The Trail of Tears

by | May 23, 2009

Joseph Herrin (05-22-09)

Philippians 1:29-30
For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, experiencing the same conflict which you saw in me, and now hear to be in me.

The Spirit of Yahweh provided a theme for my recent trip across this country where I met with many of the saints of God. If you have been following these writings for a while you are most likely familiar with the prophecy He spoke a word of prophecy through Debbi Rennier, declaring that Acts 14:22 would VERY SOON be fulfilled in my life.

Acts 14:22
Strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying, “Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.”

The very next day after receiving this prophecy the Spirit spoke to me and told me it was His will for me to leave that week to go forth on the road to speak to His scattered remnant. I am now back from seven weeks of traveling in which I covered 8,000 miles and spoke to 12 different groups of saints. At every place I went I exhorted the people of God to prepare their hearts for days of trouble which are very close at hand.

While I was on my trip across the country my attention was drawn repeatedly to the history of the native American Indians. I visited a number of historic sites, such as the location where the battle of the Little Big Horn took place, popularly known as Custer’s last stand. I browsed through a number of native American bookstores where there were a large collection of writings on the tragic treatment of the Indians by the government of the United States. A legacy of broken treaties, false promises, fraud and mistreatment is found in the dealings of the Federal government and the Bureau of Indian Affairs with the Indians of North America.

I passed close to the site of the massacre at Wounded Knee where hundreds of Native American men, women and children were slaughtered by Federal troops.

At one of the Indian bookstores I purchased a booklet on the forced relocation of numerous Indian tribes from the East Coast to reservations out West. One of the most evil chapters in America’s dealing with the Indians came to be known as The Trail of Tears.

The Trail of Tears was the relocation and movement of Native Americans in the United States from their homelands to Indian Territory (present day Oklahoma) in the Western United States. The phrase originated from a description of the removal of the Choctaw Nation in 1831. Many Native Americans suffered from exposure, disease, and starvation while en route to their destinations, and many died, including, for example, 4,000 of the 15,000 relocated Cherokee.

In 1831, the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Muscogee-Creek, and Seminole (sometimes collectively referred to as the Five Civilized Tribes) were living as autonomous nations in what would be called the American Deep South. The process of cultural transformation (proposed by George Washington and Henry Knox) was gaining momentum, especially among the Cherokee and Choctaw. Andrew Jackson was the first U.S. President to implement removal of the Native Americans with the passage of the Indian Removal Act of 1830. In 1831 the Choctaw were the first to be removed, and they became the model for all other removals. After the Choctaw, the Seminole were removed in 1832, the Creek in 1834, then the Chickasaw in 1837, and finally the Cherokee in 1838…

In 1838, the Cherokee Nation was removed from their lands in the Southeastern United States to the Indian Territory (present day Oklahoma) in the Western United States, which resulted in the deaths of approximately 4,000 Cherokees. In the Cherokee language, the event is called Nunna daul Isunyi—“the Trail Where They Cried.”

I sensed that the Spirit of Christ was directing my attention to the history of the Native American’s treatment by the government of the United States and her citizens. Brad Daugherty, with whom I visited in Sheridan, Wyoming, also felt strongly that the Lord would have us visit some Indian sites together. I have been pondering this matter since, and the understanding of what the Spirit is speaking through these things is becoming more abundantly clear.

In pictures that portray the journey of the Indians who experienced these forced relocations it is possible to see a glimpse of that which is coming to America, and in particular to those Christians who remain faithful to Christ.

The Indians left most of their possessions behind. They made long treks in all types of weather, and many perished along the way. Reliable accounts suggest that one fifth to one quarter of the Cherokee Indians who set forth on the journey died before they reached the end.

If the Indian people had foreseen what was coming they could have better prepared themselves for the journey and their suffering could have been lessened. Yet, many of the Indians from the Cherokee and other tribes were waiting until the last minute to do anything, for they hoped that the United States government would protect them and safeguard their rights to remain on land that was given to them by treaty and declared to be a part of their own sovereign nation. This hope in the government proved to be misplaced and very costly.

I was contemplating writing this article I was driving down the Interstate here in Middle Georgia and the Spirit quickened my understanding when I saw a travel trailer going along in the same direction that I was traveling (Please note the parable in what I just stated.) Below is a picture of what I saw.

It was raining at the time, and I took this picture as I was driving. The rain on the windshield reminds me of the Trail of Tears, and the travel trailer being towed has the name Cherokee on the back of it. Yahweh orders our steps, and I have no doubt that He showed me this to impress upon me a message.

As I mentioned, I live in Georgia, and the Cherokee also once lived in Georgia. One of the events that precipitated their mistreatment was the discovery of gold in North Georgia around the town of Dahlonega. Dahlonega is a Cherokee word meaning “yellow money,” or “gold.” I believe it is significant that I saw this travel trailer on a rainy day in Georgia traveling in the same direction that I was going.

The Spirit is testifying that the paths He has led me down in the last ten years will soon become the experience of His people. I have suffered the loss of many things, including family members who have parted ways with me and others who esteem me to be stricken and smitten by God. Worldly possessions have been left behind, and many difficult experiences have been my portion in the last ten years. I truly wandered from place to place, looking constantly to the Father’s provision and care for myself and my family. He was always faithful. He did not spare us from trials and difficulties, but He provided the necessities of life.

Matthew 6:28-32
“And why are you anxious about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory did not clothe himself like one of these. But if God so arrays the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more do so for you, O men of little faith? Do not be anxious then, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘With what shall we clothe ourselves?’ For all these things the Gentiles eagerly seek; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.”

The apostle Paul summed up what our attitude should be regarding those things that are truly necessary in this life.

I Timothy 6:7-8
For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. And if we have food and covering, with these we shall be content.

It was very difficult for members of my family, and others who observed our lives during those years of trial, to arrive at a contentment with what they observed. The church today requires so much more than food and covering, and the experience of my family was not as comfortable as the majority of Christians around us. Much criticism accrued to me for not providing the comforts and luxuries that were so common to others. Yet the Spirit had testified clearly to me that the experiences I was passing through were merely a foretaste of even more difficult days to come which many more of God’s people would have to endure.

At this hour the Spirit is leading many people to get ready for the days ahead. He is leading many to divest themselves of earthly possessions and to live more simply. Many are being directed to purchase travel trailers, motorhomes, or tents in order to have shelter in an hour when a great many will be displaced from their homes, and many will find it necessary to flee the cities. Others are being directed to make other types of preparations.

I am not advocating that all prepare in the same manner. Yet all should be listening intently to the voice of the Spirit and acting quickly upon those things He is communicating to them. I know some who are hesitating. Some have been influenced by the churches they are in fellowship with. There is a business-as-usual attitude among many church leaders and their congregations. Their ears have become dull of hearing, and they are no observing the multitude of signs the Spirit is giving to indicate that which is coming.

Others are hoping that perhaps things will not turn out so bad after all. They are hoping that the government will be both benevolent and powerful and will safeguard their present way of life. Those who are putting their trust in the government will fare no better than the Cherokees. Their failure to discern what is coming will prove very costly, and much suffering that could have been avoided will be their portion.

The Spirit sent me out on this recent trip to declare expressly to His saints that “through many tribulations me must enter the kingdom of God.” These tribulations cannot be avoided. They must be passed through. Those who are wise and spiritually awake will consider and seek the Lord to know how they might prepare.

If you are living life in a business-as-usual manner when the Spirit has been testifying that collapse and chaos and disruption are at the door, will you not suffer for your carelessness? If you are still sitting in front of the television and spending your days in other vain and empty pursuits, will there not be a cost? This is an hour to be pressing into the Father and seeking His mind to know all that we might do to prepare ourselves and others for the tribulation that is so near to us all.

I received a number of testimonies from others as a result of the last blog, and I want to share some of them here. First let me share my own testimony in this regard.

Thursday I had a wiring harness installed on the back of my van so that I could tow a trailer and have working lights on the trailer. I was sensing for some time that the Lord would have me to pull a pop-up tent trailer behind it. This would provide much more room than what is available in my small camper van, and it would be provision for the day when family members will be reunited with me.

As soon as I had gotten the wiring harness installed, I pulled over in the parking lot of a theater to put the panels back on the inside of the rear of the van. I had to remove them to access the lights. I was working on this when my daughter Kristin called. She asked what I was doing, and she then asked me to guess what she had just done. I could not guess, so she told me that she had just purchased a pop-up tent trailer from her boss at work. She got an incredible deal on it, and she told me that she believes when it is fully extended that it is 22 feet in length.

My daughter does not have a car capable of pulling a trailer, and I had just added a wiring harness to my van to enable me to do that very thing. It is very possible that I will be pulling her trailer for her with my van in the days ahead. Following is another testimony that I received.


I just want you to know that your latest blog really impressed me. I have sent it on to many of my email friends…
What really hit me in your blog was the fact that my youngest son (25) and his wife were given a 26 foot travel trailer this past year when we were discussing going camping as a family. It is an older trailer but in good condition. The weird part is that it has been parked in his driveway and has not been used yet. I was starting to think it was a waste to have it, but after reading your blog I now think that there is a plan in all this. My husband and I also have an older small tent trailer parked on the side of our house also. We’ve never used it but who knows what is in store. I have been impressed to purchase many foods and items over the past couple of years also for what is coming.
Your blog made me more determined to be in prayer for my family and what we are to do for what is coming. We certainly are way behind you as far as maturity and pruning of the flesh but I pray that the Lord finds us worthy to enter the wilderness when He says it is time.

Thank you for all your hard work and obedience to the Lord and for your willingness to share and feed us sheep our here in cyberspace.
God bless you, dee dee


Hey Joseph,
Sorry we missed each other. We were unable to make it to Houston. Lord-willing in the future we can meet. 🙂

Your last post was really good. In fact this week we just got a 30 ft trailer to live in as well. We’ve been loading it up and will be leaving to Detroit on Monday to visit some brethren. I know another brother who’s been selling all his stuff and has his house on the market with the intention to by a trailer as well. Seem’s like the Lord is leading many to do the same type of preparations.
In Christ, Sean


Hi Joseph,
Your recent letter reminded me of what the Lord did for the neighbors who were so faithful in helping me care for my parents prior to their death. Note that this was written to some friends in August of 2007.
As many of you know I spent 30 years in the mortgage business until the Lord led me out of it in 2001 and as this mortgage/real estate meltdown continues to snowball I have been filled with praise and thanksgiving that I am no longer caught up in that business.
I have begun to follow the spread of the effects of this and I think they will be widespread and devastating to the people who trust in the things of this world and the work of their hands. But, my purpose for writing this today is to share just one example of how our Father protects those who put their trust in Him.
Most of you know that after the Lord took me out of my business, I spent 2003 and 2004 caring for my parents who were terminally ill. There was a neighbor there who the Lord had provided to my mother who treated her like Ruth cared for Naomi. My mom and dad reached the point that they could no longer drive and my mother, who had seen this coming, had reluctantly tried to identify those that she could ask for help. Ultimately, none of the ones she thought she could count on were any help. However, this woman next door had lived there for 10 years previously and during all that time had never once even met my mother. She sold the home and moved away. Became a widow, then remarried, then she and her new husband became Christians in the Assembly of God, then were led outside the camp, and finally bought the same house she had previously owned next to my parents.
Then, the woman felt led to quit her job. Shortly after doing so, the mother of a friend became terminally ill and she cared for her until she died. Then, after a few months, her own mother became ill with cancer and she cared for her until her departure. A couple months after that her father became ill and she cared for him until he died. So this is the woman who became as a daughter to my mother and she loved both of my parents until they departed in 2004.
Her husband had a very good job as a lineman for the electric company, yet they had begun to consider moving to the Carolina mountains and early this year had sent me an email notifying me that they had sold their house and moved.
This is the background. Today (2007), I was reading some stories illustrating how the real estate market is crashing in the Tampa Bay area and thought of how fortunate these people were to have sold in time and I called her to let her know how she had been blessed. Then, she told me the rest of the story. A couple in the neighborhood had come up to them last year and told them that they liked her house (which they had never been in) and to please call them if they ever wanted to sell. Our neighbor said that she and her husband had decided they wanted to move to the mountains but had been procrastinating because of his good job and the fact that there was limited employment in the mountains. One afternoon early this year she was praying and seeking guidance and as she prayed “Didn’t you see the boat and the helicopter I sent” popped into her mind. (This refers to the joke about the guy standing on the roof of his house in the flood praying to God for deliverance and waving off first a helicopter and then a boat which came, because he was waiting for God.) She believed God was telling her that He had already sent her the answer to her prayer.
She immediately told her husband to call the people that wanted to buy. He wanted to wait until they got back from going out to dinner, but she insisted that he call them right away. He did, they came over and paid him his full asking price with no real estate agent involved.
This part I already knew. But today when I called the neighbor in Carolina to tell her about how the market has deteriorated she told me that the night they called their buyers that they already had an appointment in one hour to buy another house. If the husband had waited until after dinner to call they would have missed the blessing…
This time of trouble is no longer coming. It is here and I don’t think it will be limited to the economy. Glen

This last testimony particularly illustrates the need to act WHEN God says to act, and to not delay. I pray you would have ears to hear what the Spirit is testifying in this hour.

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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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