Stepping on a Hornet’s Nest

by | Sep 9, 2008

Joseph Herrin (09-09-08)

Note: Before I begin, let me mention that a second video presentation is now available for viewing on the Internet. It will be available soon on the Heart4God website, and can now be viewed on Google Video. This video is on the topic of PARABLES, and I encourage you to share it with others whom you sense the Spirit of Christ to be leading to a place of greater truth and obedience in Him. Please also take the time to rate the video and share your comments that others might be encouraged to view the same.

I have taken the suggestions garnered from the first video and have incorporated them into the creation of this one. I have changed the Scripture texts to black letters on a white background, and have increased the size of the letters slightly (I can only make them a certain size without it becoming unworkable on a small screen). The video can be viewed here:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-795845249233822786&hl=en

The recent blog Sarah Palin – Champion of Christianity? stirred up much response. I am reminded that one best not enter into realms of spiritual warfare without first putting on their armor. It also is needful to come loaded with fruit; love, patience, longsuffering, self-control, peace, etc..

I want to share with you some correspondence, for I believe that it will prove very instructional for others who may have similar questions, or for those who are merely interested in knowing how the church of Christ responds to such things. In certain places I have chosen to remove people’s names as it is not my intent to embarrass, but simply to instruct.

Dear Joseph,
I sent your writing re:Sarah Palin to a fairly trusted friend in the US. He is a lawyer and the following is his response. I am not happy with his reply at all, rather judgemental towards you and he does not even know you.

Please reply OK?
Thanks, M.

Following is the lawyer’s letter.

Hi M.

One of the principles we learned at World Map camps was that “Truth is in tension”. That is to say, you can find scripture that apparently takes opposite positions on a matter – so what is the truth? Satan quoted scripture to Jesus during His temptation, but then Jesus responded with other scripture which countered the earlier scripture quoted by Satan.

It is only by the Spirit of God that we can know the proper tension, so that the scripture that God intends to govern, applies.

First off, thank God for Sarah Palin. She is indeed a Christian and made the proper choice in regarding not aborting her Down syndrome child. She has also performed magnificently in cleaning up political corruption in Wasilla City and the State of Alaska. Men had their turn at leadership in Alaska and failed miserably, so God chose a woman to do the job. This brings to mind the situation in Israel when Deborah was used to deliver Israel out of the hand of the enemy when the men were too wimpy to fight. Jael is another champion warrior who killed Sissera (sic) with a hammer and tent spike. God bless those women.

And as for her not being under the covering of her husband; what if her husband agrees that this is of the Lord and her husband advises her to go for it? Well, she is not in rebellion to anyone.

In my view most of these self-styled prophets and teachers are too full of themselves rather than the Holy Ghost.

Os Hillman writes a good piece and he quotes scripture but the question that arises, is it in proper tension? I think not.

He addresses our heavenly Father with the name Yahweh. That may or may not be His name but Jesus never addressed his heavenly father with such name. It is recorded in John 17:26 And I have declared unto them thy name, yet nowhere in Scripture does Jesus ever use the name Yahweh, or Jehovah or any other name as such for his heavenly father. Rather, in every case where Jesus references our father in heaven it is as father. When his disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray he opened the prayer with Our father which art in heaven .. Scripture records whereby we cry abba father.

I never in all my life addressed my earthly father by any of his given names. Strangers called him Bob or Robert or Mr. Henry, but we children always called him dad or daddy. Only God’s children have the honor and right to address him as father. Why in the world would I not favor that relationship of intimacy? In my view it is disrespectful to use any name at all.

Also, God gave Jesus a name that was above every name, both in heaven and earth, that at the name of Jesus every knee would bow and every tongue would swear, etc. Additionally, the apostle Paul writes whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of Jesus!

I find also among those who use the name of Yahweh, a strange inclination to not use the name of Jesus or to make only the briefest reference to that name. Yet, when the disciples were dragged before the High Priests, they were forbidden to speak any more in the name of Jesus. Apparently the devil knows more about what name to fear than do many present day ‘prophets’.

Blessings to you, M., P.

Dear M.,

You invited me to respond to P.’s correspondence to you, so here is my reply. I will try to address the various points of objection he has raised. First is his assertion that all truth is in tension. P. appears to understand this to mean that principles of the Kingdom of God are applied differently depending upon the situation. In some instances a particular truth from Scripture may find application, and at another time it will not. He then asks, “so what is truth?”

This reminds me of Pilate’s question to Yahshua (Jesus, if P. is more comfortable with this name.)

John 18:37-38
Pilate therefore said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?

A good answer would be that truth is all that is in harmony with God the Father. The Son of God was in perfect harmony with the Father and He declared, “I am the way, THE TRUTH, and the life.” Truth is conformity to the will and person of God.

Jesus fully manifested (explained, revealed) the Father. There was nothing out of harmony between the Father, either in character or action, in the life of the Son. He said, “I never do anything of My own initiative. I only do the will of the Father.” Therefore the Son was walking in truth. He was perfectly aligned in thought and action with the Father.

Whenever we rightly comprehend the thought of God the Father then we have comprehended truth. When we are walking in the will of the Father, then we are walking in truth. I hope this will serve as an adequate definition of truth.

We see then that truth can be defined in relationship to the Father. How do we define it in relationship to our lives? When we have discerned God’s judgment upon a specific situation, or have comprehended correctly His will for word or action in a matter, then we have arrived at truth. John said,

I John 2:4
The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him…

We see then that truth IN US requires obedience to God’s commands. If we are not walking in God’s commands, we are not walking in truth. How then do we know God’s commands? We know them by His Spirit.

I John 5:7
And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is the truth.

The apostle Paul explains this in greater depth.

I Corinthians 2:10-13
For the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man, which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.

We see then that the Spirit of God knows the thoughts of God and He communicates them to us. The Spirit is the source of truth for He alone knows the thoughts of the Father. The Spirit knows the counsel of God for every circumstance and situation, and He discloses the mind of God to us, and in this way we know truth.

In what way does the Spirit reveal truth? He reveals it through direct communication with the spirit of man. Paul stated this plainly in the passage above. In Romans 8:14 he also states, “All those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.” Christ said, “My sheep hear My voice and they will not follow another.” So we can hear the voice of the Spirit, who is also called the Spirit of Christ. But this is not the only way the Spirit makes truth known. He has also inspired holy men to write the Scriptures, and truth is made known to us through them.

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

The word “inspired” is a translation of the Greek word “theopneustos” which literally means “God breathed.” The Spirit is portrayed as the breath of God throughout Scripture, and He “inspired” men to write down the mind of God to reveal truth to the church.

The Spirit also inspires men to speak forth the mind of God. This is manifested in prophecy, words of wisdom, words of knowledge, and anointed teaching. The Spirit is the common denominator in all of these things, for as John declared, “the Spirit is truth.”

P. mentions the circumstance of Satan quoting Scripture to Jesus as an example of what he calls “truth in tension.” What actually occurred is that Jesus discerned the mind of the Father in each temptation, and chose to align Himself with that which was revealed to Him by the Spirit. Satan did not perceive the mind of the Father, for he was not in communion with the Holy Spirit. His thoughts and choice of Scriptures arose from within himself. He was led by his own counsel.

As Christians we are constantly faced with this same dilemma. We can wait upon the Father to know His will in a matter, or we can be led by our own soul. The soul of man also suggests a way that seems right, but the end thereof is death. We must die to the practice of looking within our soul to discern right and wrong, to choose the path before us, and look only to the Spirit of God. This is what the apostle Paul refers to as “entering into God’s rest” (Hebrews 3 and 4). He declares, “He who has entered God’s rest has ceased from his own works.” That is to say, the man who is at rest with God is no longer operating out of his own soul, but is being Spirit directed in all things. This is why the apostle ends this passage with the declaration,

Hebrews 4:12-13
For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.

The word of God is able to divide between soul and spirit. We must divide between them if we are to cease operating out of our soul and begin living according to the leading of the Spirit of God in all things. What is the “word of God” being spoken of here? It is not merely the Scriptures as some assume. If we examine the passage above, we can see that the following phrases refer to the same entity.

For the word of God is living and active… piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit… able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart… and there is no creature hidden from His sight…

So the word is actually a member of the godhead, for this description fits no other. It really would have little difference whether we identify the member as the Father, the Son, or the Holy Spirit, for all share the same mind and are in perfect agreement with one another. However, John in his gospel specifically identifies the Son of God as “The word made flesh,” and Christ told His disciples He would send His Spirit to them to teach them all things and lead them into all TRUTH.

Truth then is never ambivalent. God is not double-minded. He has a specific will in every situation. It is placed upon the people of God to discern the will of God for their lives in every situation. We are to be conformed to the image of Christ, therefore it is the Father’s will that we would come to the place where we would declare as Christ, “I never do anything of My own initiative. I live to do the will of the Father.” Paul revealed this to be our calling when in Galatians 2:20 he stated, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me…” In essence he was saying, I am no longer living out of my soul, but the Spirit of Christ is directing every action and word.

In my writing pertaining to Sarah Palin, I stated that I believed she was a child of God, but she was not being led by the Spirit of Christ in all things. I think it would be accurate to say that being led of the Spirit in all things is not a thought that has taken hold of her, for it is something unknown to most Christians today. Most are operating out of their soul, and they are in danger of failing to enter into the Sabbath rest of God (Hebrews 4:1).

Most Christians today are being led of their own soul in the majority of their life decisions. They look within their soul to determine what the good path is that they want to follow. Many do not even perceive the need to divide between soul and spirit. Consequently, the majority of their actions and words are not the will of the Father. By this definition, they are not walking in truth.

Matthew 7:21
“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.”

The Lord testifies that “many” will come to Him on the day of judgment thinking they were doing His will, and He will declare them lawless ones. They were lawless for they were not doing the Father’s will, but were being led of their own soul in their activities. It is also evident from this same passage that these ones will be surprised, thinking that they were pleasing to Christ when they were in fact displeasing. Is this not the situation among Christians today? Many are doing their own will, not submitting to the will of the Father.

It should also be noted that these rejected ones were doing things that had the appearance of good works.

Matthew 7:22-23
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.’

We see then that we cannot judge a person’s actions by an appearance of righteousness. We must discern the will of the Father, and He makes known His will by the Spirit of Truth. The Spirit leads through direct intercourse with the spirit of regenerated man, as well as through the inspired Scriptures, and through anointed ministers and Christians.

There are many things that are universal in application among the body of Christ. We need not receive a personal word on many things, for the mind of the Father is revealed to us through His word. For example, we read,

I Corinthians 6:15-18
Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? May it never be! Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a harlot is one body with her? For He says, “The two will become one flesh.” But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him. Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body.

This is an universal truth. It is always against the will of the Father for a man to join himself to a prostitute to engage in immorality. All men are to flee immorality. A person should not require a direct word from the Spirit on this, for the Spirit has spoken to us through the word of God. There is no truth in tension here.

The government of God is also an universal principle. We are told the basis for this government, and it is never a cultural matter. It is never different at one time than another. The government of God was established by God’s own counsel before the creation was formed. It is summed up succinctly in the following words.

I Corinthians 11:2-3
Now I praise you because you remember me in everything, and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them to you. But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of woman, and God is the head of Christ.

As I shared in the writing on Sarah Palin, this was established at the creation, and the apostle always hearkens back to the creation when speaking of this matter.

I Corinthians 11:8-9
For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man; for indeed man was not created for the woman’s sake, but woman for the man’s sake.

The Spirit of Christ inspired the apostle Paul to write these words of instruction to the church. Peter refers to Paul’s writings as scriptures (II Peter 3:15-16). If you want to know what truth is, this is truth. It is the mind of the Father revealed through the Spirit of Christ to apostles to instruct the churches. These are given as universal truths. They never change. Man is always head of woman in the government of God.

Based upon this universal truth the apostle proceeds to give various applications which are also universal.

I Timothy 2:12
But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man…

A woman ruling over a man is an unseemly thing. It goes against the perfect will of God. Does God allow it to happen, even cause it to happen? Yes He does. He will set women as rulers over men as an act of judgment for the sin of the people. God will use the disobedience of people to serve His purposes and bring about good in the end. We read of this happening in the life of Joseph and Jesus.

Genesis 50:20
And as for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.

Acts 2:23
This Man, delivered up by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.

In both cases we see evil men being granted authority to perform an act of disobedience, but God used the disobedience to bring about a positive end. Will He commend the disobedience of man because it brought about a positive end? He will not. “Do not be deceived, he who practices righteousness is righteous.”

I will not deny that God may be raising up Sarah Palin to a place of authority in this nation. Neither will I deny that it will produce some good in the end. Yet the very fact that she is ruling over men is a transgression against the governmental order of the Father. She is not walking in truth in this matter, but God can, and does, use the disobedience of His children to bring forth good in the end.

This is my answer to P.’s “truth in tension” argument. If he would like an explanation of the usage of divine names, which he has also taken great objection to, he can read the writing “The Usage of Divine Names.” http://www.heart4god.ws/id210.htm

A study of Scripture will reveal that the tetragrammaton, the four Hebrew letters Yodh Heh Wah Heh, occurs in combination 6,828 times in the Old Testament. They were recorded at the inspiration of the Spirit of God, and serve as God’s memorial name for all generations (Exodus 3:15). This name when translated is rendered Yahweh. However, it is the practice of the most popular English Bibles to not translate it, but to use a titular substitute instead, such as “Lord” or “God.” These are not translations of the tetragrammaton, but are substitutes arrived at by the tradition of man, replacing the inspired word of the Holy Spirit.

A shorter version, “Yah,” also occurs another 49 times in the Old Testament, as well as being included in parts of people’s names in hundreds of more instances. For example, Elijah is Eli-Yah, meaning Yah is God. I am sure P. has used this name himself, for whenever he says hallelujah, he is uttering the Hebrew Hallel (Praise) in combination with the name Yah. He is saying “Praise Yah.”

I trust this will answer the objections cited. I am not offended by P.’s accusations. I believe they were carelessly spoken, especially since he has no knowledge of me as a brother in Christ, but love is not easily offended or provoked.

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

Joseph Herrin

Another sister in Christ wrote to me after I posted the writing in Sarah Palin. As I had never received an e-mail from her before posting this writing, I understood her sending me this devotion she had authored to be a reproof for my criticism of Sarah Palin. She wrote:

DEVOTIONAL BY LILLIAN WOLFF

CRABS IN A BUCKET

Someone told me if you put a live crab in a bucket, you must put a lid on the bucket because the crab can climb out. If you put two crabs in the bucket, there is no need to put a lid on it because neither crab will allow the other one to escape. They will latch on to each other and keep pulling each other back down into the bucket.
There is always someone somewhere who will try to pull you down or try to keep you from going higher. If you allow them, they are going to succeed. Our attitude, however, can be a great asset. We need to guard it and defend it, because we are constantly under a siege of negative influences. If not from other folks, we often have a tendency to put ourselves down.

I think there might be some folks who feel that their calling in life is to keep someone else down. They might be in the workplace, in the home, or even in the church. I have sized that up, over the years, and realize that those who indulge in such are actually not feeling very positive about themselves. So in order to make themselves feel good, they must knock down the other person. Wouldn’t it be a better use of time and energy to focus on bringing our lives up to standard and becoming a success and quit interfering with the other person’s progress? Often the “putting down” is due to jealously and jealously is “the green-eyed monster.” We don’t have to be like someone else in order to become successful or important. Just be ourselves. God has made each one of us unique and there is not another one like us in the whole universe.
To be successful at anything, it takes time and effort. Some people can always come up with a reason why your idea won’t work. There sure are a lot of crabs on this planet, spreading infectious defeatism. And some of them are grumpy, too. They are called “dream killers.”

God’s Word says that we can “be more than conquerors”. And it gives credence to that when the Word plainly tells us, I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST JESUS WHO STRENGTHENS ME!

There was a childhood story that I used to read to my children about a LITTLE TRAIN. It pulled loads and climbed mountains because all the time it was saying, I THINK I CAN; I THINK I CAN. If we are going to succeed, it is going to start with positive faith and attitude, coupled with hard work and determination. It will help if we don’t allow anyone or anything to pull us down. Ignore the crabs; pull away from them. We need to press ahead, always climbing higher. Get out of the bucket! It may not be easy, but if you strive you will NEVER SHARE THE FATE OF THOSE WHO NEVER TRIED!

Dear Sister,

There is a focus in this devotion on achieving success, and having a positive attitude in striving after that success. This is very much the heart and attitude of a fallen world as well as an apostate church. A person could use this devotion to justify any pursuit in life that their soul envisions. Perhaps the person wants to be successful in business, or in politics, or some other realm of life, but God has other plans for their life. It is true that they might be able to gain what their heart desires, but if they have not attained to the will of God then their success is really no success at all.

Psalms 106:13-15
They soon forgat his works; they waited not for his counsel: But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert. And He gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.

Men and women today have many desires and passions that arise from the soul and flesh of man. Some might characterize the one who counsels them to die to self to live for the purposes of God, making themselves a bondservant of Christ, as pulling other people down. Yet in truth they are seeking to deliver their soul from judgment. We are called to cease from our own works that we might work the works of God. This ALWAYS involves a cross. We must die to our desires and will to live for the will of another.

There are multitudes of Christians in this world who are choosing their own way. They appear to be achieving success in the world, and those who judge things carnally would decry the one who would counsel the person to abandon the path of worldly success to seek conformity to the will of the Father.

We must judge with righteous judgment. There is a way that seems right to a man, but the end thereof is death.

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

Joseph Herrin

The next correspondence is with a Christian brother who lives in Israel and has a website and newsletter. As he serves as a teacher to the body of Christ I am very frank with him, knowing that teaching error will incur strict judgment from God.

shalom, S. –

Well, as one of my friends said – it is certainly in the Book.

I am in discussion with Joseph Herron (sic) on this very subject (which I can appreciate this question may have had its roots from his writing). 1Corinthians 14:20-33 says to “Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge. But if anything is revealed to another who sits by, let the first keep silent. So you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged. And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.” It is important that we listen to others in the Body and give them the opportunity to speak to be able to come to an understanding of Truth for we all “prophesy in part as we know in part.” 1Corinthians 13:9. So, I appreciate the points he is expounding because it is challenging me to dive deeper into the Holy Spirit that I might grasp firmly what is Truth.

The question I would ask you is what does, “…for she is one and the same with her whose head is shaved…” mean from the verse you quoted below?

Since coming to live in Israel, I have discovered that we who live in the West tend to identify with scripture according to a “Greek mind set” not appreciating that these words in this Book were written from a “Hebrew” way of a thought process formulated over thousands of years. For the first 70 years or so after the Resurrection, believers were mostly Jewish and were considered a sect of Judaism. All of what we call the “New Testament” in the west was actually written by these Jews, born and raised, taught and educated in a completely different culture with a completely different point of gravity from which to view the world. On top of that, it was the Torah that was at the center of what comprised their identity. Yeshua was Jewish.

When we read scripture, we think it to mean one thing – when, oftentimes from their mindset, it was written to mean something else entirely. When I read that snippet of the verse above before coming and living among these people, I did as others do (I am sure because I have never heard anyone else address it) and would just pass over it, because I didn’t have any point of reference to what it actually meant. Having lived among them for awhile now, I can appreciate it more with the knowledge that there is a tradition within certain sects of the Jewish ultra orthodox where women here actually “shave their heads.” They wear the scarves over their head to “cover” it. It is not something that is spoken of much outside their particular groups, so most of the world doesn’t know about it.

What does all that mean? I will be the first to admit – I am not sure. I have some thoughts about it, and I am becoming aware that the practice of head shaving among these women has its roots in much deeper principles than what appears on the surface – but just coming to realize that my knowledge of this scripture, set against a backdrop of a whole culture of people I knew little of who originated these words, is minimalistic at best and is causing me to not be so dogmatic with what my conception of what scripture appears to be. Not everything can be learned from a concordance and a hebrew lexicon.

Those of us from the West, tout ourselves as “not being under the law” and, yet out of ignorance, actually wind up practicing things in the law because we don’t truly understand who He is (John 17:3). Have you ever wondered why “tithing” is preached so widely today by those who say they do not identify with “the law” when it is clearly a practice originating in and of the Torah, even though it is mentioned in the New Testament? It is embraced because it suits the purposes of those purporting it – to get people to feel guilty enough to give so the guy preaching it can pay his rent. We tend to pick and choose out of scripture what we want to believe because it lends itself to what we want to believe instead of approaching Him to see what He wants us to believe. This practice comes from the teaching that those words on that paper are the “Word of God” when scripture clearly states the Word is Him. Yeshua himself said we search scripture because we think in them we find Life – and it is they that speak of Him (John 5:38-40).

It all comes back to what the Lord has been revealing to me about this “hierarchy of order” that I have been speaking out on lately and find no basis for in scripture. It permeates our whole concept of approach with one another from leadership in the Body to leadership in the marriage. If the marriage relationship is a reflection of the relationship between Christ and the Bride, the Body, my thought is to look first at how that “order” is expressed from Him to me so that I can then be an expression of that order from me outwardly to those in my sphere of influence – not the other way around where, too often, abuses occur because we are not expressing Truth, only what seems to be true.

This whole topic of “order” is what I am addressing in my next article (if you can wait that long ) So, with your indulgence, please allow me a bit more time to dig into this subject a little deeper – it will be soon in coming.

todah rabah (hebrew for ‘thank you very much’),
-h

Dear S. and H.,

I am saddened to read this answer to S.’s question on headcovering. It is a very clear example of failing to rightly divide the word of truth, leading to an overturning of the teachings of the apostles to the church. Let me begin by addressing the following:

Since coming to live in Israel, I have discovered that we who live in the West tend to identify with scripture according to a “Greek mind set” not appreciating that these words in this Book were written from a “Hebrew” way of a thought process formulated over thousands of years. For the first 70 years or so after the Resurrection, believers were mostly Jewish and were considered a sect of Judaism. All of what we call the “New Testament” in the west was actually written by these Jews, born and raised, taught and educated in a completely different culture with a completely different point of gravity from which to view the world. On top of that, it was the Torah that was at the center of what comprised their identity. Yeshua was Jewish.

H., you go on to cite some very obscure practice among orthodox Jews, suggesting that it is this practice Paul was referring unto. Your entire premise is based upon the false notion that Paul was speaking to orthodox Jews. What do the Scriptures tell us?

Romans 11:13
But I am speaking to you who are Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle of Gentiles

I Timothy 2:7
And for this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying) as a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

Acts 18:5-7
But when Silas and Timothy came down from Macedonia, Paul began devoting himself completely to the word, solemnly testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ. And when they resisted and blasphemed, he shook out his garments and said to them, “Your blood be upon your own heads! I am clean. From now on I shall go to the Gentiles.”

The Scripture passage in question is taken from the book of Corinthians. It was written to gentile believers. One can discern this from the practices of the people. Paul chastised the Corinthians for going to the PAGAN temples and having sex with temple prostitutes.

I Corinthians 6:15
Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot?

These were not practicing orthodox Jews. They were people caught up in the Roman society in which they lived. Even among those who were Jews by birth in the time of Paul, it was only a portion who lived in an orthodox manner, even as it is true today. In Israel there are many secular Jews who are not religious at all, and they far outnumber the orthodox Jews. In the time of Christ we read of Hellenistic Jews. These are Jews that were assimilated into Greek culture, which is what the word Hellenistic refers to. It is therefore very improper to suggest that Paul’s writings to Gentile churches are to be understood in light of orthodox Jewish beliefs.

It was the practice of prostitutes in Greek and Roman society to shave their heads. The temple of Aphrodite in Corinth was staffed with a thousand prostitutes who had shaved heads. This was done right out in the open and all of Corinth would have known about it. Why then would one reject the very obvious practice that all Corinth was familiar with in favor of some very obscure practice among orthodox Jews? I am sure there were some Jews living in Corinth, but Corinth was a Roman city, not a Jewish city. Paul’s instructions are to be understood in light of the practices of this Roman city.

H., you continue on to write:

Those of us from the West, tout ourselves as “not being under the law” and, yet out of ignorance, actually wind up practicing things in the law because we don’t truly understand who He is (John 17:3). Have you ever wondered why “tithing” is preached so widely today by those who say they do not identify with “the law” when it is clearly a practice originating in and of the Torah, even though it is mentioned in the New Testament? It is embraced because it suits the purposes of those purporting it – to get people to feel guilty enough to give so the guy preaching it can pay his rent. We tend to pick and choose out of scripture what we want to believe because it lends itself to what we want to believe instead of approaching Him to see what He wants us to believe. This practice comes from the teaching that those words on that paper are the “Word of God” when scripture clearly states the Word is Him. Yeshua himself said we search scripture because we think in them we find Life – and it is they that speak of Him (John 5:38-40).

What you are saying has absolutely no application to the matter at hand. The topic is not tithing, and I do not teach the practice of tithing. The topic is headcovering, and headcovering as a practice for women is nowhere found in the Laws of the Old Testament. This is a New Testament practice written to the church in Paul’s epistle to the Corinthians. You will not find the Law of Moses in the book of Corinthians. Paul was the greatest champion of the doctrine of Christians no longer being under the Law of Moses. The practice of headcovering is revealed to be a custom of the CHURCHES, not of the Jews, and the foundation for it is given as pertaining to the order of creation, not Judaic Law.

I Corinthians 11:2,
Now I praise you because you remember me in everything, and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them TO YOU… But if one is inclined to be contentious, we have no other practice, NOR HAVE THE CHURCHES OF GOD.

I Corinthians 11:7-10
For a man ought not to have his head covered, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man; for indeed man was not created for the woman’s sake, but woman for the man’s sake. THEREFORE the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head…

The word THEREFORE connects the practice of headcovering to the root from which it arises. The Law is not in view here, but the creation order and the purposes of God in creating male and female.

H., the Scriptures declare that not many should be teachers knowing that they will be held to a stricter judgment. The apostle Paul castigates those who are “wanting to be teachers of the Law, even though they do not understand either what they are saying or the matters about which they make confident assertions” (1 Timothy 1:7-8). If we have been given no revelation on a matter from the Spirit of Christ, then we should not attempt to teach on the matter.

I am not seeking to offend you, but I discern from your words here that you have not been given any revelation from the Spirit in this matter, and you will only bring condemnation upon yourself by making confident assertions about a matter you do not understand. Yes, we are to test all teachings. The things I have written concerning headcovering and women’s roles can be tested against the Scriptures. I have myself tested them many times and asked the Lord for a witness of these things, which He has been willing to provide.

I would encourage you to read the book Sarah’s Children, for it was the Spirit of Christ that directed me to write the book in order to lead women who aspired to godliness back to truth and an understanding of Yahweh’s will for them. You can find the book here: http://www.heart4god.ws/id242.htm
May you be blessed with peace and understanding in these days,

Joseph Herrin

Mr. Herrin –
I am sorry, sir, if you were offended. None of my words were pointed in your direction. I had not made up my mind about anything, at least before I received this email. My purpose in sending it to you was merely to let you see that I had not written you off, was prayerfully considering some of the points you made and to let you and S. know that I was needing some more time to pray and consider my response. You have completely twisted my words and intentions into something I was never even contemplating. You have misconstrued what I wrote as, I suppose from your heated response, a personal attack on your teaching which my illustrations were not in any manner deserving of.

You know, sir, I have, so far, not taken any concrete position on this subject, but even if you are completely right – a no holds barred, full frontal assault on my character is no way to prove it. This is a classic example of knowledge presented like Paul describes in 1Corinthians 13, a sounding brass or clanging cymbal. You will probably not understand where I am coming from on this allegory, either.

I am ending our conversation. I wish you well.
-h

Dear H.,

In communicating with others through e-mail there is always the difficulty of not being able to see the other person’s demeanor to properly judge the spirit they are speaking in. When I wrote to you I was not heated in my spirit, nor offended at you. I was concerned in discerning that you were writing things about the matter of headcovering that were incorrect. You say that you had not taken any concrete position, yet you did state that others were in error for looking at this matter from a Greek perspective rather than a Jewish perspective. If you will review your words you will see that this was not stated in a questioning manner, but in a declarative manner.

H., I will tell you that even now I am not heated in my spirit. I am sitting and writing very calmly, and my heart is at peace. At the same time, you have given me even more cause for concern by responding so emotionally to my words and telling me that you are now terminating our conversation. This is not in keeping with the admonitions given to those who would be teachers.

II Timothy 2:24-26
And the Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.

You think I have wronged you. Are you manifesting patience when wronged? In truth, however, I have not wronged you. I know the fear of God and I have sought to impress upon you the seriousness of teaching error to the children of God. If this fear has caused your heart to be momentarily troubled, then I do not consider this to be a bad thing. We must be shaken at times in order to learn to walk carefully before Yahweh. It would be a much worse thing if you had no impression of the seriousness of the words you write to others.

You said you sent me the writing to reveal that you had not written me off. I had never considered writing you off, and still have not. I pray that you might reconsider you decision to do so now.

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

Joseph Herrin

I received a final letter from H. He begins by quoting the following statement from my e-mail. “I was concerned in discerning that you were writing things about the matter of headcovering that were incorrect.”

You have misread me from the first email, continuing to correct me in each subsequent email leading to this mis-discernment and in which you again accuse me of emotionalism. “you have given me even more cause for concern by responding so emotionally”

As stated, I have not taken up ANY position concerning headcovering. I am terminating our conversation because I do not care to become embroiled any further in a dissention (sic) over doctrine, which, as discussed, you contend is the source of our unity and I do not.

Back where I come from, what you are doing is known as “bible whacking”. Somebody has a different take on what you are “sure” the Holy Spirit has said to you. So, when they are not easily convinced, you pick up the scriptures and pound them into submission – not comprehending that, by that very act, you are revealing your heart.

Again, S., I apologize for getting you into this mess.
Joseph, if you have to have the last word, you can write it – but I am not responding any further.
-h

Note: I did not send a further reply. I will share what I wrote to him in an earlier communication pertaining to doctrinal unity, as he was advocating simply loving one another and not concerning oneself with doctrinal agreement.

Dear H.,

You have manifested a great deal of patience and humility thus far in our communication, and I truly appreciate this in you. I want to assure you again that I am not in any way offended by the things you have shared. As a minister who teaches doctrine constantly I have had thousands of conversations with people over beliefs where not all saw eye to eye. If all were in agreement already then there would be no need to teach doctrine. It is how we deal with differences that is important.

Let me share something that I perceive here. You wrote:

It appears obvious that we are apart on this issue and I don’t wish to allow the enemy a place to divide us over doctrine.

I would suggest to you that the enemy CANNOT divide us over doctrine. Division and unity are not in his hands, but in ours as we walk with Christ. We can choose to “put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.” I choose to walk in love with you, and even if we disagree I see no reason for love to be offended. Yet love will press on to doctrinal unity.

One deceit of the enemy is that we have a choice to either pursue doctrinal unity, or the unity of love. Doctrine and love are not contrary to one another, nor do we need to sacrifice one to maintain the other. Both flow from the same God, and are revealed by the same Spirit. There is a tendency in this hour to place doctrine on a lower plane than fellowship. This is seen in the movement to unify all religious factions and denominations. People are urged to compromise their beliefs in order to attain fellowship. Such a compromise is unnecessary and unwise. We should never compromise our beliefs, but should be led of the Spirit to know when to press forward on a particular matter in “reproving, refuting and exhorting,” and when to let a matter lie.

I believe the Lord ordered our steps to have this conversation. It actually began when you sent me your newsletter and in it you made comments about Sarah Palin. As this topic of Christians being involved in politics and the differences between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of this world had been upon my heart, I was led to write to you about what you had shared.

Doctrine is very important. What we believe bears fruit in our lives. Our emotions are often moved by what we believe, whether our beliefs be right or wrong. For example, if I believe that Easter is a Christian holy day which honors the Son of God, then I may be moved emotionally in a positive way when I see a family dressed up in their finery, the girls wearing Easter bonnets and the boys carrying Easter baskets, to go to a sunrise service at their church. On the other hand, if I know that Easter is the name of a pagan goddess of fertility, and that Easter is held in honor of this goddess; if I understand that Easter eggs, bonnets with flowers, and baskets of grass and bunny rabbits are all symbols of fertility, and if I understand that this goddess was worshiped at sunrise for her son Tammuz was a solar deity, then I might be moved emotionally with revulsion at the sight of people going off to church arrayed with such pagan trappings.

I believe the same principle is in application when one person can watch Sarah Palin give a speech and be moved to tears, and another can watch the same and be grieved. Are not our emotions and our responses impacted greatly by what we believe? If you see her as a champion of Christianity then you would normally be moved to see her given an opportunity to embrace such a high role where she may impact the lives of so many. On the other hand, if I see a woman who has abandoned her creation role to pursue a career driven by personal ambition and who is usurping authority over men, then my emotions would be quite different.

Would it not be beneficial for both of us to see things from God’s perspective? Should we not strive to know His thoughts and His judgment on the matter? I would answer with an emphatic, “Yes!” How do we know His thoughts? He has given us the Spirit and the Word in order that we might know them.

I Timothy 4:6
In pointing out these things to the brethren, you will be a good servant of Christ Yahshua, constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following.

I Timothy 6:3-4
If anyone advocates a different doctrine, and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Yahshua Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, he is conceited and understands nothing…

II Timothy 4:3-4
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires; and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths.

There are many Scriptures that speak of the importance of having a right doctrine. The chief reason doctrine is disagreed upon is that people’s own desires influence them, and some reject doctrines, or create false ones, in accordance with their desires. Brother H., I perceive that many women in the church have departed from sound doctrine concerning the will of God for their lives because they have contrary desires. This turning away has become so prevalent that it is now the orthodoxy of the day. Women have abandoned the role of a worker at home, of a full-time wife and mother, and have pursued a life in the world to satisfy their own desires.

It was Yahweh who directed me to write the book Sarah’s Children. It is the cry of His heart for women to accept the high calling God has given to them, which Satan has convinced them to be a low calling. Because God has revealed His heart to me, and I have been teaching it for many years, I am sensitive to situations where I see a woman has departed from the will of God. Others who have not come to see the heart of the Father in the same way respond very differently.

I sense that you believe that Christian women choosing careers outside of the home is a minor matter in the eyes of God, yet I perceive His heart to be very different. If we saw things the same way then we would both be in agreement and I believe this agreement to be a highly desirable thing. I would invite you to read the book I have mentioned to see what the Father has revealed regarding His desire for His daughters. If you choose not to do so, my love for you as a brother will not be affected at all, but there will be this difference between us where there could be unity. Where we could be laboring together for a common goal of seeing the desire of the Father fulfilled in this particular matter, we will find ourselves working at cross purposes, and this is a grief.

It may be that even if you read the book that you may still see things differently, not being fully persuaded of those things of which I am persuaded. Yet if we both remain humble and press on to love, I do not doubt that the Spirit of Christ will eventually bring us to both a unity of love and doctrine.

I will provide you a link to the writing here: http://www.heart4god.ws/id242.htm
If you choose to read the book, I think you will find some things in it which will provoke much thought, things which the church seldom considers today.

In any regard, you are my brother, and I wish you peace and understanding in these days,

Joseph Herrin

This last correspondence I will share was written in an excellent spirit by a sister in Christ who objected to the teaching of the apostles concerning women’s roles, though she identifies her objection to my teaching, which is not mine, but the apostles, and not theirs, but Christ’s.

Mr. Herrin,

Just want you to know that I have read many of your articles and they have been a blessing to me. In the area of the process of coming into a complete dependency upon the Lord for healing, provision, protection, etc. etc., I have had my own walk, but your testimony helped strengthen and settle me. So please accept my respect and gratitude.

However, there is one area that I do not feel you have the “mind” of the Spirit on, and that is on women. I know you have taught on order and government and the wearing of head coverings and most of it is good. But as a woman, when I read your teachings on this, I do not feel the liberty to be “led” of the Spirit. I admit I do not understand all that Paul taught, but I do believe the marriage between the husband and wife and the marriage between Jesus and the church are separate and to be viewed as such. The husband is indeed the head of the woman (wife). Jesus is the head of the church. The woman is under the headship of Jesus in the church. She is to submit unto Jesus and do all things as unto the Lord. She even uses a head covering when she prophesies or prays because it is what the Lord wants her to do to show she is in order and respects her husband and his God given authority in the marriage relationship. This is done with a humble and submissive spirit as unto the Lord, not because man or her husband is demanding it or using scriptures against her.

The Lord took me to 1Cor.11 one day and revealed to me that “every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head.” Well, I do not want to dishonor my head, my husband in marriage or Jesus who is Head of the church, of which I am a part of. So, in my home with just my husband and I the Lord has led me to (out of respect for Him and my husband) to put a covering on my head when I prophesy or pray. My husband greatly appreciates it and I know the Lord is well pleased. When the Lord joins us with other believers I know I will continue to do this and be an example to other women. Paul said “follow me as I follow the Lord” and we are to be examples.

Perhaps women will have more success in teaching other women this–perhaps it goes along with the older women teaching the younger to love their husbands. For me, wearing a head covering when I prophesy or pray in “obedience” to the Lord set me free from rebellion and the spirit of the world. It was a deliverance and because I obeyed the Lord my heart was changed.

Concerning women in leadership, I guess I just believe God can use who he wants. If Deborah and Esther (a queen) weren’t in the old testament maybe I could agree with you, but they are. I believe there have been many women who have laid down their lives, taken up their crosses and followed Jesus to become His disciples, not caring about anything more than serving and pleasing Him. Paul said know no man after the “flesh” and I believe Paul behaved that way with women. Paul’s teachings on women (if a woman prophesies or prays—-“I” let no woman speak in the church) seem to contradict each other, but we must have revelation by the Holy Spirit. We are all the temple of God, His church and if any two gather together He is there and it is church. So, in respect and love, I submit there must be something we are not understanding —-yet!!!!!

If I have misunderstood your teachings, please accept my apology.

For the sake of His Kingdom,
His handmaiden,
S.

Dear S.,

Thank you for writing and sharing your heart with me. I appreciate the humble attitude in which you have written. I know it is difficult to write and express disagreement, but you have communicated your thoughts in a very respectful manner, and I appreciate your courage in doing so.

You have mentioned that you sense a loss of liberty in following the Spirit when it comes to those things I teach pertaining to women and their relationship to men. I think what you are experiencing is a confusion of the Spirit leading women to a place of giving up their personal liberty, and the liberty to follow the Spirit. The Spirit of Christ will lead every man and woman to the cross. The cross is a place we do not want to go. This was manifested in the Lord’s struggle in Gethsemane.

The Spirit will reveal His will for us and it will involve suffering, and the subjugation of our own desires to do the will of the Father. Yahshua wrestled with the cup of suffering being presented to Him, and so will we. He said, “Father, if there be any other way, let this cup pass from Me.” When a woman discovers God’s will for her to die to self and live for the benefit of another, even her husband, to have no head of her own, but to take man as head in all things, she will naturally respond in the same way as Christ. “Father, if there be any other way let this cup pass from me.”

When we go to the cross we surrender all our liberty. Christ submitted to being nailed to the cross, and so must we. What you are sensing is the call of the Spirit to surrender all your liberty in order to take up the cross He has chosen for you. Do not confuse personal liberty with liberty to follow the Spirit. You have complete liberty to follow the Spirit, and this is what I teach. You also have no right to walk in personal liberty. Christ said, “I never do anything of My own initiative. I live to do the will of the Father.”

We must remember that Paul said that God is the Head of Christ, Christ is the Head of man, and man is the head of woman. If Christ said “I live to do the will of the Father,” then man must say, “I live to do the will of Christ,” and woman must say “I live to do the will of my husband, or father.”

The Spirit will lead us to no other conclusion. We see then that in following the Spirit we will be brought to a place of great restriction in our actions. Do you truly want the liberty of being led of the Spirit, or is it simply personal liberty that you want? You must choose.

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

Joseph Herrin

As I close, I will say that I have received some very precious communications from sister’s in Christ who are embracing the will of the Father for women who aspire to godliness. These have written with much appreciation for boldly sharing a despised truth in an hour when it is sorely needed.

Heart4God Website: http://www.heart4god.ws
Parables Blog: http://www.parablesblog.blogspot.com

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

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This is the Blog site of Joseph Herrin. It is a companion to the Heart4God Website. Writings are posted here first, while the Heart4God site contains an archive of all of my books, presentations, concise teachings, audio messages, and other material. All material is available free of charge. Permission is granted to copy, re-post, print, and distribute (free of charge) any of the material on these sites.

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