Archive for July 2010
I was blessed to attend two wonderful days of The Mile High Conference Revival in Denver Colorado. The preaching was at a depth in God that was phenomenal. I have posted some of the sermons here on my blog, complete with commentary taken from the church website. Enjoy!
For additional messages from Calvary Apostolic Church, go to http://www.cacdenver.org
Bro. Pixler gives us a deeper understanding of Jesus’ meaning when praying “Not my will, but Thine be done”
You must get God for yourself. You can’t live off your Father’s blessing. You must get it for yourself. You may be defined in the natural by your Father, past, history etc… but when you get God, you become his Son and you are then defined by Him. Let him become Your God, Your provider, Your help.
Isaac found himself bound on the altar due to his father’s desire to please God. Bro. Black examines his reaction to this unsettling turn of events in his life.
Failure does not spell the end for children of God — Keep your faith!
(Last night I heard Pastor Tony Spell quote this very rare old poem. I wanted to share it with my readers. It is written by the same man who wrote ‘Amazing Grace.’)
“The Kite, or the Fall of Pride”
Aug. 4, 1770
My waking dreams are best concealed,
Much folly, little good they yield.
But now and then I gain when sleeping
A friendly hint that’s worth the keeping.
Lately I dreamt of one who cried
“Beware of self, beware of pride;
When you are prone to build a Babel
Recall to mind this little fable.”
Once upon a time a paper kite
Was mounted to a wondrous height,
Where, giddy with its elevation,
It thus expressed self-admiration:
”See how yon crowds of gazing people
Admire my flight above the steeple;
How they would wonder if they knew
All that a kite like me can do?
Were I but free, I’d take a flight,
And pierce the clouds beyond their sight.
“But, ah! like a poor pris’ner bound,
My string confines me near the ground:
I’d brave the eagle’s tow’ring wing,
Might I but fly without a string.”
It tugged and pulled, while thus it spoke
To break the string; at last it broke.
Deprived at once of all its stay,
In vain it tried to soar away;
Unable its own weight to bear,
It fluttered downward through the air;
Unable its own course to guide,
The winds soon plunged it in the tide.
Ah! foolish kite; thou hadst no wing;
How couldt thou fly without a string?
My heart replied, “O Lord, I see
How much this kite resembles me!
Forgetful that by thee I stand,
Impatient of thy ruling hand;
“How oft I’ve wished to break the lines
Thy wisdom for my lot assigns?
How oft indulged a vain desire
For something more or something higher.
And but for grace or love divine,
A fall thus dreadful had been mine.”
In the early 50’s my father, Carl Ballestero preached a revival for his dear friend Paul Jordan in Indianapolis, Indiana. Christian Tabernacle, located then at 38th and Sherman Drive, was a revival church. Visitors came almost every service and many of them received the Holy Ghost.
One night a new lady received the Holy Ghost. Not only did she speak in tongues, she spoke in several different languages. Then she began to sing. She sang 17 songs in 17 different languages. It lasted for what seemed like an hour or so.
The saints were mesmerized. Everyone was amazed. No one ever remembered seeing or hearing of anything like this before. The new convert was ecstatic! Her experience stirred the congregation to jubilation.
At the altar call the next night, a bald headed man about 50 came down and prayed. He prayed until he was the last one in the altar. The saints finally gave up and left the pastor, the evangelist and his family. They alone remained to pray with the seeker.
After two hours of praying, the bald headed seeker finally began to speak in tongues. He spoke in tongues for an hour or more. By now it was way past midnight. My little sisters were asleep near the altar.
Baldy stopped praying. He kept his eyes closed and shook his head.
“It’s no use!” He said.
“What’s no use?” My father asked him.
“The Holy Ghost… I can’t get it!”
“You can’t get it?”
“Man, what have you been speaking in for the last hour?” My father asked him.
“I don’t know, but I know it wasn’t the Holy Ghost!”
“How can you say it wasn’t the Holy Ghost?” Dad pushed the point.
“Because I didn’t sing those 17 different songs in 17 different languages!” Was his reply.
Although we may smile at what we consider to be unrealistic expectations, Baldy is not alone.
The Disciples thought the Kingdom of God was to be earthly.
James and John’s mother wanted her sons to get to sit on either side on Jesus.
Naaman thought he would be prayed for in a specific manner like Oral Roberts, Benny Hinn, or R.W. Shambach.
2Kings 5:11 But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the LORD his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper.
Because of Naaman’s preconceived notions, he had to humble himself before he received his miracle.
So do we. Let God do His business His way.
We may speak in Tongues for an hour or for a minute, when we receive it, but it’s still the Holy Ghost!
God’s will for you today, may be in the ‘still small voice’ or in the’ rustle in the mulberry bushes.’
1Kings 19:11 And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake:
1Kings 19:12 And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.
It doesn’t have to be thunder and lightening to be God demonstrating Himself in your life.
Once The Seal Is Broken
Jams and jellies are a necessity in my home. I love them. I like jam on toast, and a big gob on each half of my biscuit. I even have been known to spread jam on my pancakes. I have many memories of my mother making dozens of jars of preserves and jellies each year. My daughter, Marisa Hartzell carries on the family tradition and her jams and jellies taste every bit as wonderful as my Mother’s. I am blessed.
One common practice in my Mom’s canning was the use of paraffin. Once the jam in the jar was ready, she poured melted paraffin on top of the jam. The paraffin would make a seal about a quarter of an inch thick or more. When the wax was cool and the jar sealed, a lid was tightly screwed into place.
Later, when we needed jam, the paraffin seal was broken. The contents of the jar immediately became subject to spoiling if not treated refrigerated properly. The seal was broken and could not be put back into place.
Kerr came out with a special two-part lid for the home-canner. When the contents of the jars are still hot, the rims were wiped clean, and flat Kerr lids were put into place.
As the jar cools, a vacuum is created and the lid is sucked tight onto the rim. The center of the lid is sunken; showing that the seal was successful. Tapping on the lid strikes a musical note only if sealed correctly.
Once the lid is pried off, safe food measures must be immediately taken because the seal cannot be put back into place. Food spoilage is a danger.
Eighteen wheel big rigs are often seen pulling a trailer with a metal seal or seals in the door latch. Something very important and valuable is inside. The owner is worried, that’s why he placed a seal upon the door. Every trucker knows that if that seal is broken, foul play is suspected. It can’t be restored. The seal is broken. Answers will be demanded. Explanations are in order and the contents of the whole trailer are subject to inventory.
What about the seal between the saint and their pastor?
Charlie was a sinner. He came to church, repented, got baptized and was filled with the Holy Ghost. Bro. Charlie did wonderful for 18 years. Then one day his son Josh rebelled and sinned. It caused quite a stir in the church. Several young people were involved. It became an issue that couldn’t be ignored or allow to continue. The pastor had to respond.
Bro. Charlie wasn’t happy with the pastor’s response to his son’s sinning in his preaching or in the counseling sessions. He got offended. He protected his son from the pulpit and eventually told his friends he wasn’t coming back. He didn’t, he changed churches.
In the next 15 years, Bro. Charlie went to at least eight different churches in almost that many states. He still feels saved, so does his son. His boy is now married to a Charismatic woman who cut her hair, wears slacks, and has lots of jewelry. She also talks in tongues.
Charlie wouldn’t take correction. He wouldn’t allow Josh to be corrected. He allowed the seal to be broken between himself and the man of God. Consequently, he has spent many years taking his soul in his own hands, and drifting from church to church. If he doesn’t like the pastor’s stand, on an issue, he moves on. The seal of a Pastor-Saint relationship is permanently missing in his heart.. He broke the seal. Not only him, but also his son has experienced the spoilage that only comes with broken seals.
Don’t ever allow the seal to be broken between you and your man of God. It may never be restored.
Jude 13 referred to those with broken seals as: ‘wandering stars.’
Never let the old flesh bring separation between your pastor and yourself. It is impossible to go back to a life of innocence. It’s impossible to replace that seal. Once you learn how to take your soul in your own hands and make your own life decisions, you can’t be pastored anymore.
Is your seal in place?
The Fail Factor
Prov. 24:16 For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.
Even good people make mistakes!
It’s Not About Falling Down – It’s About Getting Back Up
- We all need help; we just need it in different areas.
- We’ve all had failures, some small, some not so small.
- We ALL can come from a “setback” to a “comeback”.
DEF. Webster: What Is Failure?
- The condition of not achieving the desired end or ends.
- Being found insufficient.
- Falling short.
Two Things Will Happen When You Fail.
- Recover, Draw Closer To God
- Feel Hopeless And Give Up.
- Think you can’t live it,
- Think you can’t be saved.
- Give up!
- Run from God
Luke 15:13 And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.
Luke 15:14 And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.
Luke 15:15 And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.
Luke 15:16 And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.
Luke 15:17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
Luke 15:18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,
Luke 15:19 And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.
Luke 15:20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
Five Facts About Failure:
No One Is Exempt – We All Make Mistakes
Failure Warns Me There Are Things I Need To Change
- Friends (Ye did run well, WHO did hinder you)
- Church Attendance
- Personal Devotions
Failure Can Help Me Find God.
Failure Most Likely Removed Most Of My Pride,
- Need To Humbly Seek His Face.
Failure Reminds Me That My Own Flesh Is my Biggest Enemy
I Recognize My Weakness
Failure Is Not The Final Chapter
Missionary on the field today – Backslid 14 times as a young person!
Don’t Plan for Failure, Plan For Recovery!
Why Do People Fail?
- A Conditional Commitment To Jesus Christ?
- A Limited Obedience To God’s Word?
- A Careless Attitude Toward Temptation?
- A Failure To Put First Things First?
- (Maybe a combination of reasons.)
The Phases Of Failure
The Reaction Phase
- Shock – I can’t believe it.
- Denial – Won’t admit blame.
- Blame – Adam/Eve
- Withdrawal – Hide in bushes
- Fear – Of more failure
- Anger – Mad at self, at own weakness.
- Shame – I can’t face anyone, I let everybody down.
- Depression – I’m hopeless, I’ll never amount to anything
- Despair – No use! Guess I’ll just give up!
The Response Phase Is Crucial…
What Are You Going To Do?
The Flight Response
- Don’t run from God.
- If God had given up on you, He wouldn’t bother reaching for you or dealing with your heart. He wouldn’t waste a sermon on you.
The Repentance Response
Don’t Ever Give Up.
The Shepherd (The Good Shepherd) Sought until he found the lost sheep. God hasn’t given up on you.
Woman With 10 Pieces Of Silver: (The Church) Lit a candle and swept until she found the coin. Thank God the Church doesn’t give up on you.
Prodigal Son didn’t give up on himself. He came to himself and came back home.
God Knows About Human Failure.
God knows we will fail. “He knoweth our frame.”
He’s ready to forgive.
He sees beyond our failure.
- Made us pray.
- Made us humble.
- Made us try harder.
- Made us cautious.
- Made us thankful for His Mercy.
- Made us appreciate the power of the Blood.
- Drew us closer to the cross.
I Pray That None Of My Readers Ever Fail.
But if you do sin, you have an Advocate (A Defense Attorney)
1John 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
If There Was No Hope. Why Would We Be Given A Defense Attorney?
Rom. 8:34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
Why Would Jesus Make Intercession For Us If There Is No Hope?
THERE IS HOPE!!
Like the story of the prodigal son and his father, you’re not that far from home when:
- When you start getting hungry
- When your pride gets out of the way
- When your thoughts turn towards home
- When you come to yourself
- When you get up
- When you start coming home
- When the Father is watching for you
- When the Father runs to meet you
- When you humble yourself
- When you say you’re sorry
- When you wrap your arms around each other
You’re not that far from home. Come on home! Your failure is not what’s important now. What is important is that you’re heading home!
The Devil Doesn’t Play Fair!
Hell has no honor code. It is not bound by Rules of Engagement like our Army in wartime. Satan fights dirty. He’s not your friend. He shows no mercy. He doesn’t ‘love’ you. He’s your enemy.
- He will demoralize everyone he can.
- He destroys everyone he can.
- He kills everyone he can.
- He uses everyone he can.
- He accuses everyone he can.
- He addicts everyone he can.
He’s An Adversary
1Pet. 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
- Take it personal. It’s OK. You’re not being paranoid. He is YOUR adversary.
He’s An Intimidator
- He’s a roaring lion. The lion’s roar is meant to instill fear
He’s An Accuser
Rev. 12:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
- Take it personal, It’s OK. You’re not being paranoid He is Your accuser.
The Devil Doesn’t Play Fair:
Pastor Johnson with young children at home finds out he has cancer. Stage 4. He is on chemo for many hours a day, almost every day for many weeks. He’s deathly ill. His church suffered a fire. Several families have left him. The church attendance is going down. He’s hurting in every area of his life. The devil doesn’t play fair.
Larry found someone else. He leaves his home, his wife and his children. His now ex-wife is left with the bills and the care of the family. The children are robbed of their father. Their faith in marriage is forever scarred. Behavioral problems surface in the son. The absence of the father gave him more liberties than he needed and the police finally got involved. Now he has a record. The mother loses her job and her house. The devil doesn’t play fair.
Donna went to church by herself. She was on fire for God. Her parents weren’t saved. Her dad got a job transfer to another state where there wasn’t an apostolic church within 50 miles. Donna was only 14. How long can you not go to church and still survive? The devil doesn’t play fair.
Tom died. He didn’t have much in the way of insurance. His wife Linda and her young children struggled financially. A smooth talking Romeo took advantage of Linda’s desperate situation and marries her. She wanted the children to have a father. It’s not long before the Romeo began to physically and verbally abuse Linda. She had to call the police. Tom was gone, Romeo’s gone, and now the money gone. The devil doesn’t play fair.
The doctor told Cheryl that she was pregnant. Cheryl and Bob had wanted a baby for 14 years. The concern on the doctor’s face slowed her celebration. The doctor could find no heartbeat. The baby was taken prematurely. The lab report said Cheryl also had cancer. Chemo is ordered. The devil doesn’t play fair.
Sam was a preacher in the local church. Everyone liked him. He and his landlord disagreed on an issue. The landlord spread a lie about Sam that got back into the church. The church people believed the landlord. No one was interested in Sam’s story. Sam was embarrassed and disappointed in the people. He backslid and never went back to church. The devil doesn’t play fair.
Rachael, a virtuous and talented young woman would have welcomed the attention of a dedicated young man. The ones in her church seemed to be interested in girls in another church. The guys that showed her attention were in the world and didn’t want anything to do with living for God. She knew there were things much worse than being single. She also knew the devil didn’t play fair.
Frank backslid. He started drinking and gambling. He lost everything. His family left. He had nothing to show for his 47 years of life, but the few clothes in his closet and a $300 car. He remembered the days when he led song service in church. He’d gotten offended and left. He hadn’t meant to go as low as he had. The devil doesn’t play fair.
Steven was just hanging with some friends from school. In a moment of weakness, he tried what they offered him. He became addicted in one day. He had to steal to support his habit. He went to jail for 25 years. The devil doesn’t play fair.
Remember the Prodigal Son? The devil didn’t play fair with him either. The good news is that the son woke up to what the devil had done to him. He went to his Father. The Father restored his world.
- Just like the Father wishes to restore your world today!
Remember Israel in Egyptian slavery? God delivered them.
- Just like He wants to deliver you today.
Remember Job? He lost everything. God gave him back double.
- Just like God wants to bless today.
Here Are A Couple Of Precious Promises To Help You Through Today.
- 1Cor. 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
- Rom. 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
- Heb. 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
- 1Sam. 30:8 And David inquired at the LORD, saying, Shall I pursue after this troop? shall I overtake them? And he answered him, Pursue: for thou shalt surely overtake them, and without fail recover all.
- Ex. 14:25 And took off their chariot wheels, that they drave them heavily: so that the Egyptians said, Let us flee from the face of Israel; for the LORD fighteth for them against the Egyptians.
- Josh. 23:10 One man of you shall chase a thousand: for the LORD your God, he it is that fighteth for you, as he hath promised you.
Don’t Give Up! The Last Chapter’s Not Written Yet! No Matter What Happens, God Is A Good God And He’s In Control!
Your prayers for my Son-In-Law, Pastor Brandon Hartzell are very needed and appreciated. He was taken to ER this morning with pain and stiffness in his neck, severe headache and fever. He was given a spinal tap, and cat scan. They are checking him for meningitis among other things. They have given him some morphine for the severe pain.
HE’S HOME!! Thank you for your prayers! May the name of Jesus be praised!
Ten Traits Of A Successful Saint
They Have Faith
- They trust God.
- Heb. 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
They Are Obedience
- They don’t argue with the Bible or the Pastor. They willingly submit to His Word.
- Rom. 6:17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
They Live Righteousness
- They live right. They are honorable, pay their bills, and their word are their bond. They give the Church a good name.
- Phil. 1:11 Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.
They Are Humble
- They are not proud or arrogant. Neither do they display attitudes.
- 1Pet. 5:5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
They Love One Another
- They love, forgive, overlook faults, are not harsh or critical. They are kind and helpful.
- 1John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
They Surrounded Themselves With Godly Fellowship
- They are careful about influences in their life. They understand, carnal friends call pull them down and pull them out.
- 2Tim. 2:22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
- They don’t have to be begged to praise the Lord.
- Heb. 2:12 Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.
- They never forget who they are and why they are here.
- Matt. 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
They Have Personal Devotions
- They include the Lord in their daily living.
- Acts 3:1 Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.
They Live A Holy Life
- They live like, and even look like someone who has given their life to the Lord.
- Rom. 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.