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Pretending To Be OK!

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The Boxer

The Champ was hit hard with a flourish of jabs from the Contender. A quick 1-2 punch to the body with a solid left uppercut staggered him and he fell backwards into the ropes.

He was saved by the sound of the bell and happily retired to his corner.  He was tended to by his trainer and cut man. When the bell rang again, the Champ came out of his corner, dancing and doing his best not to let the Contender know that he had been hurt. He was pretending that he was OK.

The Card Player

The card player’s cards are not very good. But he can’t let anyone know that. He has to act like he has the best hand in the game. He bets that he does. The other players study his face and do mental math to see if they think he’s lying.

He knows his hand is bad, but by bluffing, he’s pretending he’s OK.

 

The Lost Husband

He looks out the window secretly hoping to find a familiar landmark. He may not know where he’s at, but he’s not lost in his own mind. He feels that he can still get you to your destination, even if it takes him an extra hour. His ‘man-hood’ is at stake. He won’t ask for help, he’s pretending he’s still OK.

You

What is your response when someone walks up to you with a half-hearted, “How ya doing?”images

  • You always say, “Fine, thank you.”
  • Don’t you?
  • You too are pretending you’re OK.

 

Sinners / Backsliders

They especially pretend that they’re OK. It keeps them from admitting they need help; that they are in need of God. To admit that would be to confess they are wrong. They would have to stop sinning.

If you are not living for God and going to church like you should, then you are just pretending you are OK.

Holiness Haters

  1. If you have left the highway of holiness. If you have re-considered all your holiness standards and changed. If you defend your decision to look like the world while still claiming to have the Holy Ghost, then you are just pretending you are OK.
  2. If you have rejected the life of separation from the world. If you now justify looking and dressing like the rest of the world. If you now claim to have more freedom and to be happier than ever before, then you are just pretending you are OK.
  3. If you now make fun of holiness minded men and women and mock the way they dress. If you try to act superior in your new revelation and lifestyle. If you have a need to flaunt your disdain of holiness. Then you are just pretending you are OK.
  4. (No one would even admit to Pretending.)

The hardest thing in the world for some folks is to admit they are wrong.

To admit they’re not OK is to admit they were wrong. They would rather pretend they are OK here on earth and take their chances with God in the Judgment. How insane.

 

Paul said to Timothy:

2 Tim. 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;

Notice:

  1. We humans are our own problems (oppose themselves)
  2. If God peradventure (there’s a chance He will)
  3. Will give them repentance. (The opportunity to repent is a gift from God)
  4. To the acknowledging of the truth. (Truth about what? The truth about themselves and the error of their ways)

It’s not God’s will that you have to pretend that you are OK. No one has to pretend when they are obedient to all of His Word. It’s those that are trying to cut corners with God that feel a need to pretend. Admit it!

Written by Martyn Ballestero

June 6, 2014 at 2:19 pm

I Don’t Like Facial Hair On Pentecostal Men!

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I Don’t Like Facial Hair On Pentecostal Men!

(But those that know me already knew that.)

Did They Have Facial Hair In Bible Days? Yes.

Look at the sculptures of Roman times. Look again at the statues of the Caesars. They depict Gentile men wearing short hair, and no beards. They were the style leaders of their day. They depicted the dress of their generation. Evidently the world custom at that was not beard wearing for all men, especially not Gentile men.

The wearing of beards was certainly mentioned in the Bible. The case could be made that most of our heroes in the Old Testament wore facial hair.

Did they have facial hair in the early days of Pentecostal outpouring in the 1900’s? Yes. Early Pentecostal pioneers such as Bro. Seymour and Bishop Haywood wore facial hair. We’ve seen the pictures.

However, in early Pentecost, especially in the white churches, there was a marked absence of beards. The beards seemed to disappear.

Many Hispanic and black men feel that wearing a mustache is symbolic of masculinity. So automatically the cultural thing is throw down like an non-debatable subject. Of course that debate ignores the church’s culture.

During the Hippy Generation of the 50’s and 60’s, beards sprouted on those who rebelled against society. It became their symbol. Many of that culture were draft dodgers and some even moved to Canada. A spirit of rebellion and non-conformity was connected to the beard wearing.

New male converts for years have shown visible evidence of their conversion, by shaving off their facial hair when they got into an Apostolic church. The Pentecostal scene was one of clean-shaven men for over 50 years.

Now, after a half a century or so of no facial hair on men in mainstream Pentecost, It has started appearing again. Why? What changed in their minds and why did it change?

Recently, a Pentecostal organization even passed a position paper making it acceptable in their ranks for men to wear facial hair. Was the change made to appease liberals? Was it made to make the church look more like the world? Was it done to win the world? God knows.

Although It was made legally acceptable in some circles, it is still not palatable or acceptable everywhere. Today, facial hair on men is found in pulpits, in choirs, on the platform, in leadership and in the audience.

My Question Is, Why The Facial Hair Comeback?

  • Why now?
  • What for?
  • What is gained in the Spirit by men wearing facial hair?
  • How is the church strengthened by that acceptance?
  • Do Pentecostal men wear them because it’s popular in the world?
  • How does it further our outreach?
  • Why did our new converts shave their beards and mustaches off when they got the Holy Ghost?
  • Why the long absence of facial hair in conservative Pentecostal Apostolic ranks?
  • If it was deemed wrong then, why is it ok now?
  • Should we apologize now to all them who shaved their beards off when they got in church, because now it’s ok if you find the ‘right’ church?

If Facial Hair Today Is So Proper, Why Then Does It Cause Men Of Honor To Distance Themselves From All Those Who Permit Such? Why Then Does It Separate Good Men? There’s A Reason!

  • What are it’s wearers trying to prove, and to whom?
  • Doesn’t it make its wearers look more like what they used to be?

How Does This Help Identify Us As Apostolic?

If We Took A Poll And Asked Pentecostal Men Why They Are Wearing Beards, What Would Be Their Response To:

  • Are you going Charismatic?  No.
  • Are you backslid? No.
  • Are you in rebellion to holiness standards? No.
  • Are you wearing it because you think it makes you look cool? No.

If you are not wearing it out of compromise, rebellion, or from a backslidden state, and you are wearing it just because you think it looks good on you, then would you say it is pride issue with you?

Does Your Facial Hair Tell Others That You Have A Flaming Pride Issue?

  • If you don’t think pride is involved in wearing of facial hair, just try to preach it off of those who have it. Every wearer I’ve met is fiercely defensive.

When Apostolic Pentecostal Churches And Organizations Say It Is Ok To Wear Beards, The Question Soon Arises…

  • Why?
  • What do they hope to gain?
  • Does that bring revival?
  • Is this in anyway related to the same spirit of rebellion of the Hippies?
  • What is the purpose?
  • In some twisted way does the wearer feel it makes them more like Jesus? How?
  • Isn’t pride part of it?

What Other Area Of Their Live Is In Line To Be Changed Next?

Remember The Biblical Statements:

  • “It seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to us”
  • “Here we have no such custom”

Where Will These Two ‘Facial Hair’ Roads Go? Where Will They Take Us?

Most doubt that the two roads will ever meet again, because at present it appears to old school observers like me, that they are not headed in the same direction. My experience has been that those who re-examine and change their church dress standards, have never grown closer to God and to Holiness, but moved further away.

What scares many men is the question of what is behind this wide sweeping occurrence. Is there a spirit behind the push? Are the changes being made a just tip of the iceberg?

The churches I find myself most comfortable in are those who say

Here we have no such custom.” By making that statement, Paul pointed out in Scripture that, Godly Custom took precedence.

Wearing facial hair today might be lawful to some, but it has not proven itself to be expedient. It’s been divisive.

(I don’t understand this generation’s interest in tattoos or facial hair. Don’t even get me started on tattoos…)

Thanks, I feel better now! You will too… after you go shave!

Written by Martyn Ballestero

May 27, 2014 at 1:30 am

Posted in Christian Living, Old-Time Pentecost

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What Would Pentecostals Post On Facebook If This Were 70 Years Ago?

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What Would Pentecostals Post On Facebook If This Were 70 Years Ago?

k-bigpicI’m sure I don’t really know. It’s a crazy supposition, for certain. But what if there had been Internet and Facebook? What kind of posts would we read from friends and family in our FB news feed?

First of all, I am not sure how many would have even been on any social media. Some, in the 1940’s, regularly warned of the worldly influence of radio in Christian homes. Television was called a one-eyed monster.

Secondly, the whole world was at war. The saints of old actually believed they were living in the last days and most of them acted accordingly.

Thirdly, many of them had survived the great depression. Most had little money or possessions. Christ and the Church became the center of their lives.

With this in mind allow me to extract comments and excerpts from my family’s letters and wire recordings (Wire recorders preceded Cassette and Tape Recorders.) made during that same time frame.

I am sure they would have made the same type of affectionate greetings to family and friends.

We would have also read:

  • Victory reports of revival and new church plantings
  • Updates on our children and grand children’s lives
  • Recipes and sewing tips
  • But most assuredly, there would have been much talk about the coming of the Lord, the end time, Heaven, and the importance of being ready

Here are some comments taken from Carl Ballestero’s (my father) letters to Bro. Harvey Davis during WWII.

     1.    “I write to you, Harvey, as Jonathan would to David, with nothing but love and honor in my heart for you.  I know nothing of your failures, (I have enough of my own, for we all are unprofitable servants), but I looked for Jesus in you, and bless His dear Name, I found Him in you in a very pleasing way. It really isn’t hard to see our Jesus in one another, if we would but look for Him.

2.    “As I was sitting at the table thinking of what you said about going all out for Jesus, (you spoke my heart) and it seemed then, how few really want to see things done for God. Most people will go places for God when things are going good and when the message is popular, but only a handful are possessed with the “Jesus passions” for lost souls and genuine red-hot Holy Ghost revival fire to sweep not only their own hearts, but the whole community as well. I pray that God will give us a “go-through” spirit.

     3.    “May the Lord melt us and take away all bitterness from our hearts, for His Name’s sake.

     4.    “We’re strangers here, not wanted, not loved by man, we have a Heavenly City, not made with hands, and One ever beckons to the weary, tempted and tried pilgrims to “Come out from among them and be ye separate” for this world is not their home.

     5.    “Yes, there is hardly a preacher in Pentecost who doesn’t know how far short of the Apostolic power we are. Oh, it is true that we have the Gospel, but then too, “The letter killeth.” It is the Spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing.” It takes more than plain good preaching to get people saved. It takes the signs following you spoke about.

     6.    “…But then may we now say, not “Where is the God of Elijah,” but “Where is the Elijah of God.”

 

     7.    “We, as young ministers could blame the preachers before us for this pitiful state of God’s Body, (and we would not be too far from wrong for they have not been altogether blameless), but we have a wall to build, whether we are the men to do the job or not, I am certain God is pleased that the thought is in our hearts. Let us therefore set our minds to the immense task that lies before us, and consecrate, humble, deny and keep under the Blood every fiber of our being that we might be of a truth, “The apple of God’s eye.” Surely He cannot help but bless that one who has determined to make his time God’s time, who realizes that his members are God’s temple, his very life and breath, a loan from a loving Friend who sticks closer than any brother.

     8.    “I can truthfully say, that my joy is to do the will of my Father in Heaven, yes, that is also my meat, it sustains me, gives me life, for Jesus is truly the “Bread of Life.”

 

     9.    “Let us evermore come to Him that we might have life and that more abundantly. Jesus said, “Ye will not come to Me that ye might have life.” We have life from Him, Brother, but not many have that abundant life, the holy and sanctified breath of God in them that makes giants out of weaklings, that makes heroes out of cowards, that makes intercessors out of sluggards, yea, that makes mighty, prevailing, unconquerable, rugged, self-denying Gospel and Gift entrusted Christian men and women who can move the mountains of sin in the abominable generation of our day.

     10.“What then shall we do? Shall we be sorry for our faults, or defeats? No, not sorry, but rather repent. It is harder to get a Pentecostal person to repent than a rank sinner. Yes, repent and launch out into the deep, for surely hell will be full of sorry people.

     11.“Most of my time is spent in the study of God’s Word. I now am spending more time in prayer that He first might make it burn in my heart so that I can preach it from the very depths of my soul with His fire and unction. I have a wonderful book entitled “The Preacher and Prayer” by Bounds, and if I can’t find any in the bookstores, I’ll send you mine. Marvelous truth! It will fire your passion for souls and shake you into a prayerful attitude.

 

     12.“My typewriter has been in hock for a few weeks now, so that explains the pen and ink. I pawned it so that I could buy a turkey for New Year’s Day. I am sending you all the money we have, but my Father is rich, and “I shall not want”, for truly, with food and raiment, the love of God in my heart, the hunger for more of Him and for others to know Him is more than I deserve, and if I cannot say like Paul, “I have learned …” I can say “I am learning to be content in whatsoever state I am in.”

     13.“Your letter touched my heart, just made me love you so, and cry, so I just had to write you these few lines. (It doesn’t seem many to me, for they flow from my heart.) If I have ever said or done anything to harm or hinder you, please forgive me, as I do want to make Heaven my home. If I have, it was not by choice, from my head, but not my heart.

     14.“We send our love to each of you, pray daily for you.

 

     15.“Other than what I’ve mentioned, in these dark and bewildering days, all that we have to look forward to is the coming of Jesus to deliver us from this body of death. The supposedly strong ones among us have forsaken our God and their cross and left the lambs to continue on with faltering step. It seems that those who really desire to pay the price and go through must do so amidst the railings of those who make a mock of sin, who have no confidence in Christianity, (and why should they have?) Yet, still the love and the Spirit of God pulls our feet homeward, saying “This is the way, walk ye in it.”

     16.“When I listen to good preachers, I begin to wonder if I’ve missed my calling or not, but when I see the way people are failing God, and faith has vanished; when I see the holy standard of Jesus Christ dragged in the gutter, and a bunch of old reprobates who live in sin, and brag about all their wonderful results, and claim to be the “fathers” of this Jesus Name movement, I take courage and make an attempt at preaching anyway,


      17.“Lose your money, lose your reputation, lose your car and all your possessions, but don’t lose your character, don’t lose the anointing of God, don’t lose your soul

     18.“There’s no place like the everlasting arms of Jesus when one is burdened, over-weighted with much sorrow, and about ready to abandon ship.

     19.“I would rather burn out for God than rust out.

     20.“I’m praying for you almost every night without fail. Might have missed you once or twice, but you’re usually upon my heart for your love and fellowship means so much to me.

Bro. Ike Terry’s Comments To My Mother, Connie Ballestero:

  • “Sister Connie, I want to share with you a brand new One God Scripture that I found   today…”

 

Various Saints From The Bakersfield Church To My Mother:

  •  “They carried me home drunk on the Holy Ghost last night. 
  • “We had an all night prayer meeting.
  • “My husband finally got the Holy Ghost during this revival, Hallelujah!

 

  1. If any of the old saints had slipped off to a movie, or read a questionable book they would they have posted it or talked about it openly?
  2. How much Sports talk would have been posted?
  3. What photos would they post?
  4. How much flesh would be on display?
  5. How much would be written about Church, God and Christian living?

 

There would still have been fun and fellowship on the news feed of the 1940’s FB I’m sure, but I would like to think the Coming of the Lord and the End Time would have never strayed from the main focus.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

February 17, 2014 at 3:19 pm

You Say, “God Doesn’t Look On The Outside; He ONLY Looks At The Heart.” Really?

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You Say, “God Doesn’t Look On The Outside; He ONLY Looks At The Heart.”

REALLY?

Surely You Don’t Really Believe That?

 

You Truly Believe That God Is ONLY Concerned With The Heart, And That He Refuses To Look Upon The Outside?

  • Is that because you haven’t read the Bible much?
  • Is that because your pastor explains away Bible modesty?
  • Is that because you refuse to be holy, even though you seek the Holy Ghost?
  • Or is it just an attempt to justify your worldly charismatic and emergent lifestyle?

Here Is The Candy-Stick Verse Of Those Who Resist Holiness Preaching.

(Background – Samuel Was Sent By The LORD To Anoint A New King:)

1 Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.

1.     Samuel LIKED what he saw on the outside.

2.     God DID NOT LIKE what he saw on the inside.

3.     (It’s amazing that many attempt to twist this verse 180 degrees to justify themselves.)

Why Is This Passage So Beloved By People Choosing To Live And Look Like The World?

Is it just a handy comeback in an attempt to justify their Biblical disobedience? I think, for too many, this may be the case.

 

Does God Examine The Heart? Absolutely!

Jeremiah 17:10 I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.

Psalm 7:9 Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but establish the just: for the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins.

Proverbs 17:3 The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts.

  • Yes God Examines The Heart. It’s What the Heart Produces That God Will Reward or Punish.
  • He TRIES the heart. He Sees it’s obedience and submission, it’s disobedience and rebellion.
  • What Is In The Heart Will Soon Show On The Outside

 

Remember

2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

 

I. The Importance Of First Mention Principle In The Bible.

Genesis 2:25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

·      In this context it does not mean totally nude, but nakedness in the sense or degree of a lack of sufficient clothing

·      One thus may be wearing a certain amount of clothing, but still be considered naked in the sight of God.

Genesis 3:10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.

Adam & Eve Made An Attempt To Cover The Shame Of Their Nakedness With Leaves. It Was Inadequate!

Genesis 3:7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

God Got Involved With Covering Their Nakedness

Genesis 3:21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.

·      “Coats” is from the Hebrew word, Kethoneth. It is an unused root meaning to cover: a shirt: coat, garment robe.) Meaning a garment with sleeves, coming down to the at least the knees.

·      Davis Dictionary of the Bible, page 148, “reached nearly to the knees, though a longer form with sleeves of full length was in use.”

·      This clearly suggests God created for man a garment, which covered much more than just his “life giving parts.”

  • Why Is This Passage In The Bible If The LORD Doesn’t Care What Folks Look Like On The Outside?

 

II. Ornamentation, Modesty, Costly Array, Hair Styles.

1 Timothy 2:9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;

1 Timothy 2:10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.

“Women wore garments that resembled floor length dresses which would not accent the figure. These garments were modest when working or bending over. The Greek word for apparel in 1st Timothy 2:9 is “katastole”, which basically means a long flowing garment, resembling a robe For further study on this word, see Vines Expository Dictionary of The New Testament and Young’s Analytical Concordance.”

  • Why Is This Passage In The Bible If The LORD Doesn’t Care What Folks Look Like On The Outside?

1 Peter 3:2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.

1 Peter 3:3 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;

1 Peter 3:4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.

1 Peter 3:5 For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:

  • Why Is This Passage In The Bible If The LORD Doesn’t Care What Folks Look Like On The Outside?

III. Men Wearing Women’s Garments, Women Wearing Men’s Garments.

Deuteronomy 22:5 The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.

  • Why Is This Passage In The Bible If The LORD Doesn’t Care What Folks Look Like On The Outside?

IV. Mixing Fabrics.

Deuteronomy 22:11 Thou shalt not wear a garment of divers sorts, as of woollen and linen together.

  • Why Is This Passage In The Bible If The LORD Doesn’t Care What Folks Look Like On The Outside

 

V. Make Fringes On Your Garments.

Deuteronomy 22:12 Thou shalt make thee fringes upon the four quarters of thy vesture, wherewith thou coverest thyself.

  • Why Is This Passage In The Bible If The LORD Doesn’t Care What Folks Look Like On The Outside?

VI. Men Praying With Their Head Covered, Men Wearing Long Hair, Women Praying With Their Head Uncovered, Women Praying With Their Hair Cut.

1 Corinthians 11:4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head.

1 Corinthians 11:5 But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.

1 Corinthians 11:6 For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.

1 Corinthians 11:7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.

1 Corinthians 11:8 For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man.

1 Corinthians 11:9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.

1 Corinthians 11:10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.

1 Corinthians 11:11 Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.

1 Corinthians 11:12 For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God.

1 Corinthians 11:13 Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered?

1 Corinthians 11:14 Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?

1 Corinthians 11:15 But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.

  • Why Is This Passage In The Bible If The LORD Doesn’t Care What Folks Look Like On The Outside?

VII. Priests And Levites Were Required To Wear Long Linen Under Garments

Exodus 28:42 And thou shalt make them linen breeches to cover their nakedness; from the loins even unto the thighs they shall reach:

Exodus 28:43 And they shall be upon Aaron, and upon his sons, when they come in unto the tabernacle of the congregation, or when they come near unto the altar to minister in the holy place; that they bear not iniquity, and die: it shall be a statute for ever unto him and his seed after him.

The ISBE Defines “breeches” “A garment, extending from the waist to or just below the knee or to the ankle, and covering each leg separately” – page 518.

In order to cover their nakedness they were to cover from the waist to the knees. Why? Because to expose the thigh was to expose your nakedness – cf. Isa.47:2,3.

  • Why Is This Passage In The Bible If The LORD Doesn’t Care What Folks Look Like On The Outside?

VIII. Priests And Levites Must Only Wear Linen When Serving In The Court Of The Lord.

Ezekiel 44:17 And it shall come to pass, that when they enter in at the gates of the inner court, they shall be clothed with linen garments; and no wool shall come upon them, whiles they minister in the gates of the inner court, and within.

  • Why Is This Passage In The Bible If The LORD Doesn’t Care What Folks Look Like On The Outside

 

IX. Priests And Levites Must Not Wear Garments That Make Them Sweat.

Ezekiel 44:18 They shall have linen bonnets upon their heads, and shall have linen breeches upon their loins; they shall not gird themselves with any thing that causeth sweat.

  • Why Is This Passage In The Bible If The LORD Doesn’t Care What Folks Look Like On The Outside

 

X. Priests And Levites Must Change Their Clothes Before They Minister.

Ezekiel 44:19 And when they go forth into the utter court, even into the utter court to the people, they shall put off their garments wherein they ministered, and lay them in the holy chambers, and they shall put on other garments; and they shall not sanctify the people with their garments.

  • Why Is This Passage In The Bible If The LORD Doesn’t Care What Folks Look Like On The Outside

XI. Priests And Levites Must Not Shave Their Heads. Priests And Levites Must Not Let Their Locks Grow Long.

Ezekiel 44:20 Neither shall they shave their heads, nor suffer their locks to grow long; they shall only poll their heads.

  • Why Is This Passage In The Bible If The LORD Doesn’t Care What Folks Look Like On The Outside?

XII. Attire Of A Harlot. (One Looking For Sex).

Proverbs 7:10 And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart.

  • Why Is This Passage In The Bible If The LORD Doesn’t Care What Folks Look Like On The Outside?

XIII. An Exposed Thigh Is Nakedness In God’s Eye.

Isaiah 47:1 Come down, and sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon, sit on the ground: there is no throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans: for thou shalt no more be called tender and delicate.

Isaiah 47:2 Take the millstones, and grind meal: uncover thy locks, make bare the leg, uncover the thigh, pass over the rivers.

Isaiah 47:3 Thy nakedness shall be uncovered, yea, thy shame shall be seen: I will take vengeance, and I will not meet thee as a man.

  • Why Is This Passage In The Bible If The LORD Doesn’t Care What Folks Look Like On The Outside?

XIV. When Jacob And His Family Went To Back To Bethel (House Of God) They:

  1. Put Away Their Idols
  2. Washed
  3. Changed Their Clothes
  4. Buried Their Earrings

Genesis 35:1 And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God, that appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother.

Genesis 35:2 Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments:

Genesis 35:3 And let us arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went.

Genesis 35:4 And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which were in their hand, and all their earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem.

  • Why Is This Passage In The Bible If The LORD Doesn’t Care What Folks Look Like On The Outside?

 

XV. Wearing Of Jewels Earrings Tied To Baal Worship.

Hosea 2:13 And I will visit upon her the days of Baalim, wherein she burned incense to them, and she decked herself with her earrings and her jewels, and she went after her lovers, and forgat me, saith the LORD.

  • Why Is This Passage In The Bible If The LORD Doesn’t Care What Folks Look Like On The Outside?

 

XVI. Body Markings (Tattoo) And Piercings.

Leviticus 19:28 Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.

  • Why Is This Passage In The Bible If The LORD Doesn’t Care What Folks Look Like On The Outside?

XVII, Circumcision.

Genesis 17:10 This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised.

Genesis 17:11 And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you.

Genesis 17:12 And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed.

Genesis 17:13 He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.

Genesis 17:14 And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant.

  • Why Is This Passage In The Bible If The LORD Doesn’t Care What Folks Look Like On The Outside?

 

XVIII. Lasciviousness.

Ephesians 4:19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.

  • Lasciviousness Definition:(Also translated by licentiousness, wantonness, lewdness and lustful desires.)

1. Lasciviousness means, “wanton (acts or) manners as filthy words, indecent bodily movements, unchaste handling of males and females” – Thayer.

2. “Denotes excess, absence of restraint, indecency, wantonness” – Vine.

B. Another word for lasciviousness is “lewdness” which Webster defines as “tendency to excite lust.”

When The Bible Speaks Of Lasciviousness, It Is Talking About Trying To Entice Lust In The Hearts Of Other People. This Is One Of The Works Of The Flesh.

Galatians 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

 

This Generation Is Without Shame And Cannot Blush. They Don’t Even Hide The Fact That They Are Trying To Excite Lust In Those Who See Them.

  • Why Are These Passages In The Bible If The LORD Doesn’t Care What Folks Look Like On The Outside?

What Parts Of The Body Incite Lust?

  • You Already Know.
  • Those Are The Very Body Parts God Sought To Cover!

What Modesty In Dress Does:

  • It covers up what GOD calls nakedness.
  • It displays shamefacedness, sobriety, godliness and good works
  • It reflects purity, reverence and a quiet spirit

Present Your Body A Living Sacrifice, Holy And Acceptable Unto God!

Romans 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.

Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

  • Why Is This Passage In The Bible If The LORD Doesn’t Care What Folks Look Like On The Outside?

 

“God Doesn’t Look On The Outside; He Only Looks At The Heart.”  REALLY?

Surely You Don’t Really Believe That?

 

Who Are You To Judge Me?

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“Who Are You To Judge Me?”

How many times have we heard someone say that, whether it was directed to us or to someone else? It’s easy for most of us to get offended when others express disapproval of our actions.

By nature, most of us are very private. We resent outsiders intruding uninvited into our personal lives. Wegg57234595 automatically throw up a defensive barrier. Somewhere in all of us there is a storage room that houses cryptic phrases designed for rebuttal and justification. We quickly grab one and use it with the hopes of silencing our accuser. Sometimes, it works.

Most church members and ex-church member alike consider the act of judging a grievous fault. So, since most of us have been judged at one time or another, let us look at the subject of judging others.

As citizens, we are used to being judged every day on our skills, behavior, and performance.

Judgment Is Common In Every Day Society

  • Television shows, such as American Idol, judge contestants on their ability to sing and perform.
  • At the County Fair, someone will judge which pie is the best.
  • There are judges at dog shows, and the dollar value of someone’s beloved pet may be at their mercy.
  • When a prospective new driver turns 16 years old, his or her driving ability is judged. Someone must determine if they should be issued a driver’s license.
  • To be promoted to the next grade and even graduate, a teacher must determine the student’s academic ability.
  • To become a licensed minister in an organization. An applicant’s worthiness is determined when he appears before a licensing board.
  • Every new pastor that is voted on by the church has his qualifications judged by the congregation’s yes or no vote. The same holds true for politicians.
  • The Bank Officer judges the applicants credit rating and payment history before loaning any money.
  • The Miss America beauty pageant uses Judges to determine who should represent the U.S.A.
  • There are multitudes of judges for every Olympic event.
  • The gardener judges whether or not the tree’s branches need pruned, or if the tomatoes need watered.
  • Someone will be a judge over who gets custody of the child, and who gets what, in the divorce settlement.
  • The Traffic Cop judges whether or not you should be pulled over and cited.
  • Every employee knows the meaning of a “Performance Review.” Someone must sit on the other side of the desk and judge the employees worthiness.
  • Actually, everyone that wants the bragging rights of being the best, the fastest, or the most gifted, must first meet the judge.

We seem to be comfortable with the idea of being judged according to our fleshly activities. We understand that no one receives approval without a judgment of some kind. However, it’s man’s judgment of our spiritual pursuits, or lack thereof, that brings the fire into our reactions.

 

Webster Defines The Word, “Judge” As:

Judge

1: to form an opinion about through careful weighing of evidence and testing of premises.

 

You’re Sick And Tired Of Others Judging You? I Understand. Let’s Look At The Subject Of Judging In The Bible.

Is it true that Christians are told not to judge? The surprise answer is no. In fact, according to Scripture those who do not judge are more likely to be led astray by false doctrines and are less than effective witnesses for Jesus Christ.

 

Most People Who Cite The Lord’s “Command” Not To Judge, Use Following Quotation:

Matthew 7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.

Matthew 7:2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

Matthew 7:3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

Matthew 7:4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

Matthew 7:5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

 

To Whom Were These Words Spoken?

This whole passage is addressed to the religious hypocrites of the day. Jesus warned these self-righteous people who criticized others, but were guilty of the same things… or worse.

 

You’re Sick And Tired Of Others Judging You? As Much As Our Flesh Doesn’t Like It, Church Members Must Make Judgments.

Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

Matthew 7:16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

  • False prophets are to be recognized (judged) by their fruits.

Should Christians Judge Each Other? Absolutely!

The Lord is pleased with those that judge righteously.

John 7:24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

 

Some Lukewarm Church Members Feel That A Preacher Should Not Be Their Judge.

I would point them the Lord’s instruction to the Priest Joshua.

Zechariah 3:7 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by.

 

Remember John The Baptist saying:

Matthew 3:7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

Mark 6:17 For Herod himself had sent forth and laid hold upon John, and bound him in prison for Herodias’ sake, his brother Philip’s wife: for he had married her.

Mark 6:18 For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother’s wife.

  • John had guts enough to tell King Herod that he was wrong, that he was living with his brother’s wife. Herod had John thrown in prison and finally beheaded. John was not afraid to make a righteous judgment.

The Prophet Nathan Looked King David In The Eye And Judged Him.

2 Samuel 12:7 And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul;

 

There Has Always Been Resentment In The Congregation Against Messages That Judge.

Isaiah 30:10 Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:

  • Even in the days of Isaiah, men wanted to be left alone by the man of God. They only were willing to hear smooth preaching. Not much has changed. They wanted to do what ever their conscience allowed them to do.

Judges 21:25 In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.

  • Without accountability, even the people of God sink to this level. The shocking news for our flesh is that what is right in our eyes may not be right in God’s eyes. We all need help. We just need it in different areas.

 

What About Discernment Of Spirits?

1 Corinthians 12:10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:

  • This is a gift that God provided for His body, whereby Holy Ghost filled people may be able to determine what spirit another is manifesting. In a way, it’s like being able to see what’s on the inside of another person.

 

Try The Spirits. (Judge Them)

1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

 

Samuel

The Prophet learned about judging spirits the hard way. He found out quickly that God looked not only on the outside, like humans, but He looked especially at the heart.

1 Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.

(Note: They that are spiritually wayward love to justify their carnal and maybe even sinful outward appearance by saying that God looks on the heart. (As if that were the only place He looks.) This passage strongly makes the point that God did not even like what he saw on the inside. Maybe the self-righteous should not use this verse as their defense.)

 

If You Don’t Want Anyone Judging You, Be Glad You Weren’t There When The Apostle Paul Preached.

 

Paul Judged Situations Publically Without Being Present.

  • Case 1. Immorality

1 Corinthians 5:3 For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed,

1 Corinthians 5:4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,

1 Corinthians 5:5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

1 Corinthians 5:11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

(Called a…)

  • That person’s lifestyle resulted in the church judging them guilty and calling them by the name of their sin.

1 Corinthians 5:12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?

1 Corinthians 5:13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.

  • Case 2. Church Factions During The Lord’s Supper

1 Corinthians 11:17 Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse.

1 Corinthians 11:18 For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.

  • Paul Openly Judged Sensitive Situations.

 

Judgment Is Required Of All Spiritual People.

1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

1 Corinthians 2:15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.

(The Message) 1 Corinthians 2:15 Spiritually alive, we have access to everything God’s Spirit is doing, and can’t be judged by unspiritual critics.

 

Spirit Filled Saints Are To Judge All Things.

Godly Spirit-filled saints are required to judge all things. Judge spirits? Yes! Judge things as well? Absolutely!

 

We Are To Judge All Things By God’s Standard Of Judgment. Things Such As:

  • Life Situations
  • Events
  • Relationships
  • Friendships
  • Music
  • Internet Activities
  • Entertainment
  • Hollywood Presentations
  • Sports
  • False Doctrines
  • Styles of Dress
  • Compromise
  • Immodesty

Just To Name A Few

 

(Note: EVERYONE that I have seen who re-evaluated their Holiness Standards or Convictions has not grown closer to God or resembled the Old-time Pentecostal lifestyle, but rather moved closer to looking and acting like the present world.)

 

The Apostles Judged A Situation Correctly And The Holy Ghost Confirmed It.

Acts 15:28 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;

Paul Wasn’t Afraid To Have His Brethren Weigh His Words.

1 Corinthians 10:14 Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.

1 Corinthians 10:15 I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say.

 

You Dislike Being Judged? I Understand, But Even Prophets Are Subject To Being Judged.

Prophets Judge Other Prophets.

A Prophet’s reward is not money or fame. It is simply that his prophecy comes true. If the prophecy does not come true he is, by all standards of measurement, a false prophet.

1 Corinthians 14:29 Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge.

The Pastor Must Make Judgment Calls.

Some situations a Pastor has to deal with are not mentioned specifically by name in the Bible. So, he must make a judgment call, or a ruling. Hence, they that make good rulings are worthy of double honor.

1 Timothy 5:17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.

There’s No Doubt A Good Reason Why Some Make A Loud Noise About Not Wanting Anyone To Judge Them.

Scenario 1

Maybe They Are In Rebellion And Don’t Want To Change.

  • Because they are not doing right, and they do not want anyone reminding them.
  • They know what they have been taught.
  • They remember how they used to live.
  • They chose to ignore the Word of God and the Pastor.

Scenario 2

Maybe God Has Turned Them Over To A Delusion.

  • They feel they are right and will debate you tirelessly in their attempt to justify themselves.
  • They feel saved and content even though they have never been farther away from Truth.
  • They wouldn’t love Truth, so God handpicked their delusion and gave them something they would love. Error.

Scenario 3

A Humble Heart Will Repent When Judged And Correct The Error.

2 Timothy 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;

Preacher… Preach The Word. It Is God’s Plumb Line.

  • Preach Without Fear or Favor.
  • Be Not Afraid Of Their Faces.
  • You Must Answer To God For What You Preached And Didn’t Preach.
  • Preach It Even if It Affects Your Friends Or Family.
  • Preach it Because It Is Truth.

 

Correction Must Be Given When The Actions Of A Saint Are Judged To Be Wrong.

1 Timothy 5:20 Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.

Luke 17:3 Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.

2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.

Titus 1:13 This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;

Titus 2:15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.

 

If We Willingly Receive Correction and Instruction, We Show Evidence Of Being God’s Son.

Hebrews 12:5 … My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:

Hebrews 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

Hebrews 12:7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?

Hebrews 12:8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

Hebrews 12:9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

 

If You’re Still Sick And Tired Of Others Judging You…

  • How Then Can Anyone Help You?
  • You Don’t Want A Pastor.
  • You Don’t Even Want A True Friend.
  • You Choose To Do What You Want.
  • No One Can Be Helped Without First Being Judged To Be In Need Of Help.
  • Please Don’t Put Up A Wall Of Defense Any More When Your Life Is Judged To Be Not Pleasing Unto God.

 

Who Are You To Judge Me?

  • A Tender Hearted Person Would Never Speak Those Words.
  • Have You Become Unteachable?
  • Are You Past Help?
  • Have You Become Hard Hearted?
  • Do You Want A Tender Heart?
  • Do You Want To Be Saved?
  • Then Start By Humbling Yourself And Submitting To God’s Word.

Change Blindness

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Change Blindness

Wikipedia notes that William James (1842-1910) is the first person known to mention the lack of ability to detect change. He noted this in his book written in 1890, Principles of Psychology.

Researcher John Grimes began to use actual photographs in 1996 in his change blindness studies.

800px-Globe_and_high_court_(Spot_the_difference)

“A study by Rensink, O’Regan, & Clarke demonstrated that change blindness can have an effect even if the eye was fixated on a scene. In this study, a picture was presented followed by a blank screen or “masking” stimulus, which was followed by the initial picture with a change. The masking stimulus almost acts like a saccadic movement of the eye which makes it significantly more difficult for individuals to detect the change. This was a critical contribution to change blindness research because it demonstrated that a change can remain unnoticed with the smallest disruptions.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Change_blindness

 

01angier.xlarge1Magicians and illusionists are keenly aware of this human weakness and they capitalize on that fact. Satan, the greatest con-artist of all time, does as well.

Old men are known to fuss about change. Young men are known to laugh at the old men. I understand that. I too have been young, and now I am old.

There have been way too many who have refused to see or admit change in our churches today.

While some cannot see the change in what is ‘accepted’ and ‘permissible’ in Apostolic circles… a great many of us can.

If you are a Senior citizen that has been in church all your life, then you should know about:

Change that brings carnality to the forefront

Change that substituted rhythm, for worship

Change that is comfortable with programs instead of a move of the Holy Ghost

Change in what is now considered modest or holy

Change that wears form-fitting clothes

Change to the current acceptance of Hollywood

Change in attitude about faithful church attendance

Change in respect for the ministry

Change to not preaching against sin

Change in sermon content, from doctrine to pop psychology

Change in sermon content from including discipleship to outreach only

Change in attitudes about submission to the Word or to the man of God

Change to acceptance of organized sports

Change that is uncomfortable with services longer than an hour

Change to believing a prophet is only to prophesy blesses, healing and prosperity

Change that mocks the holiness minded

Change that loves jewelry and makeup

Change that doesn’t feel a need to pray all the way through

Change that is happy with change

My critics might suggest that I think that I am the only one that can see change. That’s not true. It’s just that I have nothing to lose and everything to gain by saying that I see what I see. I truly believe there are some precious people who are not purposely trying to change the good to the bad. They are not maliciously trying to put light for dark. I am submitting that even good people just have a case of Change Blindness.

Change Blindness is alive and well in Pentecostal churches today. That truly scares me when I think about what the future could hold if Jesus tarries.

Remember the Homeland Security Slogan… If you see something, say something. I just did.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

February 18, 2013 at 11:31 pm

I Didn’t Tell You, Because You Didn’t Want Me To.

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I Didn’t Tell You, Because You Didn’t Want Me To.

The old preacher sat on a rock at the fork in the road. The many years of struggle showed on his face, and in the stoop of his shoulders. He watched as travelers passed him by.

Some of his preacher friends and acquaintances  stopped a moment or two to chat before continuing their journey. Many came in groups, others by themselves, but they all walked down the road.

The children of his friends walked the road too, some of them walked with their parents, others walked alone.

Most everyone nodded in acknowledgement and smiled at him while continuing on their journey. A few stopped and sat on the rock beside him to visit for a while before walking on.

The old preacher noticed that a large number did not hesitate when they came to the fork in the road. They as if by some predetermination chose which path to walk.

There were those who paused and stared at the signposts, as if unsure. One or two fumbled for their map as if to verify which road would be best.

Those who still seemed unsure of which path to choose, changed from looking at the road signs, to looking at the other travellers. If by chance they happened to see a friend that looked like they knew what path to choose, they simply followed without further ado.

Every now and then one of the young travellers that stood reading the signposts turned to the old man for advice.

“Which fork in the road should I choose?” They asked.

The old preacher would look up at their sincere faces and without hesitation point in the direction that he knew was best. Some sneered, and walked down the other road anyway. Some followed his advice.

Occasionally travelers would return to the fork of the road to look at the signs again, as if to confirm their choice.

One young preacher who had walked down the wrong path quite a ways returned to the old man and began to chastise him.

“Why didn’t you stop me? Why didn’t you tell me that was the wrong path? Why didn’t you tell me how much I would lose if I walked down that path? Why didn’t you tell me I was in delusion to believe it was a better road? I thought you were a friend to my family, and me but you didn’t stop me and tell me which road to go! Why?

The old man didn’t get offended. He looked at the son of his friend, and then began.

“You know I love you, I love your father too. You know what road he walked down, but you felt comfortable in ignoring that fact because your friends and popular people have influenced you.

“I noticed you watching me as I pointed out the right way to others. You chose to ignore this old man’s advice.

“The reason I never told you personally which road to walk down is because you never wanted to know bad enough to ask. Maybe you didn’t want to hear the word, NO! I didn’t tell you because you didn’t want me to.

“If I had told you which path to choose without you asking, you would have taken that as an insult to your intelligence. You would have felt I was interfering in your business, so I held my peace as I held my breath.

“Those who ask for direction really want help. Those who don’t ask will soon need help. It’s a mistake of youth to reject the paths of their fathers in serving the Lord.

“You once believed your choices to always be accurate. Your delusion made it feel that it was God that was guiding you, now you have fear and regret because of your great losses. It’s the mercies of the Lord that you have returned to this point.

“The bad news is there are some things you will never regain. But, the final chapter has not been written. Remember hearing your father singing the song, “It’s Not the First Mile”?

“The real question my son, is now that you know which road is right, which one will you choose?”

With a thankful embrace and a sincere apology, the young man turned and walked back to the fork. This time he chose the one marked, “The Old Path.”

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Written by Martyn Ballestero

January 23, 2013 at 12:29 am

Brother Van Winkle Takes A Trip To The Pastor’s Office!

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Brother Van Winkle Takes A Trip To The Pastor’s Office!

The old gentleman tottered a little unsteadily on his cane as he entered the Foyer of the First Pentecostal Church. The Sunday Morning Greeters welcomed him with much ado.

No one recognized him, nor had they ever seen him before. His clothes, although clean and pressed, definitely were way out of style.

After shaking his hand, someone handed him a Visitor’s Card to be filled out, and asked him his name.

“I’m Brother Van Winkle,” was the old man’s answer. He looked bewildered.

“And, I’m not a visitor!” he said as he looked at their unfamiliar faces. “I started attending this church when I was thirty. I got baptized here and received the Holy Ghost in 1959 soon after the church was first started. Who are you people?”

The Greeters exchanged confused glances with each other.

“Where’s Pastor Reynolds?” The old man continued, “He can vouch for me!”

There was a long pause. Finally the oldest Greeter said, “Brother Reynolds died in 1988, and we’ve had two more pastors since then.”

“Oh my! Oh my! My nurse told me that I had fallen into a deep sleep or something for a long time. But, I had no idea how long. The last thing I remember was when John F. Kennedy was voted in as President. What year is it now, the old man inquired?”

“Today is October 21, 2012.”

“Somebody help me sit down, this is too much for my heart,” was all he could say.

The old man was almost in a state of shock. They led him to a pew so he could sit down.

 

 

Everyone seemed friendly and attentive. Before church even started, many came by and shook his hand and welcomed him. He looked around carefully to see if he could find a familiar face. He wasn’t sure. He saw nothing he recognized in any of their faces. An Usher eventually took his Visitor’s Card from him, and laid it on the pulpit.

The worship was very lively, and the musicians played with great expertise. There were six young people on the platform singing the choruses. Every singer had his or her own microphone. There weren’t even any cords attached to the microphones either, and yet they worked! That amazed the old man.

The words of each chorus appeared as if by magic on the wall. No one seemed surprised or thought it amazing. Brother Van Winkle could not imagine how it was happening.

The service leader made a point to welcome their new visitor, ‘Brother Van Winkle.’ Everyone clapped their hands and made him feel welcome. But, the whole thing had a hollow feeling, nonetheless. This was his church, yet somehow it was not the same. He realized he really did feel like a visitor.

Brother Van Winkle enjoyed the worship and was also very impressed with the ‘new’ pastor… Pastor Shields. He preached a wonderful and stirring message.

At the end of the altar service, Brother Van Winkle started for the door.  His mind was still awhirl trying to sort out all of his emotions and reconcile them with his memories. As he was entering the Foyer, Pastor Shields intercepted him.

 

 

“The Lord bless you Bro. Van Winkle! I am so glad you came today. One year ago when I became the pastor here, someone told me that you had been a member here many years ago and had fallen into a coma of some sort. So, I came occasionally to visit and pray for you. I am happy to see that you got your miracle!”

“Thank you so much! It feels like I just went to sleep and woke up the next morning. But the reality of it is, I’ve lost over fifty years of my life.”

“If you can spare a moment or two,” the Pastor said, “I would love to have you step into my office and talk to me about some of the differences you can see in the church today, as compared to back then.”

The two men walked a short distance into the Pastor’s Office and Brother Van Winkle was seated in a comfortable chair that he could get out of, without much ado.

“Thank you for that wonderful message this morning, Pastor. I will feast on that one for a long while.”

The Pastor modestly nodded his thanks and smiled. He motioned with his hand as if encouraging the old man to begin.

“Well, the first thing I noticed was that there are no song books in the church anymore. The singers on the platform really did a great job though.

We never had singers up on the platform like that when I got in church. We only had one song leader. Seeing a group up there was new for me.

I looked around at the congregation a bit, and was very surprised to see that many of them were just looking at the words on the wall and not singing at all. It was almost like they were being entertained.

The Pastor made grimace and shook his head as if in agreement.

 

 

“I only knew one song out of the seven that we sang today. They all were very nice songs though, and the people seemed to enjoy them. But in the 1950’s we sang songs about the Blood, the Old Rugged Cross, the Holy Ghost, Baptism in Jesus Name and about Heaven. I guess I’ll get use to the new stuff, but I sure like the old.

“I noticed too, there was no testimony service this morning. You do still have testimonies don’t you?”

Again Pastor Shields made a slight grimace, and this time shook his head sideways.

“I was really hoping there would have been some prayer before the service started today, like there used to be. I really missed not hearing the saints pray out loud. And the Altars! The Altars are missing!

“I know,” the Pastor said with a sad sound in his voice.

 

 

“The facial hair on some of the men in the church, and especially on those that were on the platform, really confused me. I’ll have to say; I never saw that when I was young. Then too, not many of the guys dressed up for church today. Where do they have to go that’s more important than God’s House? Don’t they dress up for God anymore?

“I am an old man. But, I was caught off guard today when I looked at the lady folks. Many of the young women and girls here, evidently aren’t very careful about how they dress in public. I especially can’t believe they would dress for church like that if they’ve got the Holy Ghost. The clothes the ladies wore today were much tighter and much shorter than they used to be here in this church. Why would they do that?

“The old saints were very careful about modesty. Back in the day, Moms and Dads wouldn’t have let their kids leave home looking like that! They wouldn’t have even allowed them to buy those clothes in the first place. Some of those outfits didn’t leave much to the imagination.

“I was shocked when I saw some women and girls wearing slacks and jeans! Some had cut hair too! If they claim to be members, and are not new converts, do they even have the Holy Ghost? Really? They don’t look like the saints use to look around here. The saints of old use to get convicted of things like that.

“Then, because of the jewelry and makeup I saw, here and there, I thought we had a number of visitors today until they recognized me, from the pulpit, as the only visitor. The others, I guess, consider themselves members here too.

The Pastor looked down at his desk, as if too ashamed to look the old man in the eye.

 

 

“Some of the boys’ hair styles looked like they just got out of bed and they didn’t comb their hair for church this morning.

But, I think what got me the most, was overhearing some of the young people laugh and talk about movies and TV shows. That would have never happened back in the old days.

“I am sounding like a tattler, and I sure don’t want to be. I know that science has improved so much since I was here last. I guess what the kids had in their hands during the church service are some kind of telephones they can carry in their pockets now. The ones by me were fascinated with them most of the service. I could see some of them showing each other pictures or something, and laughing.

“None of them had a Bible, either. They just played with their phone. I wondered why their parents didn’t stop them.”

Then, as if the thought suddenly struck him, he asked, “Pastor, I looked around today to see if there were still any of the Williams family in the church. They were some of the pillars in the church when I was young. Are there any left?”

“No, not any more. The old ones, of course, have died off. The girls married guys from other churches. Larry the oldest boy backslid years ago.”

“What about Bobby?”

“Bobby,” the Pastor continued, “moved to Texas about ten months ago because he could get a job there that paid more pay, than he could earn here.”

“What?” Bro. Van Winkle was astounded! He moved away from his church to make more money? Why, I’ve never heard of such! That is unbelievable. He should have known better. He should have stayed right here and put the church first.  God would give him a good job right here where He had planted him. Have you heard anything from him?”

“He stayed in touch with some of his old friends here for a while. The last I heard, he wasn’t going to church anywhere, and him and his wife were getting a divorce.”

“That doesn’t surprise me. God doesn’t lead you away from your church to a place where you will lose out with him. I’ll sure pray for Bobby. He was very young last time I saw him.”

Now, the old man put his head down trying to sort out all the news. These kinds of things made his heart hurt some more. There was a long pause in the conversation.

 

 

Bro. Van Winkle finally lifted his head and with a warm smile on his face, and a kind sound in his voice, he said, “Pastor?”

The Pastor raised his head and smiled back.

“Pastor, I am an old man, and I don’t like change. I am so surprised, and even shocked, by some changes I have seen today. I know that most things change over a lifetime. I know too that some changes are for the good and there is nothing bad about them, but some of these changes scare me to death.

“This is still my church and I am happy to call you my Pastor. You should know however, there are some areas that I don’t ever plan to change!”

“Some of these changes I don’t like either,” said Pastor Shields. “It is easy to get use to gradual changes. I know. Some of these have happened over a lifetime, and then some have happened within the last fifteen years or so.

“Regardless, we are THE Church. We should ACT like God’s Church and we should LOOK like God’s Church. That’s my goal here. I haven’t been Pastor here very long. It takes a while to turn some ships around, but with God’s help, I would like to see this church get back on course.

He came around his desk to shake hands with the old gentleman.

“Thank God I have a few good men like you in this church to stand behind me. I would like to invite you to join me in prayer right now for a God sent revival in our church and in our town!’

He picked up his Bible from his desk and turned the pages until he found what he was looking for. He began to read aloud.

2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

The two men stood and prayed for God to bless them and to bless their church, then they shook hands in a bond of agreement before walking out the door. Each man fully committed in his heart to be Apostolic in every area, and to seek God’s blessing and approval on the future of The First Pentecostal Church!

 

 

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

October 20, 2012 at 10:44 pm

The Ballestero Interview

with 4 comments

Earlier the year, I was honored to be with Pastor Shannon Burgess and the Jesus Name Pentecostal Church of Chehalis, Washington. Bro. Gabe Baker, the Youth Pastor, took time from his busy schedule to interview me. He asked many questions about my life and ministry. I am humbled by his interest and efforts. I also thank him from the bottom of my heart for including me in his passion to help other young ministers.

Part 1

Part 2.

Part 3.

_____________________________________

For additional media, follow this link to the Jesus Name Pentecostal Church website.

http://jnpc.org/media-center/video-gallery.html

Written by Martyn Ballestero

September 15, 2012 at 7:28 pm

The New Math Of Pentecost

with 7 comments

The New Math Of Pentecost

When the Russians sent up Sputnik, American educators panicked. The National Science Foundation was expanded in 1957 to promote changes in science and math beginning with the Middle Schools.

The main thrust was to switch from the teacher, “instructing” the student”. Now, the pupils were encouraged to “discover” on their own. No more student recitations were necessary. The New Math was born.

  • Teachers didn’t like it and the parents were up in arms.
  • Books began to hit the shelves decrying the changes found in the new math.

Morris Kline, in Why Johnny Can’t Add: The Failure of the New Math, wrote that “with near perfect regularity, [teachers] applaud the return to tradition content [and] instructional methods, and higher standards of student performance.”

Wikipedia wrote:

Parents were concerned that they did not understand what their children were learning and could not help them with their studies. In the end it was concluded that the experiment was not working, and New Math fell out of favor before the end of the decade, though it continued to be taught for years thereafter in some school districts.

  • Why the need to change from the old Arithmetic to the New Math?
  • What was to be gained?
  • Was the change because one generation didn’t like the answers they got from the older generation?
  • What it because they were sick of be told what the answers were to the problems and wanted to discover them for themselves?
  • Arithmetic is about numbers, and New math is about concepts.

The basic difference between the new math and the old arithmetic might be explained this way.

1962: (Arithmetic) A farmer sells a load of hay for $150. His cost in raising the hay is 2/3 of this price. What is his profit?

1972 (Arithmetic): A farmer sells a load of hay for $150. His cost of raising the hay is $100. What is his profit?

1977 (New Math): A farmer exchanges a set H of hay for a set M of money. The cardinality of set M is 150 and each element is worth $1.

  • (a) Make 150 dots representing the elements of the set M
  • (b) The set C representing costs of production contains 50 fewer points than set M. Represent the set C as a subset of the set M.
  • (c) What is the cardinality of the set P of profits?

1990 (Dumbed-down math): A farmer sells a load of hay for $150. His cost of production is $100 and his profit is $50. Underline the number 50.

2010 (New Math): By cutting down a field full of hay, a farmer makes $50.

  • (a) What do you think of this way of making money?
  • (b) How will the birds and animals be affected?
  • (c) Draw a picture of the field, as you’d like it to look.

Some Americans felt we were falling so far behind in the Space Race, so we had to do something to catch up. Evidently, (they thought) the old way isn’t working. So they changed. It took many years to realize their reaction to the problem only made things get worse.

 

How Does This Math History Lesson Apply To Pentecost? 

To the older generation, looks at it this way…

The New Math Concept Of Not Wanting To Be Taught, Is Deeply Embedded In This Newest Generation Of Pentecost.

They freely flaunt words like, “relationship.” At they same time, they scorn the words, “commandments” and “rules”.

  • They say they love the Lord; but they just don’t want to be bogged down with any rules.
  • The New Math people do not welcome standards. They resent being told “NO”.

The New Math of Pentecost Says, “Every Time Jesus Met A Hurting Person He Chose A Relationship, Over Rules & Regulations.”

Really? Every Time?

  • Jesus once said, “You are of your father the devil.”  How did that relationship turn out?
  • He called some, “Hypocrites? Did that hurt the relationship?
  • He turned over the tables and drove them out of the Temple for turning His House of Prayer into a den of thieves? He made a whip and thrashed it at the people? Really now, does that sound like a normal relationship?
  • Why would Jesus do that? Could it be those Jews were doing something wrong? Surely not.

A relationship with Jesus begins with our accepting His ways, not Him accepting ours.

John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

John 15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.

There cannot be ANY Relationship with God without Obeying His Commandments.

Brothers and Sisters, we MUST have a relationship with God. It’s imperative. It’s necessary. It’s extremely important.

  • But if we do not obey His word, we have NO relationship.
  • If you receive correction, you’ve just proved your sonship.
  • And if you resented and rejected correction, you showed who you really are.

Hebrews 12:8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

  • What kind of relationship can we have with Him if we don’t want to do what He wants us to do?
  • What kind of relationship can we have with Him if we reject His correction?
  • Can you figure that out with your New Math?

Mark 7:9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.

The New Math of Pentecost Says, “Rules & Regulations Have Nothing To Do With Sin.

What is considered sin today anyway? What? Name it? Not much. Adultery? Fornication? Don’t make me laugh. Like you, I can read some Pentecostal’s Facebook pages too. There are some that openly flaunt the fact that they are in a Domestic Relationship. Yet they still go to church. Yes, they have a relationship, with God and they also have a relationship with who ever else is willing to have one.

  • How many “Spirit filled” women in your church wear slacks?
  • How many cut their hair?
  • How many wear make up?
  • How many have on more jewelry than a Dillard’s Christmas tree?

How many of these still feel they have a true Relationship with Jesus?

If rules have nothing to do with sin, then how do you know when you have done something wrong? Or is there any… ‘wrong’ anymore?

 

The New Math Of Pentecost dislikes the concept of being told anything. They desire to discover the things of God on their own. If they are not convicted, then it must not be wrong.


The New Math of Pentecost Says,Rules Can’t Save You.”

They don’t have to give up much to live for God, since they they’ve been studying this “New Math of Pentecost Doctrine.”

Every Jake-leg in Pentecost now knows more than their pastor about the things of God. They’ll argue with him. They look for every scripture they can twist, to get out of living like a Holy Ghost filled person should. They are quicker to take what some compromiser on the Internet has to say about Salvation, than their own pastor.

New Math believers resent being told anything by a preacher, but they have no reservations about getting on Facebook and hollering at the top of their voice to all who will listen, saying that “Rules” are not necessary.

  • They don’t want to be told. They just want to tell.
  • Evidently, their condemnation makes them defensive.
  • Rebellion, is what this whole thing boils down to.

The New Math of Pentecost Says: You Can Have A Relationship With God, Without Rules

 

My friend, Pastor Kenneth Bow said it well:

  •  “The Ten Commandments represent the two great relationships in man’s world.
  • The first four commandments are about man toward God.
  • The second six commandments are all about how to exist with our fellow-man.
  • To love God and to love our fellow-man is the basis for the Ten Commandments. It provides the foundation for all man’s relationships.”

The Kenneth Bow Blog

http://kennethbow.com/2011/07/12/the-ten-commandments-2/

 

New Math? What Answers Did It Change?

  • Tithe is still 10%
  • Holiness is still required, no matter how hard you try to get around it.
  • God’s Word hasn’t changed for this generation.
  • He is still going to require of this generation, what he has always required… Being separated from the world. Not just separated from the world, but separated unto Him.
  • It is still Holiness or Hell.
  • The Bible didn’t change, just because you did.
  • Well, one thing it did change. It seems, most New Math “teachers” don’t even own a suit. They dress very causal in the pulpit.

 

Man’s Interest In New Math Was Prophesied In The Bible

2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

 

The New Math of Pentecost Proudly Proclaims That To Win The Lost:

  • We should not teach Standards at our church.
  • We should not teach, we should let you discover convictions on your own.
  • We should not teach standards. It is easier to win the lost by dressing like them.
  • We should not teach against Women to cutting their hair.
  • We should not teach against Women wearing man’s apparel.
  • We should not teach against wearing shorts in public.
  • We should not teach against women’s low necklines and tight clothes.
  • We should not teach against mixed swimming.
  • We should not teach against Hollywood.

These New Math folks don’t want an old-time preacher to preach where they are living. They have a negative reaction to any Holiness preaching.

 

Why Don’t They Want To Be Told?

They are like a toddler about to do something Mommy already told them not to do. Then turning to their parent say, “Don’t you tell me don’t.”

Americans doing the New Math finally figured out that it was a mistake, and they quit.

Those doing the New Math of Pentecost may not be so fortunate. They may not find out they were doing it wrong until they get to the Judgment.

One thing for sure, you can’t tell them that. They want to find out for themselves.

 

 

*My personal thanks to Bro. Bow for making me think about the New Math, and how it applies to Pentecostals today.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

December 4, 2011 at 12:26 am

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