Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Learning the Ropes

Joseph Herrin (04-27-2016)

Did you know that the expression “learning the ropes” originates in the maritime industry? Back in the days of sailing ships with their tall masts and immense spread of canvas, there were ropes everywhere aboard ship. The ropes were used to haul up the sails, and to lower and lash them to the spars affixed to the masts. Ropes were used to secure items both on deck and below deck. Being able to properly handle the ropes and tie a variety of knots was a necessary part of a seaman’s skill set. A new deck hand would be required to “learn the ropes” in order to do his job.

Nowadays we use this expression when referring to learning the basics of a new job or mastering the skills for some endeavor. Recently I have been learning the ropes as I have been seeking to master new software and techniques for creating videos of my books and other writings. At times I have felt like a landlubber who hasn’t gotten his sea legs yet. I seem to be tottering around, unsteady on my feet, as I make halting progress. Progress has been forthcoming through perseverance and Yahweh’s grace, but it hasn’t been achieved without significant trial and error.

Sound Issues

The casual viewer of a video may not realize how much of the sense of professionalism and quality of a video is related to excellent sound. It has been said that people will tolerate poor video as well as the sound is good, but the opposite is not true. Some time back I looked into the details of creating audio books to post on Amazon. One of the requirements that stood out to me is that the threshold of background noise had to be very low. I do not recall the precise decibel limit, but it would almost necessitate a dedicated sound recording room, with sound isolation from external sources, to achieve the levels required.

Since my working and living environment is inside a schoolbus that has been converted to a motorhome, and half the year I rely upon a roof mounted air conditioner for cooling, achieving the level of quiet necessary is difficult. I have done some testing of late, making a number of recordings. I attempted to use two different software programs (Audacity and Reaper) to remove background noise from the recordings. However, the background noise level is so high inside my bus when the air conditioner is running that removing the background noise leaves the voice recording sounding clipped and unnatural, with a sort of metallic tone to it. After several attempts I concluded that I will not be able to obtain good quality audio when the AC is running.

This is not an insurmountable problem, however, for I can do my audio recordings in the early mornings and late evenings (or the middle of the night if I am so inclined) when running the AC is not necessary. Since I live in a rural area, things are generally quiet. I do have to turn off my phone, silence all notifications on my computer, and hope that the dogs will not start barking. I am a morning person. I like getting up early and getting to work. I can be very productive in the mornings when my mind and body are rested, so this appears to be my best solution. During the heat of a Georgia Spring and Summer I normally will not need to turn the air conditioner on until around 9 A.M.. If I begin recording around 5 A.M., this gives me 3-4 hours of recording time, and that is about all the talking I can handle in a day’s time anyway. I can then spend the rest of the day editing the videos and preparing them for posting, as well as attending to my other normal ministry duties such as answering correspondence, creating new writings, and printing newsletters for men in prison.


The photo above shows my recording set-up with my three LED recording lights turned on. The topmost light illumines the green screen behind me and the other two lights illumine me. After my first recording session I discovered that my green screen wasn’t filling up the complete background behind me. Rather than getting a larger green screen made, I simply moved it closer to the back of my chair. I also observed that the single light shining on the green screen didn’t do an adequate job of lighting the entire screen evenly during the early morning hours when the sun had not yet risen. I did not have any issues with green screen lighting during daylight hours for my bus has lots of windows. However, recording when it is still dark outside resulted in an unevenly lit green screen. I had to raise the color tolerance to get the green screen to disappear, but raising the color tolerance too high also causes other things to disappear. I noticed that my beard would start to shimmer as if it were sparkling. It was an interesting effect, but not what I wanted for my video recordings.

Fortunately, I had some other LED lights. They did not have cords attached to them, so I had to wire them up. They are 20 watt flood lights, whereas the single light I had been using was a 10 watt LED lamp. So I now have plenty of illumination on the green screen. I set these lights up on the wings of my desk when recording and put them away when I am done.


About 2 years ago I entertained the idea of beginning video recordings and I purchased a Canon Vixia camcorder for the purpose. I was going to do my recordings in my daughter’s music room, but the inconvenience of recording elsewhere ended up being too much for the amount of recordings I intended to do. Now that I have a large desk and can record in my bus, I altered some of my ideas for recording. I wanted to utilize Camtasia’s Studio software which can capture a computer screen as well as a person recorded on a webcam. Camtasia Studio does not support camcorders, so I could not use my Canon Vixia camera.

I thought to try using the built in webcam on my laptop computer, for it is rated as a high definition (HD) camera. Not all HD webcams are created equally, however. The image was not very sharp, and since the webcam was built into the laptop, it necessitated that I keep the laptop computer pointed at a fixed angle so that it would align with the green screen behind me. About this time a brother in the Lord (thank you Bruce) read my previous post on recording video and he informed me of several excellent webcams that were available and even offered to mail his for me to try so that I could make up my mind. He uses the excellent Logitech 920 HD Pro webcam. It has excellent reviews, but alas, I did some research online and discovered that it did not work well with Camtasia.

Another excellent webcam is the Microsoft LifeCam Studio. This normally retails for about $100, but I found one used in excellent shape for $35. It has the added benefit of having a tripod mount so I do not have to affix it to the top of my laptop. If I move my computer while recording it would cause problems for a camera mounted to it.

The image quality is markedly better with this Microsoft webcam.


Camtasia Screen Shot

I reported in an earlier blog that I had gotten an excellent deal on an older version of Camtasia Studio. I am always on the lookout for the most cost effective way to get something done. I had version 7.0 of Camtasia Studio, but I did not pay close enough attention to the software features. Camtasia did not begin supporting green screen functionality until the release of version 8.1. Version 8.6 is the current version.

I was very much wanting to begin working with the software Sunday so that I could “learn the ropes.” However, not having green screen capability was preventing me. The upgrade was available for $149.00, half the cost of purchasing the full version. This was still a savings as I had paid less than $100 for Camtasia 7.0. However, I had a number of expenses come up recently, including my bi-annual insurance payment on my bus and car. My finances were depleted, so I prayed and asked the Father for grace in this matter. I told Him I would very much like to make progress on learning this software, but I needed the money to be able to purchase the current version.

Since I no longer needed the Canon Vixia camera, I decided to post it on Ebay and asked the Father for a quick sale. It sold in little more than an hour’s time. I was paid instantly via PayPal and able to purchase the Camtasia software, install it, and begin working with it Sunday. I am pleased with the functionality of the software. The green screen effect is extremely simple to implement.

The image above shows the image as captured by the MS LifeCam Studio webcam with the green screen behind me. With a click of the mouse I can make the green disappear.

I have uploaded my first video, part one of The Remnant Bride, to YouTube.

I have also uploaded the entire book The Remnant Bride in FlipBook format to the Heart4God website. Please note that this is a large file of about 10 MB. When downloaded it will appear as an “.exe” file. You may receive some warning messages from your Internet browser when downloading, stating that this type of file may be unsafe and contain viruses. However, it is safe to download this file, as it does not contain any malware. The file is also compressed. It would be a 17 MB file uncompressed. Once you click on the downloaded file initially, you may experience a lag as the file unpacks (decompresses). Then the FlipBook will load.

I would be interested to receive your comments on the video and FlipBook. If I can figure out how to do so, I will upload the FlipBook as an HTML file so it can be viewed online without needing to download a large file.

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

Joseph Herrin

Heart4God Website:    

Parables Blog:    

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

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Is There Fruit?

Joseph Herrin (04-23-2016)

Recently a brother in Christ who has been a generous supporter of the ministry to men in prison, having purchased the printer I use for prisoner newsletters and contributing to the purchase of the Toyota RAV4 that I find myself using for frequent trips to the post office, inquired as to whether I have had any idea of the number of men who are exhibiting good spiritual fruit as a result of the outreach to them. He wrote:

Hey Joseph,

I am happy that the RAV4 and printer have worked so well for your needs. It is encouraging to see how the Father has made provision for you in the work He has called you to do. Do you have any idea how many of the guys that you minister to in prison are turning to the Lord in true repentance and are beginning to walk with Him? It’s good to hear from you.

(Name Withheld)

I responded in the following manner.

Hello Brother,

You asked if I have any idea how many of the guys I minister to in prison are turning to the Lord in true repentance. I have never sought to ascertain numbers, but as you can tell from some of the correspondence I share in the blog posts, there is a definite remnant who are experiencing a work of the Holy Spirit in their lives. I do not take any credit for this, as I believe that in many cases the men have already been under conviction by the Spirit when they encounter my writings and ask to receive the material I send out. Rather, I see what is occurring as the Lord connecting those whom He has prepared to receive truth with the message which is available. In a number of cases I have had men write and say they began praying that God would provide them with truth and something that would help them grow spiritually when they came across my writings. That indicates to me that the Spirit was already present and performing a spiritual work in their lives.

Although one of the first books I send to every man is the writing titled Overcoming Addiction by the Spirit of Christ, which is in actuality a nuts and bolts exposition of the gospel message, I do not see myself primarily being used as an evangelist, but rather as a disciple maker. I also hear from men in prison who do not appear to have much spiritual life in them, but they have asked to receive the Parables Bookshelf Newsletters nonetheless. Whether the word of God is fully received by a good heart, or it falls on soil that is less fertile, I believe Yahweh has a purpose for each one who receives the truth. To some the truth they hear serves to make them accountable to God. I think whether in prison or out of prison, it is always a remnant of men whose hearts are the good soil into which the seed is sown.
May you be blessed with peace and understanding in these days,

Joseph Herrin

Without question, it is the remnant who are showing signs of spiritual fruitfulness in their lives who bring the greatest joy. Such ones are the primary focus of Yahweh’s attention, and they hold a special interest in my heart as well. Yesterday I was blessed to receive in the mail four different letters from men in prison, and each of the letters manifested evidence of spiritual fruit. These letters appear below, giving evidence that when the light shines in the darkness there is potential for fruit to come forth. The first letter is from a young man who has been receiving the Parables Bookshelf Newsletters for a few months now. This is the first time he has written to me other than his initial letter requesting to be placed on the mailing list.

Hello Joseph Herrin,

Hey, I was thinking about you so I chose to just write you, if you don’t mind. I’m Anthony. I’m 19 years old. I’m a black male. I’m 6'-1" and about 130 in weight. On May 19th, 2013, I was arrested for armed robbery. To this very day I regret the events of that crime. I bear shame and guilt for me doing it, and as I receive your parables it makes me look back at it and I really can’t see how I was a person who can even think of doing something like that. But now I got a complete better understanding of my sinful condition. Because of you, Mr. Herrin, I now read the word of God more. I also study your Parables Newsletters.

I would love to be free so I can go to your website and get your books. The name (Heart4God)! ☺ You have convinced me to have a Heart4God. But not just God the Father, but the Son of God as well. When I was free I didn’t know anything about God or His Son. Since I have been in prison, plenty of guys have tried to convert me to be a Muslim or Christian. But I had no hope in religion. Something inside me kept me wondering about God and Jesus, but I thought “I’m not good enough to speak to God,” so I was on and off, and soon quit.

Then I met this guy and we were talking about the secrets of the government and he said he receives these Parables Newsletters that talk about these things. So he gave me your address and I wrote to you. Now that you have been sending me these newsletters I see my faith in Yahweh God and in Yahshua the Christ growing more and more as I study your teachings. Your teachings have opened my eyes to a new life. I walked in darkness but now I can see the light.

Your teachings have given me hope and courage. They touched my inner being and flowed to my heart. They bring tears to my eyes as I read them. What you write is so true, and I know because I can feel it as I read it, it’s so deep. I really want to thank you so much. You have brought me out of the slump I was in. I feel a new person that dwells within me that wants to overcome the old. May Yahweh richly and greatly bless you! And may He allow you to continue spreading the gospel of Christ!

Because more than you may know Mr. Herrin, there are plenty of guys where I’m at that love your newsletters. They are so drawn to them. One of the guys, me and him had a talk today about some of your Parables. He really loves the one about “Dragon Flood.” I like it too, but right now I’m trying to get as much knowledge about Yahshua and the rewards in heaven. He also informed me that you have some books on If you do, I would be sure checking them out.

Right now I’m in the process of going back to court to get my case overturned. The courts violated my rights and didn’t follow proper procedures to convict me. So I don’t know if God is giving me another shot, or not. But I feel like it was meant for me to go to prison. Because if I never came to prison, I wouldn’t never have seen these Parables, which means I would never look to seek after Yahweh’s free gift of salvation. So this was Yahweh’s way for me to find my way back to Him. Even though I hate these experiences, I thank God He led me this way, and if I could take back the experiences I wouldn’t.

So if God blesses me in court by freeing me, I need to pay Him back by carrying out His will and submitting to His obedience, allowing Christ to transform me and work His purposes through me. So I say to you “THANK YOU!” When I get out I am going to look into more of your teachings.

From: A New Believer, Anthony
“I will give you a New Heart and put a
New Spirit in you. I will remove from you
your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” - Ezekiel 36:26

From Darkness to Light! God is Light!

Readers of the Parables Blog may remember a recent post titled The Fearful Inmate. In that post I shared some correspondence with a man named Randy who was very fearful of threats on his life from gang members in prison. He had been stabbed in 2011, and has lived in much fear since. His release date is September 2016. I invited readers to pray for him. Yesterday I received a letter from him which shared the unexpected news that he is to be paroled early. Following is what he wrote to me.

Mr. Herrin,
Hello, Randy here. I received all of the large packet. It had some very good stuff in it and I will read/look over it again. Mr. Herrin, I’d like to tell you what a blessing God has bestowed upon me - a release! The Parole Board sent the Parole Chief in my county to check my home address (my sister’s house) for Parole eligibility and they approved the location. They then (April 16th) said they expected me to be released in 3-5 weeks from April 16th.  Amen! God’s awesome!

I wrote the Parole Board and God moved on my behalf. I try hard daily - But I know I must not get ahead of myself in prison. I haven’t signed any paperwork just yet, plus I may be shipped to another prison tonight. I sure hope not for gangs are out to get me (long story - I will explain when I am released - but God knows I am being honest on my part). You may want to check my prison status before sending the next newsletter to me.

I do realize and know that all good and bad is of God and approved by God, and it’s for His authority to stand and show truth. Will you please keep praying for me that I’ll be led home safe and unharmed. I will write again, I am sure, before I leave prison. I figure I have 3 weeks or so left. When I get home I will stay in touch. Your spiritual guidance has been awesome and so helpful. Thanks! But I’m still struggling with fear and fretting, but God will lead the way. Amen.

May you also be filled with peace and understanding in these last days. Amen.

Your brother in Christ,

(Note: When I checked online, Randy had not been transferred to another prison. Please keep him in your prayers that he would make it home safely and that he would keep his focus on pleasing God after his release.)

The next correspondence needs a bit of background before I share it. Kevin is a 29 year old white male. He committed murder when he was 21 years old and received a life sentence. Kevin wrote to me some months back asking to begin receiving the Parables Bookshelf Newsletters. It was apparent from some of the statements in his initial letter, and in following correspondence, that he is quite deficient in his knowledge of the Bible and his understanding of Yahweh and His kingdom. It struck me as incongruent that Kevin signed his mail, using the title of “Reverend.” When I inquired about this he informed me that one of the Prison ministries he had been receiving material from conferred on him the title of Reverend, and sent him a certificate of ordination. He also informed me that this title was not conferred on him from having completed course work, but rather due to some “spiritual qualification.”

I am more inclined to excuse Kevin for this presumption of calling himself “Reverend” than I am to excuse the behavior of the “ministry” that conferred the title on him. Such ones are what the Bible describes as “evil workers.”

Philippians 3:2
Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision...

Ministries like this are NOT doing the work of the Lord by conferring certificates of ordination upon men in prison, men whose character they do not know. As you might expect, there are a great many fraudulent, deceptive, and apostate ministries and ministers who focus on men in prison. They sow confusion, teach falsehood, and prey upon foolish members of the body of Christ to financially support them as they report on how many men’s lives they are impacting. In the case of this particular ministry, they are likely boasting of the number of men whom they have ordained as ministers. I have discussed this subject a number of times with Kevin, and I will share my correspondence with him below.

Hello Kevin,

In your letter you did not ask any questions, but I thought I would send you a reply after reading what you shared about your being a minister and having received a Doctor of Divinity degree. I noted also that you are signing your name as “Rev. Kevin (last name withheld).”

I am sure you are aware that “Rev.” is an abbreviation for the word “Reverend.” What I am not so sure of is whether you are aware of the meaning of that word. Reverend means “worthy to be revered; entitled to reverence.” The word “revere” means “to show great respect for; regard as worthy of great honor.” Kevin, whenever you sign your name as “Reverend” you are announcing to people that you are worthy of great honor, and people should show great respect to you.” To use such a title before your name is not in keeping with the will of God. The Bible states the following.

Proverbs 27:2
Let another praise you, and not your own mouth;
A stranger, and not your own lips.

When you place the word “Reverend” before your own name you are praising yourself to others. You are announcing to people that you are someone they should worship. When you do this you do not please God, for He shows favor to those who are humble, not to those who go around boasting about their greatness.

James 4:6
Therefore it says, "God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble."

I know you need the grace and favor of God in your life. Because of your past sins you should seek to be as humble as possible before both God and men. Then Yahweh will be able to show you kindness and compassion.

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

Joseph Herrin

Kevin has been very accepting of my counsel. After receiving the letter above he wrote me back to say he would no longer be using the title of Reverend. He did not fully grasp my message, however, for he inquired as to what title I thought he should use since he has received this ordination. Kevin’s question was born out of ignorance of God’s ways, so I took time to explain the issue to him further.

Hello Kevin,

Thank you for writing again. In your letter you asked me what word I think you should use since you are an ordained minister now that you are not going to use the word “Reverend.” Although I am glad you are not going to use the title Reverend anymore, you have not fully understood all that I would like to convey to you about using titles. When you say you have been “ordained,” I am pretty sure you are speaking of one of the ministries you receive material from having ordained you. Kevin, another man cannot ordain you as a minister. All true ministry must be initiated by Christ. Consider the words of the apostle Paul.

Romans 1:1
Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God...

Paul (also called Saul) was chosen by Christ to be a minister, and this was made known to the church by the Holy Spirit.

Acts 13:1-4
Now there were at Antioch, in the church that was there, prophets and teachers: Barnabas, and Simeon who was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. And while they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." Then, when they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went...

Notice that it was the Holy Spirit who chose Paul and Barnabas to be ministers. This was made known through a revelation of the Holy Spirit. Unless the Spirit of Christ calls and appoints a man to be a minister, there is no authority behind the title. It does not matter if other men ordain a man to be a minister. If Christ has not chosen the man and declared him to be a minister, the title is an empty one. Not even going to Bible College and Seminary qualifies a man to be a minister. A man may earn a degree from a school, but that does not qualify the man to be a minister in God’s sight. God looks at the spiritual maturity of the man, and God also appoints certain men to serve as ministers, equipping them with the ability to teach, correct, and encourage. No man should ever appoint himself a minister. Only God can do so.

Kevin, from your letters I have discerned that you do not have a solid understanding of the Scriptures or of the mind of Christ. If you keep studying the Bible and seeking God, and if you allow God to purge, purify and refine you, a day may come when Yahweh will use you as a minister. I am fairly confident in saying, that if such a day comes, having the title of a minister will mean very little to you. Since it means so much to you now, I do not believe you are ready to be a minister. True ministers must be humble and spiritual men. They are focused on honoring God and serving others. They are not focused on their own reputation and glory.

Kevin, I do not think you should use any title. Just identify yourself as Kevin. If people want to talk to you about the Lord, you can tell them you believe in Jesus Christ/Yahshua the Messiah. That is all you need in order to identify yourself to others.

Kevin, I can say with assurance that Christ appointed me to be a minister to the body of Christ, and I entered into this ministry 20 years ago. Nevertheless, I do not identify myself as Pastor, or Reverend, or Teacher, or Prophet, or Apostle. I just sign my name. Titles do not matter to me. You will not be benefitted in any way by adding a title to your name either. Quite often, it is nothing more than pride that motivates men to identify themselves by some title. Remember what I wrote to you previously. God gives grace to the humble. Therefore, men should not make themselves out to be something they are not...

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

Joseph Herrin

I received a reply from Kevin yesterday, and I was pleased to observe his humble attitude. This is a young man who wears a tear drop tattoo next to his left eye. In prison culture, a tear drop tattoo indicates the person has murdered another human being. Some inmates sport multiple tear drop tattoos. Even murderers can be redeemed by the Lord, and I am hopeful that this is the case with Kevin, for he is demonstrating an interest in spiritual matters. In the letter I received from Kevin yesterday, he wrote the following.

Hello Joseph,
Thank you for responding to my letter. I must say that you sure did open my eyes to some hard truths. You are right in saying, or implying, that I am proud and boast about being ordained. I have definitely changed my mind about that and now await the day that God chooses me to teach people about God and His word. I will no longer talk about being ordained, nor will I use titles before my name. I will follow your advice and simply use Kevin.

You are even more right when you said you do not believe that I am ready to be a minister. What I need is a good mentor to help me grow spiritually and understand God’s word. Some people do not like nor want the truth, but I welcome it and look for it. Thank you for being honest and not sugar coating anything. I have put my certificate away because you said it don’t mean nothing, now that I know better. I did receive the missing newsletter you sent to me. Thank you. For now I will close. Thank you for your time and God bless.


I received an additional letter yesterday from an inmate with the remarkable name of Solomon. His correspondence is noteworthy due to the humility evident in his words, openly admitting his own shortcomings and how the writings being sent to him are bringing conviction. I will close with his letter.

Mr. Joseph Herrin,
Greetings, and may Yah’s love fill you to overflowing! May you be continually guided by the Spirit and Love! Hallelujah!

The newsletter issue 1.5.2 (The Road From Babylon To Zion) is really an eye opener! Physically and Spiritually! I see at once the difference of opinions in your conversations with some fellow believers who run a website. What was MOST important to me is that his conversation was leavened with anger, frustration, and bitterness while yours is embodied with Scripture after Scripture! He expresses feelings and opinions, yet you share Scriptures and love! Hallelujah!

Another thing the Spirit showed me is that I have A LOT of the other guys “thoughts and emotions” in me. I am led to be completely honest and open with you Mr. Joseph, for I am REALLY wanting to be obedient to the Father and His Son. As my Head, I must follow His example! I see the other guy as Babylon and your “Spirit-led” knowledge and wisdom as Zion!

Forgive me, please, but I did not wish to praise you out of pride, but only to “loudly applaud” your obedience to the Father! Oh how I want to be led by the Spirit in knowledge, wisdom, and discernment. But as I’ve learned from your personal travels, I must have a complete foundation with Yahshua as the Chief Cornerstone!

With help and prayers I am becoming more and more spiritual-minded, wanting more spiritual food! I HUMBLY say thank you for you showing me, through your obedience and love for Yahweh the truth and understanding I need. I only wish to continue being obedient day by day, overcoming my flesh!

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

If there is something I can do to help in any way, let me know! I wish to do Yah’s will and be completely led by His Spirit! Hallelujah!

Thank you for your long days and nights, and accept my love and prayers for you and your family,

Heart4God Website:    

Parables Blog:    

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

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Gender Benders - It’s About More Than You Think

Joseph Herrin (04-21-2016)

The issue of transgender people being given the right to use whatever gender bathroom facility they identify with has garnered much attention recently. When some states’ politicians passed compromise legislation intended to protect women and children from being preyed upon sexually, the media, federal government, corporations, and numerous special interest groups labeled the states as haters, bigots, and socially backwards. The voice of reason is being aggressively targeted on all issues such as this, with those who speak out for traditional views of morality being punished and their opinions silenced.

Such was the case recently when the Disney owned cable sports network ESPN fired baseball commentator Curt Schilling for expressing his personal views on his own time. It is becoming common for businesses to punish employees for making public statements away from the workplace, when those views do not reflect corporate policy. The employee essentially becomes the slave of the corporation, where their entire life, whether on or off the clock, must conform to the dictates of the corporate slave master. Curt Schilling was fired for a FaceBook post where he stated the following:

A man is a man no matter what they call themselves. I don’t care what they are, who they sleep with, men’s room was designed for the penis, women’s not so much. Now you need laws telling us differently? Pathetic.

ESPN posted a public statement regarding the firing of Curt Schilling.

ESPN is an inclusive company. Curt Schilling has been advised that his conduct was unacceptable and his employment with ESPN has been terminated.”

Obviously, ESPN is not actually an “inclusive” company, or they would make accommodation for individuals who embrace traditional and Biblical moral views. They have no compunction when it comes to firing individuals who do not meet their standard of political correctness. They manifest an extreme intolerance toward conservative and traditional views.

Homosexual issues are being used to accomplish much more than the redefinition of deviant and criminal behavior. As observed in the case of Curt Schilling, they are the vehicle of choice to subdue the masses to the will of the corporate and government masters. Although the U.S. Constitution guarantees freedom of speech, the entire society is being induced to surrender this right in order to avoid jeopardizing their jobs, their potential for advancement within the corporate workplace, and the comfortable standard of living they are accustomed to. A case in point is observed in the following video which is being touted on numerous websites. It shows college students being asked whether a 5'-9" man should be able to demand that others recognize him as a 7 year old Chinese female, or a 6'-5" tall Chinese female.

The comment of the young woman who stated “I feel like that's not my place as another human to say someone is wrong or to draw lines or boundaries” reveals where Satan is really going with his agenda. Satan, and those global powers and sources of influence under his control (corporations, media, governments, etc.) are seeking to cause humanity to abandon the exercise of judgment. Satan desires for people to abnegate their duty to exercise discernment, ultimately setting himself up as the sole source of good and evil, right and wrong, for mankind.

In doing so, Satan is usurping the role of God for, from the beginning of man’s creation in the Garden of Eden, man was to look to Yahweh to know what was righteous behavior and what was unrighteous, what was good, and what was evil. In the book titled Sabbath I shared the following.
Adam, in his original created form had no sense of good and evil present within him. All of his ways were determined by communication with Yahweh. Yahweh spoke to Adam and made known to Adam that which He would have him to do. Both good and evil were made known to Adam by direct communication with Yahweh God. Yahweh told Adam the things that were good and desirable; Adam should tend the garden and eat of its trees. Yahweh also told Adam what constituted evil. There was only one thing that was described as being outside of the will of Yahweh. Adam was not to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

Things were very simple for Adam. If he did the things Yahweh commanded him to do he was walking in obedience and adhering to good. If Adam did the one thing Yahweh commanded him not to do he would be walking in disobedience and this would be evil. Both good and evil for Adam were made known through direct communication with Yahweh. In this we see that good equates to doing Yahweh’s expressed will, while evil is doing that which is not His will.
[End Excerpt]

The lie which Satan used in order to entice Eve to eat of the forbidden fruit contained an element of truth. Most Christians have failed to rightly comprehend the words Satan spoke in the Garden. Many jump to the conclusion that Satan said Adam and Eve would be like God, while failing to define in what manner they would be like God. Satan’s statement was “You shall be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Knowing good and evil has always been an attribute reserved for God alone. In order for the creation to be in a state of rest and harmony with Yahweh, the creation must embrace the judgment of the Creator. No creature, whether of men or angels, was ever granted the authority to determine right and wrong for themselves. Please note that I said they were not granted the “authority,” for they obviously have the “ability” to choose a course that is contrary to that of the Creator.

What Adam and Eve gained when they ate the forbidden fruit was the innate ability to look inside their soul and make a determination of good and evil for themselves. They no longer needed to look to God to know right and wrong, but man’s judgments are frequently not the same as God’s judgments. Mankind has exercised self-determination ever since that fateful day in the garden. Although this was a triumph for Satan in that it divorced mankind from obtaining their judgments of good and evil from Yahweh, the victory would not be complete until humanity looked to Satan to know right and wrong, good and evil.

This is what we are seeing occur now, at this time at the end of the age. Satan has established a coercive form of thought control through his monopoly of the media, global corporations, and key government officials. The weight of influence of these servants of Satan is compelling men, women, and children to abdicate all exercise of personal judgment. Mankind is being told what to believe and what values to hold. If they go along with the Satanic agenda they are rewarded by being allowed to continue to pursue life in this Satanic system. If they do not go along - if they hold to views and judgments which do not originate in the mind of Satan - they are punished.

Consider what you have just viewed in the video above. These young adults who have intelligence and are endowed with the ability to perceive and reason, have been brought to such a state of subservience to the “prince of the power of the air,” and “the god of this world” (Satan), that they are hesitant to even declare that a 5'-9", white, adult male is any of these things. If he insists that he is a Chinese female, they have been conditioned to not dispute his statement. If he says he is 7 years old and wants to attend first year elementary school, they believe that is acceptable if that is the identity he feels comfortable with. Certainly this is no more egregious a folly than saying men can use the same public bathroom occupied by girls and women if the men identify themselves as female.

Brothers and sisters, the truly frightening event occurring in this hour is NOT that men are going to be given legal authority to enter an occupied girl’s and women’s bathroom, or shower facility, or dressing room. What is frightening is that we are observing humanity handing over the role of judgment to Satan, the adversary of man and of God. Satan is declaring his values through the global elite, the mainstream media, the corporations, and the governments, while the majority of people are offering no resistance to this abdication of judgment.

What is being observed now is merely the beginning. Soon it will not be exclusively transgender men and women who can use the bathroom of their choice. Sin and moral debauchery never remains in one place. It always seeks more devilish means of expression. Before long there will be no restrictions at all regarding who can use a facility. A man will be able to say, “I felt like using the girl’s bathroom today” and that will be all that is needed. The subservient public will say, “Who am I to judge?” Even now the groundwork is being laid for adults to engage in sexual intercourse with children of any age, as long as it is deemed to be “consensual.” It will not be long before even the criteria of such actions being consensual will no longer be required. Note that the following article in the Washington Times was published 14 years ago. Many more people and groups have gotten on board the child/adult consensual sex bandwagon since then.

Harmful to Minors

If you have a Biblical concept of morality and were told there was a book on the subject of childhood sexual activity titled “Harmful to Minors,” you would undoubtedly believe the title was a reference to the dangers of adults preying upon innocent children. Yet this book’s author makes the opposite statement as the subtitle reads “The perils of protecting children from sex.” In an hour when the prisons are filled with convicted child molesters, one might reasonably ask why the author of this book is not behind bars.

What we are observing is that the legal code is lagging the public propaganda campaign by some years. It was only after homosexuality had been firmly established as a persecuted minority that laws began to be written to correct “societal discrimination.” In short order we have seen marriage between same-sex partners made legal, and bathroom, shower facilities, and dressing rooms opened to those who are transgender. The movement to legalize sex with minors is at a stage akin to that of the homosexual movement in the 1980s. However, things are moving much more rapidly now for society has become accustomed to suspending all judgment and allowing others to define morality for them.

In this advanced hour of Satan’s kingdom where darkness is covering the earth and gross darkness the people, the greatest enemy of Satan and his servants are those who manifest the mind of Christ. To be certain, Satan wants even unregenerate men to abandon the exercise of personal judgment (Curt Schilling being an example). Yet, his greatest enmity is reserved for those who are guided by the Holy Spirit and the Holy Scriptures. Satan is not content to act in defiance of Yahweh. He wants to usurp Yahweh’s role, becoming the god for all humanity. That remnant of holy men and women on the earth who are living Spirit-directed lives are the focus of his greatest wrath. Yet Yahweh has not slackened in His role as the highest authority over His creation, and Satan is presently restrained.

Let us walk wisely, for the hour is very dark, and increasing in darkness.

Heart4God Website:    

Parables Blog:    

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

Sunday, April 17, 2016

The Grateful Inmate

Joseph Herrin (04-17-2016)

This writing continues a theme begun in the posts titled The Angry Inmate, and The Fearful Inmate.

As it is in free society, there are an array of attitudes manifested by men in prison. It is particularly satisfying to encounter men in an environment that has as many shortcomings as prison who exhibit contentment in their situation, and even gratitude. Such ones are usually humble men who have experienced the transforming work of the Spirit of Christ in their life, and despite their environment, they are sincerely thankful that inwardly Yahshua has made them into new creations.

Following are two correspondences which I received from men in prison who manifest an exemplary attitude in their words. These men both began receiving the Parables Bookshelf Newsletters in the past year as other inmates introduced them to the writings.
Brother Joseph,
May this letter encourage you and find you in health! Amen!

First, I would like to say thanks for continuing my program with the Parables Bookshelf Newsletters! Man, such understanding! Hallelujah!

Second, I feel that when a person sees something he wants, whether spiritual or fleshly, that person will most likely pursue it with a fervor. Now, if that something will give the person everything (the unadulterated truth) that person will go after it with no regard for cost or status because what he seeks is essential to his survival! He will do anything, whether cut his own arm off, or renounce his own family.

I see the truth, the Bible as the foremost in my life because of what I have been through, and was delivered from was for me to know that I was in the wrong and in need of a Savior. On this search I have encountered multiple people and beliefs, but understand that the absolute truth cannot be changed. 2+2+4. This is truth! To tell me otherwise would be foolish, yet many do this every day! I pray to not be one of these, but to be one who stands on the truth because it is an immovable foundation!

Honestly, I am at a point in life on this path where I will give up whatever is necessary I need to that the Spirit leads me to give up. Only if I am being led by the Spirit and know that it is Yah’s will! Hallelujah! His will be done!

Yeah, it sure is easy to say and write these this, and a whole other thing to live it, or walk the walk! I pray daily for strength and courage and guidance for help in walking in the truth! But I must have an accurate knowledge!!! I have to know and understand what I’m doing! Right? I don’t mind being told I’m wrong or confused about stuff, but you must show me!!! I tell people to prove it. Something may sound good or tickle my ears, but it must be truth! I have to stand on it, for Yahweh’s will is for me to be obedient and persevere!

This flesh is irrelevant, but necessary to be trained, tamed and overcome! But I yearn for truth, understanding, and discernment. Only Yah’s will be done. Not mine! I fear to mess up, or tell or show someone the wrong thing, so gladly your guidance is much appreciated and prayed for!

Mr. Joseph, I can only say Hallelujah, because that is the highest praise I can offer. But the truth and understanding in these parables are part of my foundation that I can stand on. I tell my mom repeatedly of how much I love and miss her, but I say that even right now in prison I am free. I have no desire to work on my case, or make plans for the future that might change. No! I am trying to learn and understand the truth, and I believe this is the will of the Father for me. Not everyone, but I believe it is for me.

I’ve been down 13 years, and I am looking to max out the other 12 so I won’t be tied to the state in any way. My mom lives in Idaho and maybe I’ll be able to go out there. But for now I must do the work that I believe the Father set before me.

Oh, to be in perfect Sabbath rest is hard, but if this is the Father’s will, who am I not to do it? Hallelujah, I love and serve Yahweh! I may not be perfect yet, but how I yearn for the Spirit, the truth, and the love of our Father. Hallelujah for you Mr. Joseph, and honor, grace and mercy are yours, and I would like to add my prayers for you and your family as well as mine.

Sincerely, I say Thank You!

A respectful, humble, and grateful servant,
Solomon (Joseph’s note: Yes, Solomon is his actual name.)
Joseph Herrin,
Hey, how are you? (Joseph’s note: For those who do not live in the southern states of America, it may seem odd to have someone greet another with the word “Hey,” but it is a common greeting here and serves in place of “Hi,” or “Hello.”) I started these parables through a friend who begged me to ask for them. As I have been reading your wonderful truths, my eyes seem to be open to a new look. I see things totally different now. These teachings of yours are very powerful. The book “Dragon Flood” opened my mind up to a new world. I see the world, not the same any more...

I really want to thank you Joseph for allowing me to receive your parables. Also, I want to know more about Yahshua or Jesus. All my life I truly never had a full understanding about Yahshua being the Savior. I always had doubt in believing in Christ. But as I’m reading your teachings I now see my faith growing in Christ. I want to know more about Yahshua and His promises. I thank you so much and may Yahweh continue to bless you!

From, A Seeker of God,

Heart4God Website:    

Parables Blog:    

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

Friday, April 15, 2016

Video Outreach

Joseph Herrin (04-15-2016)

The apostle Paul stated, “I have become all things to all men, that I may by all means save some” (I Corinthians 9:22). The context of Paul’s words was his determination to spread the gospel of Christ Yahshua to as many people as possible. He wanted to reach out to both Jew and Greek, freeman and slave, the weak and the mighty. A modern corollary may be found in the need to reach out to significantly different groups within society today: The middle class and the poor; the prisoner and the free; the young and the old; the technically savvy, and those who shun modern electronics. Reaching out to each of these distinct groups may best be accomplished through the employment of different forms of media. The message of the kingdom of God can be communicated through an array of means today. Over the course of my time engaged in ministry I have found myself utilizing an expanding array of media.

The very first writing I produced was in 1993 on a small, dedicated word processor. This word processor was basically an electric typewriter that held a few lines of text in memory, allowing the typist to review them before they were typed onto paper. My first writing was a short article titled The Work That Refreshes. I produced a few dozen copies and distributed them by hand. At that time I had also spoken in churches from the pulpit, in Sunday School, and in small groups. The Internet had not yet exploded into the popular and ubiquitous phenomenon that it is today. It would be six more years before I produced another writing.

In 1999 the Father led me to write a book. It would be the first of many. That book is titled The Remnant Bride. The Father made it known to me that I was not to pursue the conventional course of publication by seeking out a book publisher, hiring a book agent, or seeking to distribute my writing through Christian book sellers. I was to give the book away free, and the best means to do so was through the Internet. I created the Heart4God website for this purpose.

Around this time I was posting short writings to a prophecy website that was popular and which served as a type of bulletin board allowing numerous people to post. That wasn’t to last long, however, as a pastor of a church in Colorado who also posted to the site complained to the site owner that I was teaching heresy. He recommended that I be blacklisted, and the site owner was swayed by his counsel. Neither men ever reached out to discuss with me the doctrine they took offense at. When I realized I had been blacklisted I reached out to them, but they refused to discuss doctrine with me. The pastor even forbade his church members from having any correspondence with me. I was reminded of a passage from one of John’s epistles.

III John 9-10
I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence among them, does not receive us. Therefore, if I come, I will call to mind his deeds which he does, unjustly accusing us with malicious words. And not content with that, he himself does not receive the brethren, and forbids those who wish to, putting them out of the church.

If John, the beloved disciple and one of the original apostles of the church, could be blacklisted in his time, I consider it a small thing for one such as myself who is relatively unknown and without esteem to experience the same today. Sometimes necessity causes us to search out other ways to get things done, and it was partially due to being blacklisted from other sites that I was led to create the Heart4God website in 2000.

By 2004 my website readership was increasing, and I was delighted to be hearing from people all around the world. That is one of the benefits of the Internet. It gives one access to a global audience. Yet, after 4-5 years of full-time ministry through writing I was to be led of the Lord to experience a new phase of my life. It was to be a highly instructional period for me as I laid down the Internet writing ministry to spend 3 years and 3 months at an inner city rescue mission. My time there lasted from December of 2004 until February of 2008. I spent a year serving in the position of Resident Manager in the men’s dorm at the mission, overseeing more than 30 men in an alcohol and drug rehabilitation program. I then spent another two years as a manager of the mission’s thrift store, supervising male residents of the mission who were sent to work there each day.

The Macon, Georgia Rescue Mission

I had kept the Heart4God website online during the interim, but I posted nothing new to it in that three year period. In February of 2008 the Father led me to leave the mission and return to a ministry of teaching and writing. I was informed by the owner of a website hosting company who had been freely hosting my site that the type of writings I was producing would be a good fit for a blog site. Back in 2008 I didn’t know what a blog site was, but following this man’s advice I looked into the matter and in April of 2008 I began the Parables Blog. The Parables Blog became the place where I posted all my writings as they were being produced and the Heart4God site was used as a repository of all my books, audio messages, and what I consider to be legacy articles. These are teachings which have some enduring value and are profitable for people to be able to read at any time they have an interest in a specific subject.

During the two years in which I worked in the mission’s thrift store I was also conducting Bible teaching weekly in the mission’s chapel. I had a captive audience as all the men in the recovery program were required to attend chapel services. With a return to the Internet I began to receive invitations to speak in various places, always outside the traditional churches. In 2008 I was invited to speak to a small group in Indiana over the course of a week. In 2009 I spent two months traveling the nation and speaking to small groups. In 2010 I made a 4 month trek across the nation covering 11,000 miles, speaking at 15 separate locations, typically for three days of meetings at each place. While speaking at the mission and on these forays across the nation I recorded my messages as audio files and posted them on the audio page of the Heart4God website.

During my tenure at the rescue mission, I acquired a projector to hook up to a laptop computer so I could develop slides to go along with my messages in the chapel. I used this same format when I traveled the country. In February of 2010 I launched the Parables Bookshelf Newsletters as an outreach to men in prison. This has become one of the most fruitful ventures that the Lord has led me into. The number of men who have written to request the free weekly newsletters has steadily increased. Over time I have increased the number of newsletters in the series as well. There were 58 newsletters at the initial launch, which was more than a year’s worth. After a year had passed I increased the number to 83 and later to 144 distinct newsletters. More recently I increased the number of newsletters to 166, more than a three year supply for each man who subscribes.

One media format that has proved elusive to me thus far has been video. I have a YouTube account and have posted a few videos. Although they have some spiritual substance to their messages, the production quality of the videos was quite poor as I am not a skilled videographer. My preferred method of communication has always been writing, particularly through book form. I have considered for some time how to take the teachings found in my 22 books and a number of shorter writings and convert them to the medium of video while maintaining quality without an exorbitant investment of time.

The motive behind the creation of videos is the same as that of creating the newsletters. It allows me to reach out to people who wold not normally visit a blog site, or who are reluctant to spend time reading books. A 2014 article in The Atlantic magazine titled The Decline of the American Book Lover cited a trend away from the reading of books among Americans. Over the past few decades, a period in which computers, the Internet, smart phones, tablets, and other media devices have gained a pronounced place in society, the number of people reading books, and the number of books read by individuals in all age brackets, has been declining.

Nearly a quarter of people polled by Pew in 2014 reported not having read a single book. An additional 31% claimed to have read only 1-5 books. Together that equates to more than half of the population. The reasons for the decline are many, but a culture predominated by television, video games, and online videos holds much of the blame for conditioning many people to do something other than read a book. Some people prefer to have a book read to them, rather than to read it themselves, as it allows them to multitask. They can drive and listen, clean house or cook dinner while listening, etc..

After much consideration, I have decided to offer some of my writings as flip books, which is an electronic book format that is both attractive and appealing. I believe it will also translate well to video as it is an animated book form. Once the flip books are created, I can present them on video while narrating them. Screen capture software will allow me to display both the book and, by utilizing a picture in picture option, to display a video in one corner of myself doing the narration. These are relatively easy videos to produce. They provide a polished appearance, and the flip book and screen capture programs offer numerous features which will fit well with some of my more recent books which have numerous embedded videos in them, as well as a large number of images.

I purchased a copy of Flip PDF Professional to convert my PDF books into flip book format. You can see a demonstration of the software at the following link. On pages 16-19 you can view examples of embedded audio and video in the flip books, which is a very nice feature.

(Note: You can use the link at the bottom of the flip book to turn off the page turning sound if you find it distracting.)

I also acquired a copy of Camtasia, a screen capture program that is very robust in its editing and display options. I have found that software like this is significantly less expensive if you purchase a previous release, rather than the most recent edition, and often includes all of the features I would use. I anticipate posting some videos in the next couple weeks and inviting feedback so that I can make any adjustments necessary before proceeding to convert all, or most, of my books to video. I look forward to sharing these with you, and to hearing your thoughts regarding how the presentation might be improved.

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

Joseph Herrin

Heart4God Website:    

Parables Blog:    

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

Thursday, April 14, 2016

April’s Promise

Joseph Herrin (04-14-2016)

View From My Front Window
(Click on Any Image to View Larger)

I love the Spring of the year. All of the seasons hold their own unique attraction, but Spring always seems to be full of hope. The grass greens up and begins growing again. The trees begin to put on leaves and soon they are full of blossoms. Blooming trees are a big attraction in this part of Georgia. It seems that every town around here has a Spring festival where a certain type of flowering tree takes center stage. Perry is 15 miles East of me and it holds their annual Dogwood Festival. Perry has a population of about 12,000. The town is the location of the Georgia National Fairgrounds. This is a very nice facility that hosts special events throughout the year. In conjunction with Perry’s Dogwood Festival, a hot air balloon exhibit was held at the fairgrounds. I chose not to go, but my daughter Kristin went and I asked her to take some pictures.

From 5 P.M. to 9 P.M. they had activities for children, leading up to what they called an “Evening Glow” of hot air balloons. They were very pretty when lit up after it became dark enough to appreciate them.

I didn’t miss out completely, for the next day I was sitting at my desk when some motion caught my attention at the corner of my eye. I looked across the field and I saw a hot air balloon sailing by. It was very nice to watch. Other towns around also have their celebrations. Fort Valley is about the same distance North and it holds a Peach Blossom Festival. Macon, Georgia which is about 40 miles north, and the closest bona fide city, population about 80,000, annually holds their Cherry Blossom Festival.

No one holds a pine pollen festival, but my sinuses annually let me know when it is blowing in the wind. And blow it does. There is a double row of pine trees all along the lengthy driveway leading up to the property I have my bus parked on. One day a few weeks back I thought my neighbors were burning some yard trash as there were clouds of what appeared to be smoke blowing from that direction. When I looked closer I saw that it was clouds of pine pollen blowing out of the trees. At its peak, it leaves a coating of yellow dust on cars, outdoor furniture, and most anything that doesn’t move.

I have kept moving, however. Indeed, I have been involved in numerous projects. Spring does that to me as well. A couple weeks ago in a post titled Spring Forward I reported on removing the dinette from my bus which has served as my office space for the past six years, and putting in a real desk.

Ten days ago I mentioned some additional projects around my bus in the article titled Staying Busy.

One of the projects I tackled involved making alterations to the 12 old style school bus windows which are accessible, so that I could more easily open and shut them. This time of year it is wonderful to be able to open up the bus and let the fresh country breezes blow through. I wasn’t satisfied with the end result of my window project. The idea was sound, but the execution was somewhat lacking. So this week I tackled it again, and I am much more happy with the end result. I had mentioned that I had installed what amounted to a small pulley system with a string and wood block to use to raise and lower the windows.

The major deficiency was that the piece of hardware I used for a pulley did not have a channel in the middle, so the string would slip to the side and get stuck. I also deemed the twine I used to be too light weight, and the small eye hook I used to attach the string to the window was somewhat flimsy and I was concerned they would break or eventually fall out. So I went back to the drawing board. I found these little pieces of hardware on Amazon’s site.

These little gizmos are used in windows to aid in their movement up and down. I intended to use them for the same purpose, albeit in a different manner than they were designed for. They are about 2 inches long, which was about half an inch too long for my needs, so I cut off one of the ends with my Dremel tool, and mounted them. I then used some lightweight paracord to replace the twine I had been using. The paracord is very sturdy stuff and is rated to hold 275 pounds. I also did away with the eye hooks and drilled two holes all the way through the window and threaded the paracord through the holes and tied it off.

Close-Up of the Important Stuff

The paracord fits perfectly in the channel in the roller and it makes a great difference. The cord stays centered now, even if I pull the cord from an angle. I am much happier with this set-up.

Window Open

The paint on the window could use some refreshing. I am in my 7th year of living in the bus since I first converted it to a motorhome, so the paint is beginning to show its age. The fresh air is wonderful, however, and the windows are now easily lowered and raised, so I am content.

Now that I have a real desk, I have seen the possibility of making videos in my bus. Sitting at the dinette was not very conducive to recording videos. I tried making some over at my daughter’s rental home, but setting up and taking down my equipment, and the inconvenience of being somewhere else, kept me from moving forward with that plan. I already had most of what I needed, including a green screen backdrop, and spotlights, a microphone, and camera. I also had some of the software I needed. I was hanging the green screen on a wall at my daughter’s, but that would not work in the bus. I took the green screen material to a local Mennonite seamstress and asked her to sew pockets at the top and bottom so I could run a rod through and hang it behind my desk chair from the ceiling. This sister in the Lord is precious. She only charged me $7 to cut the material to size, double it over to make it opaque, put a hem in the edge she cut, and sew pockets for the dowel rods.

You can see the Green Screen rolled up and out of my way when not in use. All I have to do is lower it when I want to record at my desk. Then I can change the background to something more picturesque than the wall of my bus.

Green Screen Lowered

It is important to properly illuminate the green screen in order for the effect to work well. I had some halogen flood lamps and stands which I used at my daughter’s, but there was no room for stands in my bus and halogen lamps get too hot for a small space such as the inside of a motorhome. So I purchased an LED flood lamp that is only 10 watts, but puts out an amazing amount of light. I mounted it on a flexible arm which I already owned. I had purchased the arm some time back when I was recovering from a leg injury and had to stay in bed. I used it to hold a Kindle Tablet, but it works just fine holding a flood lamp over my computer to shine on the green screen. You can see it in the image above.

Flood Lamp

These flood lamps are available on Amazon for $11.50, which I deem to be a bargain. LED is really the way to go as it uses far less electricity for the light emitted, and does not put out the heat of an incandescent bulb. The light comes with only about 12 inches of wire sticking out the back, and no plug on the end, as most people purchase them to wire up outside directly into an electrical box. The wire is 3 conductor, and much smaller than standard appliance wiring as it carries very little current. I could not find any similar wire at any of the hardware stores, so I stopped by a local computer repair business and showed a young man what I needed. He came back with an exact piece of wire about 6 feet long, and said he would not even charge me for it as he had plenty of it laying around. I gave him $5 anyway for his trouble, for it was worth something to me. There is an excellent video on YouTube showing exactly how to wire one up, though the wire colors are European code, not American, so you have to factor that in.

I will post another blog about the software solution I arrived at for converting my books and other writings to videos. I tested it out a few days ago after I had everything I needed. My mouse sits directly under my microphone, and dragging it across my desk was very noisy and distracting on the recordings. I tried some things to quiet the mouse, but was not satisfied with the results, so I opted to replace my mouse with a trackball. I have never used a trackball before, but may people prefer them to a mouse and I am confident I can adjust.

This is one model of a trackball produced by a company called Kensington. I like the scroll wheel feature on this one as I do a lot of scrolling on the Internet, in documents, and when working with the prisoner newsletter database. You just move the scroll ring back and forth with one of your fingers to move up and down, which seems an elegant solution. The ball on top of the trackball is used to move around the screen, and the buttons perform the same functions as on a standard mouse and are programmable as well. Users report that the trackball is practically silent since you don’t have to slide it around the desk like a mouse.

One final thing I will mention which completes my desk workspace is the chair I am using. Having a good chair is quite important when you work at the computer as many hours as I do. I did not have a desk chair the past six years as I sat at the built-in dinette in my motorhome. When I went to purchase the desk from a local man I contacted through Craigslist, I asked him if he had any chairs for sale. He was a businessman who had recently closed a flooring company that had been open for the past 30 years. There were a couple of office chairs in the store. On the surface they did not look too impressive. They evidently had been used a lot. They both had duct tape on the arm rests where they had become worn.

The man told me I could have either one free of charge. I accepted his offer gratefully, knowing I would need something to sit on, and I figured it would suffice until I could get something better. When I went to move the chair I was surprised at how heavy it was. It had about five levers underneath to adjust the chair up or down, the angle of the chair, the height of the back rest, the height and width of the arm rests, and I don’t know what else.

When I got it home I looked at the chair and, other than the arm rest which was taped up rather badly, there was nothing wrong with it. It looked like it had been an expensive chair, so I found the manufacture ID # and looked it up online. These chairs retail for $375. I found some replacement arm rest covers for less than $20 on Ebay, and received them a few days later. They fit perfectly and now the chair is flawless. I also ordered some larger rollers for the chair to raise it a couple inches since I also raised my desk. I am in awe of Yahweh’s provision, for the chair is worth more than I paid for the desk, and I also got a good deal on the desk.

On a closing note, Girlfriend’s puppies are 9 days old today. They should have their eyes open soon. They are fat and strong. Girlfriend is a good mother. She is very attentive to her puppies. Her appetite has greatly increased as she is now eating for 9 (One of the two white puppies died around day 4 or 5. I am not sure what the cause was, as it appeared healthy.) I caught a puppy yawning in the following photo.

They pretty much eat and sleep right now, but should be more active once their eyes are opened. Surprisingly, I have had three people locally say they would like to get a puppy when they are weaned. I had not even told anyone about them, but a couple different neighbors had noticed that Girlfriend was nursing and expressed interest in getting a puppy. It is looking like it will not be too difficult to find homes for them when they are old enough to give away.

Heart4God Website:    

Parables Blog:    

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

Monday, April 11, 2016

Light in the Darkness

Joseph Herrin (04-11-2016)

Last month I posted two articles containing correspondence with a man in prison whose name is Kenneth.

Every Sentence is a Story

The Least of These...

Kenneth had expressed a desire to be mentored spiritually and I sensed the Father would have me to answer this call. This past week I heard back from Kenneth. I was encouraged by the things he had to share. Here is our most recent correspondence.

(Friday March 25th, 2016)
Dear Mr. Herrin,

I hope this letter finds you well and good. As for myself, I am doing just fine, all things considered. I was glad to get your letters and the info you sent me. I can’t begin to explain how grateful I am for you agreeing to help me on this spiritual journey. Your letters really got me to thinking, and opened my mind to things I have never considered. I prayed a lot about my course of study options before I wrote to you last and it seems God is answering my prayers through you.

I am looking forward to this “accelerated pace of instruction” that you mentioned. I have read everything you sent, and over this weekend I will start reading it all again. It was a lot of info, and I want to be sure I get all I can out of it. I’ll also be taking notes this time and see if I have any questions. Also, I’m not going to be able to keep everything that you send, so I have to try and determine what I should keep. And anything you send to my cell mate Virgil, you don’t have to send to me because I’ll be reading all his material too. So maybe that will save some paper and postage.

I have known in my heart for some time that God was calling me for something. I just need some help figuring out what that something is. I have a strong desire to try and help others. I’m just unsure as to how to do it. That feeling is what led me to enroll in the Bible correspondence courses I’m taking (Gospel Echoes and PMA). I don’t feel that God is calling me to be a minister, or anything like that. I just feel that He has a “job” for me. Is it possible for me to feel this, but God is waiting or preparing me before He reveals to me what it is He wants me to do? Or is it possible “I” just want to do good (striving)? I truly want to do God’s will. There is just a great struggle inside me with the flesh.

I know without a doubt that God saved my life by allowing me to be sent to prison. And I am certain He put me in this Tier II program (lockdown) where I would have plenty of alone time to study His word and talk to Him. He has been dealing with me the whole time I have been in prison, but it took this seclusion to get me to fully acknowledge His will. It was in this Tier that I first came across one of your newsletters and that led me to writing you. I have about 3 months left until I go back to regular population here in prison, and I have to admit I’m a little nervous about it. I like the path I’m on and don’t want to be distracted from it. At least I now have a mentor and a good solid course of study to follow, so that’s going to be a big help.

I’d like to take a moment here to let you know that I don’t feel I’m very good at getting my thoughts on paper. I do think I’m getting better, but my talents lie elsewhere. (I can build or repair anything structural, mechanical, or electrical.) So, if I ramble, or skip from one topic to another, I apologize. Also, my thoughts outrun my pen and it really messes up my handwriting, spelling, and grammar. It’s terrible at times. (I miss my laptop.) From my writing, you could never guess that I was an A or B student that took college prep courses all through high school. I also went to a technical college for electronics before dropping out to join an electrical union (IBEW) and becoming a journeyman industrial electrician.

Anyway, I proofread all of my letters and I can’t believe some of the mistakes I find sometimes. I usually have to re-write my letters at least once, sometimes twice. So if you notice something incorrect or out of place (bad grammar, spelling, etc.), please feel free to correct me. I will not consider it insulting. I always try to get better at anything I do, and writing has never been a strong subject for me.

Now, on the topic of books and study material: I am using a (very small print) paperback NAS Bible and a Pocket New Testament NKJV. I’ve also just received a dictionary called “The Practical Bible Dictionary and Concordance, also including The Treasury of Biblical Information.” (3 books in 1). This book is from Barbour Publishing and was free. Are you familiar with it, and would you recommend I use it? I have never used a concordance or Bible dictionary before and I honestly don’t know how to use it yet. I have been able to look up a few things, but it may have been dumb luck to find what I was looking for, or more likely, the Holy Spirit.

I have been wanting a good NAS Study Bible for months now and in the addresses you sent me I found one place that says they will send me one (Mount Nebo Ministry). I wrote them and tonight I got an enrollment form from them and a letter telling me I must first complete a 13 chapter Bible Study. I am going to mail the form out Monday the 28th, and I’ll complete the lessons as soon as I get them. Their letter says they will send me a MacArthur Study Bible when completed, either NASB or NKJV. It depends on what they have available at the time. Are you familiar with the MacArthur, and would you recommend it for my studies?

You also said a topical Bible would be another valuable tool to have, however, I cannot find any place that offers one to inmates for free of charge. Could you let me know what a Nave’s Topical Bible will cost? We are allowed to receive books as long as they are shipped from an online retailer and they must be soft cover. Bibles don’t have to be pre-approved. I’ll have to write my mom and ask if it is possible for her to order me one. I’m not sure if she can afford it, so we’ll see.

I had also written Gospel Echoes concerning the teachings of that Armstrong guy and we all seem to have the same opinion of him. They sent some photocopies of an excerpt from a book titled “Biblical Essays by A Historical Evangelical Fundamentalist” by Robert L. Sumner (pgs. 316-344). The book basically refers to Armstrong as a false prophet. I had already stopped reading all books and material from him and his church organization. I just wanted the opinion of others on this guy. There are a lot of young men in here who really like reading their books and a magazine they put out called “The Trumpet.” I am constantly cautioning them against the lies that this material contains, but the books are so well written and interesting that they read them anyway. They tell me they can’t be deceived, that they are too smart for that guy to fool them. I say, “He tricked ya’ll into reading his books,” but I can’t seem to get them to understand. Why tempt yourself? So, “thanks again” for your advice concerning this guy.

Another important thing that’s on my mind a lot is I want to encourage my mom and dad. I would like to introduce my mom and dad to your writings and blogs. My dad lives outside Vidalia, GA by himself and has no idea how to use a computer. I do think he would like to read some of your material though, if I can just get it to him. He is an ole farmer and doesn’t like to write much. I read one of your blogs that you sent to another inmate titled “Have You Been Played Lately?” I would like to be able to mail a copy to both my mom and dad. I’ll let them both know how to write you and get put on the mailing list if they like what they read. My mom will soon be online. My mom and dad both believe, but they don’t go to church and they don’t read their Bibles. They are both in their 60s and on disability. I hope and pray they will get right with God before it’s too late. I’d like to do what I can to encourage them to do this. Any ideas?

My mom has recently had to move in with my sister. My mom has M.S. and is in a wheelchair now. My sister is building her a small apartment onto her house, and when it’s complete mom will be back online. They had lightning strike the house on Christmas Eve and are having to re-wire a lot of the house. They were already adding onto the house, as well as building mom’s apartment, but this slowed them down considerably. Maybe they will be finished soon. I feel like my mom will check out your blog then and I am hoping she will keep reading it. I’m going to encourage my sister to do the same. My sister does go to church and takes her children. They just don’t go very often and it’s not a priority. Any ideas how I can convince her that it is? My sister and I have always been close and she has always looked up to me, so I believe she will listen to what I have to say.

Well, I’m going to close this letter now. Our mail room is funny. Sometimes they only let letters of 7 or 8 pages go out on one stamp, but I’ve sent as many as 15. I’m not sure what is up with that, but it’s the world I live in.

On behalf of myself and several other men here in the Tier, I just want to thank you for all you do for us through your ministry. We communicate with each other by passing notes and your books through some of the officers. God works in some wonderfully strange ways sometimes to spread His word. I look forward to hearing from you again. I’ll probably have another letter in the mail to you before you can respond to this one. I’m not going to rush through the material the second time. We’ll see. May God bless you and be with you in all you do.

P.S. I need a little help with some answers for my cell mate. His father was Catholic and just passed away. My cell mate now wants a Catholic Bible. His mom is a Christian and he is torn between what his dad believed and his mom’s beliefs... If you have any material we can use to help sort this out it will be much appreciated. I want to do all I can to help this young man toward the right path. He has had a very rough life and has never had any guidance. May the Lord help him find the right path.
Thanks, Kenneth

April 5th, 2016
Mr. Herrin,
How are you doing today? I had mentioned in the letter about the mail room not letting mail out sometimes. They sent this letter back to me today and said it was 22 cents short on postage. They never needed more than one stamp in the past. They also stopped me from getting my Survival Guide magazine because it has some pictures of “weapons” in it. I think we just have someone new in the mail room. I guess it’s all for some reason. I just wanted to let you know why this letter is late in getting to you. Anyway, I hope you are doing well.

Hello Kenneth,

I had been praying for you as I was concerned when a significant amount of time had passed since my last letter to you and I had not heard back. I am glad it was just a problem with the mail room. For informational purposes I will tell you that the prison mail room is not being arbitrary by refusing to send out mail that is too heavy. The post office charges by weight, as well as by the size of the piece of mail. Having sent out more mail than most people, I have learned a fair amount about how the post office works. In general, a first class postage stamp will cover any standard size envelope with up to 5 sheets of paper in it. This is the equivalent of one ounce of mail. If your letter is heavier, you will have to put an “additional ounce stamp” on it. This has been 22 cents, but the postal rates are changing Monday the 11th. They are actually going down for the first time in my lifetime that I can remember.

The post office at times will let mail be delivered that is slightly overweight, but you run a risk of having the mail returned if you do not put adequate postage on it. As a general rule, keep in mind that you can mail 5 sheets of paper with a first class stamp, and 10 or 11 sheets with a first class and an additional ounce stamp. You may notice that the newsletters I send out have the 2 ounce stamp on them due to their averaging about 11 sheets of paper. A few newsletters I mail contain 26 pages printed on both sides of 13 sheets of paper. These are the largest newsletters I send out, and I have never had any returned for being overweight. The newsletters are not mailed in an envelope, however. The post office describes them as a “self-mailer” which is why I have been able to get a couple extra sheets of paper under the 2 ounce limit.

When you say you read everything I sent you, I am assuming that includes the entirety of the writing titled Yahweh’s Book. There is a chapter in that book titled Knowledge Will Increase. It discusses some of the Bible study resources which are available and how to use them. You mentioned that you recently received The Practical Bible Dictionary and Concordance which includes the Treasury of Biblical Information. I am not familiar with that specific Bible dictionary and concordance, but I am sure they will be a helpful study resource. Dictionaries and concordances don’t hold much cause for concern, as personal beliefs and doctrinal views don’t influence them much. It is commentaries which are more concerning. You mentioned that you are seeking to acquire the MacArthur Study Bible, and asked if I am familiar with John MacArthur.

John MacArthur is a very popular minister who has broadcast nationwide the Bible teaching program Grace To You for some decades now. He is the pastor of a church in California where he has been ministering for more than four decades. He also founded a Bible college and seminary which are affiliated with the church. The church is aligned with the Independent Fundamental Church of America (IFCA). This association was formed in 1930, nine years before John MacArthur was born. He is now 76 years old. Among the fundamental doctrines of the IFCA are the following:

Biblical inerrancy, the Virgin Birth of Christ, the substitutionary atonement of Christ, the literal resurrection of Christ, the Second Coming of Christ, the eternal joy of those who are redeemed by the blood of Christ through the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit, and the eternal judgment of those who are unredeemed. It also holds to the Pre-tribulation Rapture of the Church and the Pre-millennial Return of Christ to establish His 1000-year reign on earth before the eternal state.

John MacArthur identifies as a Calvinist in his theology. On the Grace to You website there is a six part series by John MacArthur titled Why Every Calvinist Should be a Premillennialist.

As you study the teachings I have made available through the Parables Bookshelf Newsletters you will find that I believe a number of these doctrines held by John MacArthur contain significant error. I am NOT a Calvinist, and I believe it is an un-Biblical practice to align oneself with any particular man or denomination. The apostle Paul spoke against sectarianism in his letters to the church of Corinth.

I Corinthians 1:10-13
Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Yahshua Christ, that you all agree, and there be no divisions among you, but you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment. For I have been informed concerning you, my brethren, by Chloe's people, that there are quarrels among you. Now I mean this, that each one of you is saying, "I am of Paul," and "I of Apollos," and "I of Cephas," and "I of Christ." Has Christ been divided? Paul was not crucified for you, was he? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?

In another place the apostle wrote the following.

Ephesians 4:3-6
Being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.

We might add to Paul’s list that some are saying “I am of Calvin.” If it was error to align with personalities in the days of the early church, it is error to do so today. Nor is John Calvin a man I would want to be associated with. He was a very harsh, judgmental, and cruel man, and his attitudes were shaped by his erroneous conception of God and of Biblical doctrine. His unabashed lack of love should reveal that there was something wrong with Calvin’s doctrines, for Yahweh has not called His people to manifest cruelty and harshness.

John Calvin ruled over a Protestant enclave located in Geneva, Switzerland in the 1500s. He was an autocratic dictator, and had the scholar Michael Servetus burned at the stake over doctrinal differences. Although Calvin did not order it to be so, his correspondence reveals that he was aware and chose not to intervene when the executioners of Michael Servetus chose to burn him alive over green wood to insure that his agony lasted longer. It was recorded that it was a full 30 minutes before Servetus succumbed to this most horrible form of execution. Calvin was deeply complicit in the murder of Michael Servetus in this manner. Following is an account of this historic event from an Internet source.

On October 27, 1553 John Calvin, the founder of Calvinism, had Michael Servetus, the Spanish physician, burned at the stake just outside of Geneva for his doctrinal beliefs!(1) Hence, the originator of the popular doctrine of "once saved always saved" (known in certain circles as "perseverance of the saints") violated the cry of the Reformation -- "Sola Scriptura" -- by murdering a doctrinal heretic without Scriptural justification. This event was something John Calvin had considered long before Michael Servetus was even captured, for John Calvin wrote his friend, Farel, on February 13, 1546 (seven years prior to Michael Servetus' arrest) and went on record as saying:
"If he [Servetus] comes [to Geneva], I shall never let him go out alive if my authority has weight."(2)

Evidently, in that day John Calvin's authority in Geneva, Switzerland had ultimate "weight." This is why some referred to Geneva as the "Rome of Protestantism"(3) and to John Calvin as the "Protestant 'Pope' of Geneva."(4)

During Servetus' trial, John Calvin wrote: "I hope that the verdict will call for the death penalty."(5)

All this reveals a side of John Calvin that is not well-known or very appealing, to say the least! Obviously, he had a prolonged, murderous hate in his heart and was willing to violate Scripture to put another to death and in a most cruel way. Although John Calvin consented to Michael Servetus' request to be beheaded, he acquiesced to the mode of execution employed. But why did John Calvin have a death wish for Michael Servetus?

"To rescue Servetus from his heresies, Calvin replied with the latest edition of his 'Institutes of the Christian Religion,' which Servetus promptly returned with insulting marginal comments. Despite Servetus's [sic] pleas, Calvin, who developed an intense dislike of Servetus during their correspondence, refused to return any of the incriminating material."(6)

"Convicted of heresy by the Roman Catholic authorities, Servetus escaped the death penalty by a prison break. Heading for Italy, Servetus unaccountably stopped at Geneva, where he had been denounced by Calvin and the Reformers. He was seized the day after his arrival, condemned as a heretic when he refused to recant, and burned in 1553 with the apparent tacit approval of Calvin."(7)

In the course of his flight from Vienne, Servetus stopped in Geneva and made the mistake of attending a sermon by Calvin. He was recognized and arrested after the service.(8) "Calvin had him [Servetus] arrested as a heretic. Convicted and burned to death."(9) From the time that John Calvin had him arrested on August 14th until his condemnation, Michael Servetus spent his remaining days:
" ... in an atrocious dungeon with no light or heat, little food, and no sanitary facilities."(10)

Let it be noted that the Calvinists of Geneva put half-green wood around the feet of Michael Servetus and a wreath strewn with sulfur on his head. It took over thirty minutes to render him lifeless in such a fire, while the people of Geneva stood around to watch Michael Servetus suffer and slowly die! Just before this happened, the record shows: "Farel walked beside the condemned man, and kept up a constant barrage of words, in complete insensitivity to what Servetus might be feeling. All he had in mind was to extort from the prisoner an acknowledgement [sic] of his theological error -- a shocking example of the soulless cure of souls. After some minutes of this, Servetus ceased making any reply and prayed quietly to himself. When they arrived at the place of execution, Farel announced to the watching crowd: 'Here you see what power Satan possesses when he has a man in his power. This man is a scholar of distinction, and he perhaps believed he was acting rightly. But now Satan possesses him completely, as he might possess you, should you fall into his traps.'

When the executioner began his work, Servetus whispered with trembling voice: 'Oh God, Oh God!' The thwarted Farel snapped at him: 'Have you nothing else to say?' This time Servetus replied to him: 'What else might I do, but speak of God!' Thereupon he was lifted onto the pyre and chained to the stake. A wreath strewn with sulfur was placed on his head. When the faggots were ignited, a piercing cry of horror broke from him. 'Mercy, mercy!' he cried. For more than half an hour the horrible agony continued, for the pyre had been made of half-green wood, which burned slowly. 'Jesus, Son of the eternal God, have mercy on me,' the tormented man cried from the midst of the flames ...."(11)

"Farel noted that Servetus might have been saved by shifting the position of the adjective and confessing Christ as the Eternal Son rather than as the Son of the Eternal God."(12) "Calvin had thus murdered his enemy, and there is nothing to suggest that he ever repented his crime [sic]. The next year he published a defence [sic] in which further insults were heaped upon his former adversary in most vindictive and intemperate language..."(13)

Is it possible for a man such as John Calvin to have been a "great theologian" and at the same time to act in this reprehensible way and afterwards show no remorse? Dear reader, do you have a heart that could, like John Calvin, burn another person at the stake?

Let us illustrate this another way. Suppose a man from your congregation with a reputation for being a spiritual leader captured your neighbor's dog, chained it to a stake, then used a small amount of green kindling to slowly burn the dog to death. What would you think of such a person, especially if he afterwards showed no remorse? Would you want him to interpret the Bible for you? To make the matter even worse for John Calvin, a person, unlike a dog, is created in the image of God! Like it or not, we can only conclude from this evidence that John Calvin's heart was darkened, and not enlightened, as a result of his murderous hate for Michael Servetus. John Calvin was spiritually blinded by this hate and therefore, spiritually hindered from rightly dividing the word of truth.(17) John Calvin himself was unsaved, according to Scripture:

"But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars -- their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death" (Rev. 21:8).

"We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, 'I know him,' but does not do what he commands is a liar and the truth is not in him" (1 Jn. 2:3,4).

"And you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding [continuing] in him" (1 Jn. 3:15, NKJV).

The Greek adds an important word to 1 Jn. 3:15 that is sometimes omitted in English translations. That word is "continuing" or "abiding" (NKJV) and states that murderous people don't have eternal life continuing in them.

Dear reader, since murderers are unsaved and John Calvin was a murderer, then John Calvin was unsaved! Moreover, since the unsaved are darkened in their spiritual understanding (Eph. 4:18) and John Calvin was unsaved based on Scripture, then John Calvin was darkened in his spiritual understanding. Jesus said we can "know" people by their fruit (Mt. 12:33) -- be it John Calvin or anyone else! Similarly, the Apostle John wrote:

"This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother" (1 Jn. 3:10).

Can you say John Calvin did what was "right" regarding Michael Servetus? Doesn't this make him a "child of the devil," according to that verse and others already cited? Though some will rant and rave over this conclusion, can we Scripturally come to any other?

No other evidence is needed to objectively assess John Calvin's spiritual status. However, two other men should also be briefly mentioned: "Two other famous episodes concerned Jacques Gruet and Jerome Bolsec. Gruet, whom Calvin considered a Libertine, had written letters critical of the Consistory and, more serious, petitioned the Catholic king of France to intervene in the political and religious affairs of Geneva. With Calvin's concurrence he was beheaded for treason. Bolsec publicly challenged Calvin's teaching on predestination, a doctrine Bolsec, with many others, found morally repugnant. Banished from the city in 1551, he revenged himself in 1577 by publishing a biography of Calvin that charged him with greed, financial misconduct, and sexual aberration."(18)

End Notes on Michael Servetus

1. "On only two counts, significantly, was Servetus condemned -- namely, anti-Trinitarianism and anti-paedobaptism." Roland H. Bainton, Hunted Heretic (The Beacon Press, 1953), p. 207. [Comment: While Servetus was wrong about the Trinity, regarding his rejection of infant baptism, Servetus said, "It is an invention of the devil, an infernal falsity for the destruction of all Christianity" (Ibid., p. 186.) Many Christians of our day could only give a hearty "Amen" to this statement made about infant baptism. However, this is why, in part, Servetus was condemned to death by the Calvinists!] 
2. Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge (Baker Book House, 1950), p. 371. 
3. The Wycliffe Biographical Dictionary Of The Church (Moody Press, 1982), p. 73. 
4. Stephen Hole Fritchman, Men Of Liberty (Reissued, Kennikat Press, Inc., 1968), p. 8. 
5. Walter Nigg, The Heretics (Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1962), p. 328. 
6. Steven Ozment, The Age Of Reformation 1250-1550 (New Haven and London Yale University Press, 1980), p. 370. 
7. Who's Who In Church History (Fleming H. Revell Company, 1969), p. 252. 
8. The Heretics, p. 326. 
9. The Wycliffe Biographical Dictionary Of The Church, p. 366. 
10. John F. Fulton, Michael Servetus Humanist and Martyr (Herbert Reichner, 1953), p. 35. 
11. The Heretics, p. 327. 
12. Hunted Heretic, p. 214. [Comment: Nowhere in the Bible do we see this sort of emphasis for one's salvation. The dying thief, the Philippian jailer and Cornelius were all saved by a most basic trusting-submitting faith in Jesus.] 
13. Michael Servetus Humanist and Martyr, p. 36. 
14. John Hus attacked various Roman Catholic heresies such as transubstantiation, subservience to the Pope, belief in the saints, efficacy of absolution through the priesthood, unconditional obedience to earthly rulers and simony. Hus also made the Holy Scriptures the only rule in matters of religion and faith. See The Wycliffe Biographical Dictionary Of The Church, p. 201. 
15. The Heretics, p. 326. 
16. Ibid., pp. 328, 329. 
17. For example, in clear contrast to the meaning that Jesus gave of the parable of the weeds in the field (Mt. 13:24-43) where the Lord told us "the field is the world" (v.38), John Calvin taught "the field is the church." See Calvin's verse by verse commentary of Matthew's gospel. 
18. The Age of Reformation 1250-1550, pp. 368,369. Bolsec's book in which he charges Calvin as he did is cited as Histoire de la vie, moeurs, actes, doctrine, constance et mort de Jean Calvin ... pub. a Lyon en 1577, ed. M. Louis-Francois Chastel (Lyon, 1875).

I agree with the conclusion stated by the author of this article that “John Calvin was darkened in his understanding.” He was a man who manifested the proud and murderous spirit of Satan rather than the humility and gentleness of Christ. Consider for a moment how Calvin justified such ungodly behavior through his doctrine. He believed that Yahweh was going to torment the vast majority of His creation in the fiery torments of hell for eternity without end. Consequently, Calvin reasoned that it was a very small thing to subject a man to the torments of a fiery death for a limited period of time here on Earth.

I have demonstrated the falseness of the doctrine of eternal torment in the book God’s Plan of the Ages, and in doing so have also refuted one of the key points of Calvinism which is defined as “Limited Atonement.” Truly a man’s conception of God will have a great impact on the way he treats others.

Interestingly, at the top of the website on which this article appears there is an audio clip where John MacArthur is asked who he most admires among Christians. MacArthur responds by naming John Calvin.

John MacArthur has embraced the typical role of a pastor as a businessman. He has coveted the wealth and comforts of this world, eschewing the example of Christ and His disciples. Doing a quick search online I found a report on his earnings from the year 2011. In that year alone he received a salary of $402,044 from the Grace to You ministry, as well as a salary of $103,000 from the Masters College and Seminary. In addition to this he also received a salary from Grace Church and earned book royalties and speaking fees. The MacArthur Study Bible has sold more than one million copies by itself, so the amount of money he earns from his books could well exceed his multiple salaried positions.

MacArthur’s salary is a matter of public record and his ministries’ tax forms are posted online. The same report that pointed this out lists the following information.

In a clear conflict of interest, John Macarthur's Grace To You has paid approximately $4,300,000 over the last 6 years (2008-2013) to a private firm solely owned by Kory Welch, his son-in law.  The Welch Group Companies receives approximately $775,000 annually to produce videos for Grace to You.

Just a short time ago I was corresponding with a brother in Christ who cited John MacArthur’s explanation of the Gospel passage where Christ and His disciples watch people putting money into the Temple Treasury. The Son of God spoke approvingly of a widow woman who put two small coins into the Treasury.

Mark 12:42-44
And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which amount to a cent. And calling His disciples to Him, He said to them, "Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury; for they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on."

In contrast, John MacArthur spoke condemningly of the widow’s action.

You know, the prosperity gospel is more morally reprehensible than a Las Vegas casino because it masquerades as religion. They take your money in Las Vegas but you expect it because it’s run by the Mafia. You don’t expect the people that represent God to do the same thing. And when Jesus saw the widow put her last mite into the temple offering, He said, “This Temple is going to come down. Not one stone will be left on another.” I don’t know what you have been taught about that story of the widow giving her last two cents. That was not an example of Christian giving. God doesn’t expect you to give your last two cents and go home and die. That’s what happens to a widow who is suckered by a religion of works. She was trying to buy with her last two cents her way into the kingdom because that’s what she had been taught. And Jesus says, “Any system that sucks people down to the place where they have nothing left in a false hope is coming down.” And it did.

Remarkably, the title of this message by John MacArthur is Testing the Spirits. I think there should be some testing of John MacArthur’s spirit. Isn’t it remarkable that this man who states that Christians “don’t expect the people that represent God” to “take your money” has grown rich off of the money of the church? We should also ask whether it is true that God does not expect His people “to give your last two cents” to Him? Christ declared the following to the people who had gathered to listen to Him.

Luke 14:33
So therefore, no one of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his possessions.

And to the rich young ruler who asked Christ what he needed to do to inherit eternal life, Yahshua responded:

Mark 10:21
"One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess, and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me."

For many years John MacArthur invited listeners to his radio program to join him for an annual cruise where he and other Grace To You employees would be holding speaking sessions aboard ship in the midst of great opulence, self-indulgence, and 24 hour buffets. Of course John MacArthur would get to cruise free of charge and would even profit from the cruises which serve as opportunities to sell books, videos, and other ministry materials.

Kenneth, it is not my intent to single out John MacArthur as an example of what a minister in the apostate Christian religious system of this day looks like. There are others who are worse, and not all that he teaches is error. He does proclaim some truth. I have gone to the trouble of sharing this information with you in order to alert you to the need to test EVERYTHING that is being taught. There is much danger of being led astray into error by reading a study Bible or a Bible commentary if you are not practicing spiritual discernment and showing yourself to be a diligent student, examining carefully and patiently every teaching you encounter. This includes my own.

I do not shy away from encouraging men and women to have their Bibles opened and to check the context of every Scripture I cite to make sure no false interpretation has been wrested from the pages of the Bible. Truth does not mind being scrutinized. Indeed, it is of benefit for you to scrutinize that which is true as well as that which is false, for in doing so the truth will be firmly established in your mind and heart.

I placed an order for a copy of Nave’s Topical Bible for you. You said Bibles don’t need to be pre-approved. This is not a typical Bible, however, so I don’t know if you want to request approval of it. I ordered it through Books A Million, one of the Georgia Department of Corrections’ approved book sellers. You should be receiving it soon.

In your letter you stated that you don’t feel that God is calling you to be a minister, but you do sense that He has a call on your life. It is true that Yahweh has a work prepared for all of His sons and daughters. The clergy/laity separation which is commonly recognized in the churches today is a wholly un-Biblical concept. The Scriptures teach that ALL who are born again of the Spirit of Christ are called to be a nation of priests. We are all Christ’s ambassadors, representing Him to the world.

II Corinthians 5:17-20
Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were entreating through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

Kenneth, God determined before the foundations of the Earth what work is appointed to each individual. It is our responsibility to seek the Father and to know what works He has appointed to us.

Ephesians 2:10
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Yahshua for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

You need not wait until you are released from prison to enter into those works God has appointed to you. There are ministry opportunities in prison. I know well that there are men in prison whom God has prepared to receive a word of truth. You need not think conventionally when thinking of your calling. There are a great many ways to demonstrate the life of Christ to others. An act of kindness; a word of encouragement timely spoken; sharing what possessions you have with others; praying for a man who has a spiritual or physical need; these are just a few of the ways God uses men to demonstrate the life of Christ to others. Invite God to give you eyes to see the opportunities He has appointed for you, and to anoint you with His Spirit that you might demonstrate the life of Christ to others.

On another subject, you need not be concerned about the quality of your writing. I have the advantage of being able to compose my thoughts on computer. I also read through my correspondence for mistakes before I print it out, or send it on. I catch all manner of errors that way, but a few still slip by.

Back on the subject of Study Bibles, I believe some of the most useful are those which contain references to other passages of Scripture that have some association with the content of the passage you are studying. An example is the Thompson Chain Reference Bible. In this Bible you will find in the margins references to other Bible passages which address the same subject. You get the same basic information in a Bible concordance, but this puts the information right alongside the text of the passage. Other valuable study aids are notes explaining some detail of the Scripture you are reading, such as the identity of a geographical name, or the definition of some ancient unit of measure. In a sense, this is like adding the information from a Bible dictionary or encyclopedia into the text as well.

One of the more concerning features of modern study Bibles is commentary. As with the MacArthur Study Bible, the author’s commentary is usually leavened with error, or misleading as to the deeper meanings of some passage. I rarely use commentaries for I have found them to be shallow, or filled with error. There are some that go a bit deeper, but they too must be tested for they all have some error. One of the more insightful study Bibles I have found is that produced by E.W. Bullinger. It is called The Companion Study Bible, but as far as I know it is only available in the King James Version. Bullinger brings out many unusual aspects of the Scriptures and delves into subjects others rarely address, but he too has some error. It is always necessary to test all things.

In your letter you expressed a desire to encourage your parents and your sister to begin showing a greater interest in spiritual things, and to introduce them to some of my writings. Kenneth, I don’t want to discourage you in this matter. Yet at the same time I would have you to consider that a vital and dynamic spiritual life being manifested in the life of a person is a very rare thing in this age. I am often reminded of the following passage of Scripture.

Jeremiah 3:14-15
Return, backsliding children, says Yahweh; for I am a husband to you: and I will take you one from a city, and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion: and I will give you shepherds according to my heart, who shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.

I would like to be considered by Yahweh to be one of those faithful shepherds who will feed people with true knowledge and spiritual understanding. Yet the greater revelation I take from these verses is that the number of individuals prepared to receive truth and understanding is but a remnant. One from a city and two from a family is not many. Zion is the place where Christ stands among the overcomers. There are not many people journeying there. At this time Yahweh is dealing primarily with a first fruits group who are coming to maturity before the more numerous majority.

I encourage you to attend first to your own spiritual growth, and wait on Yahweh to lead you to opportunities to speak a word of light and truth to those you love. Pray for them, for apart from the drawing of the Holy Spirit, no man will come to deeper places in Christ. Don’t underestimate what Yahweh will do in response to your prayers. He does not need our activity or intervention, but He will at times permit us to play a part in stimulating those we love to a purer devotion to Christ.

Regarding the material I send to you and your cell mate, it is better that I continue to send material to each of you individually. It is too much labor to try to figure out what material you are receiving in common, and if you do receive duplicate material that you need to dispose of, this may give you an opportunity to share it with someone else.

As for your roommate and his interest in Roman Catholicism, I will send you a writing titled Syncretism. I invite you to read it first and then if you deem it appropriate you can share it with him, or whatever portion of it you deem fitting. I am also enclosing a writing titled Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras), Ash Wednesday, Lent and Easter.

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

Joseph Herrin

Heart4God Website:    

Parables Blog:    

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