mail to him.
I was up until 12:30 in the morning answering correspondence last night. The photo above shows the packets and letters I wrote to various men in prison. One man also requested that I mail him a paperback dictionary, so it is included in the stack as well. Yahweh is gracious to give me this opportunity to touch the lives of men in prison. I am sincerely grateful for the prayers and financial support of brothers and sisters who are outside the walls of prisons who make it possible for me to devote so much time to this valuable labor.
May you be blessed with peace and understanding in these days.
Heart4God Website: http://www.heart4god.ws
Parables Blog: www.parablesblog.blogspot.com
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