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Archive for April 2010

The Jesus Peter Didn’t Know

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The Jesus Peter Didn’t Know

Over 25 years ago I preached a sermon on the last night of a church conference. The response was not positive. The audience remained quiet. I never preached it again. No compliments were given. I filed it away. I guess they wanted to shout and my subject was a disappointment.

I read my text: Matt. 26:74 ‘Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew.’

The proposal of my sermon was that in a sense, Peter was telling the truth. He really didn’t know the Jesus they were talking about.

The Jesus He Knew:

  • Preformed Miracles
  • Walked on water
  • Healed the sick
  • Raised the dead
  • Turned water into wine
  • Opened blinded eyes
  • Forgave sins
  • Fed 5,000 with a few loaves and fishes

He Didn’t Know The Jesus Of:

  • Rejection
  • Pain
  • Sorrow
  • Disapproval
  • Heartache
  • Tears
  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Trials
  • Tests

Some Today Only Know The Jesus Of:

  • Shouting
  • Blessing
  • Prosperity
  • Healing
  • Joy
  • Victory
  • Running the aisles
  • New cars
  • Better houses
  • Raises on the job
  • Lots of friends

They Don’t Know The Jesus Of:

  • Tears
  • Unsolved problems
  • Sickness
  • Sorrow
  • Dark trials
  • Correction
  • Denying self
  • Decreasing so that He may increase
  • Suffering (They do not know him in the fellowship of His suffering.)
  • No money
  • Overwhelming bills
  • Getting laid off
  • Loneliness


Like Peter, you don’t know Jesus, if all you do is:

  • Hate your brother
  • Criticize your pastor
  • Rebel against Biblical requirements
  • Refuse to submit to His Word and His authority

1John 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.

1John 2:4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

Oh, And While We Are On The Subject

  • If you believe that Jesus was the just Mary’s little boy…
  • That He was the blessed Second Person in the Godhead…
  • Then you really do not know Him!

(What None Of Us Ever Want To Hear Him Say Is, Depart From Me Ye Worker Of Iniquity, I Never Knew You)

  • Matt. 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
  • Matt. 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
  • Matt. 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Matt. 25:12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.

Do you know Him? Really know Him?

Written by Martyn Ballestero

April 30, 2010 at 10:16 pm

Posted in Christian Living

There’s Only Two Biblical Pastoring Styles Mentioned!

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There’s Only Two Biblical Examples Of Pastoring Styles Mentioned!

Ezra – He sat down and pulled his hair. It took him 25 years to get his goals accomplished.

  • Ezra 9:3 And when I heard this thing, I rent my garment and my mantle, and plucked off the hair of my head and of my beard, and sat down astonied.

Nehemiah – He pulled their hair and got his goal accomplished in 52 days.

  • Nehemiah 13:25  I rebuked them and called curses down on them. I beat some of the men and pulled out their hair. I made them take an oath in God’s name and said:

(I ain’t saying nothing else!)

Written by Martyn Ballestero

April 28, 2010 at 4:21 pm

The “Who” Is Worse Than “What”?

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“Who” Is Worse Than “What”

“Who do you name as your closest friends? Believe it or not, this question is a matter of great concern to the Lord. And that’s because your friendships speak loudly, both to God and to the world about the condition of your heart.

“Have you ever thought to pray, “Lord, what do you think of my friendships? Are they pleasing to you — or do they displease you?” The fact is, a righteous friend can provide a link to the blessing and favor of God, because he encourages you toward a godly lifestyle. On the other hand, an unrighteous friend can be a binding chain to every kind of evil, leading you into terrible bondages.”  – David Wilkerson

The title of Wilkerson’s sermon was, “Your Friend’s Matter To God.” That thought should makes us thankful for good Godly friends, and reconsider relationships with those whose friendship endangers our walk with God.

We preach a lot against the WHAT’s in life. We name sins left and right. That is needful. Too often good people are caught in a sin trap because their ‘friend’ led the way. We need to be reminded of the dangers of the ungodly Who. Backsliders have been known to influence others still in church. I know that we all have worldly acquaintances, but their influence must be highly controlled.

Please consider the powerful influence of the WHO.

  1. Rom 8:35) Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
  1. Gal 5:7) Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?

It appears the WHO influence in our life is extremely powerful. And yes, the WHO influences us to do the WHAT.

Bro. Kenneth Bow made the point some years back that I have never forgotten. He said that although David was about 17 years younger than Jonathan, they were best friends. “As long as Jonathan was alive,” he said, “Jonathan never got in trouble with God. It was after Jonathan died that David sinned.”

Good friends don’t let you backslide. Good friends help keep you in church and pray for you.

If you come home after being out with your ‘friends’ and you feel guilt, condemnation, or the need to pray, something is wrong with your friendship. Sin seems to starts with WHO, then it winds up with WHAT!

Our friends really do matter to God! Choose them wisely! They may cause you to be lost, or they may help save you.

Thank God for Good Friends!

Written by Martyn Ballestero

April 28, 2010 at 10:05 am

Posted in Friends, Life

Spiders Are In King’s Palaces

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Spiders Are In King’s Palaces


Prov. 30:28 The spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in kings’ palaces.

Imagine that. Even Kings have spiders in their houses. They have the same problems as ordinary people. The Bible makes the point that some things in life are unavoidable. There doesn’t seem to be much point in apologizing for them. They’re everywhere and everyone has to deal with them.

It’s easy to get it in our head, that we are the only ones having problems. It’s just not true.  Everyone does. It’s called life.

The harsh reality that there is no perfect world is unsettling to an idealist. Some folks change jobs, some change churches, some change friends or houses looking for a spider free world.

Perfection is always just out of reach. Life is not perfect nor is it fair, it’s just life. Yes, some houses may have fewer than others, but they’re there nevertheless.

There is no spider free life. What do I do about it?  I destroy the cobwebs and go on.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

April 25, 2010 at 9:56 pm

Posted in Life

The Rat Killing

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The Rat Killing

I hate rats! My daughter, Marisa Hartzell hates them with an unstoppable and loud dislike. She may even hurt you if you don’t do something about getting rid of them. She saw her first one when she was a teenager.

Our neighbor in South Bend in the early 1990’s was sent to prison. He lived by himself in the small bungalow next door. His empty house soon became a home for vermin and God only knows what else.

The house got so bad after a few years that the city sent a bulldozer out and leveled it to the ground. Although I was relieved that the eyesore was gone, I was not prepared for what happened next.

The empty house had been a home for rats and when it was bulldozed they looked for a new home. My house was next door. The rats climbed the concrete steps and came up on my concrete porch by the back door (something similar described at https://www.369bugs.com/blog/2017/08/27/las-vegas-roof-rats-return/, I believe). They ate through the exterior wall, into the insulation and then ate through the plywood. By doing so, they gained access to the sub-flooring area of my home. Now they were inside and we didn’t know it until it was too late.

They could be heard running, climbing and sometimes squealing. They brought with them an unmistakable odor. We had to use this odor eliminating product just to survive. They made messes and left droppings everywhere they went. We were beside ourselves with panic. The Exterminator was called. We needed help getting rid of the problem. We didn’t even care what it cost, JUST GET THEM RATS OUT OF OUR HOUSE!

They won’t just go away. They have to be dealt with. They can live most anywhere, and eat almost anything. They spread disease, do serious damage to your home and may even bite.

Here’s Four Facts About Rats…

  • One pair of rats can produce a colony of 2,000 rats in a year
  • Brown rats must constantly gnaw to wear down their teeth, which never stop growing
  • A rat can last longer without water than a camel
  • A half-grown rat can squeeze through a gap the size of a man’s fingertip

They also chew through home furnishings and insulation – and seven per cent of all household fires are caused by rodent damage to electrical cables.

Experts say a pair of rats can shed one million hairs each year and a single rat can leave 25,000 droppings in that time.

Offspring are born about 22 days after mating and females can have as many as six litters per year, each averaging six to 14 young. The average life span of a rodent is 18 months in the wild.

You have got a problem if you notice droppings, scratching noises, damage to furnishings and signs of nesting such as shredded cardboard.

They have to be dealt with!

Even old timers knew that once in a while things had to be dealt with. There has to be a ‘rat killing’ on almost every farm.

________________

Scriptures like these attract my attention. They seem to be warning the body of Christ about things that can creep into the church.

  • Jude 4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
  • 2Tim. 3:6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
  • 1Tim. 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
  • Acts 20:29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
  • Acts 20:30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.
  • Acts 20:31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.

___________________

Today, like in Bible days, there are rats of false doctrine and doctrines of devils. There are rats of seducing spirits, philosophy and vain deceit. The church has always needed a good ‘rat killing’ every now and then.

The first one I read about was the Apostle John’s.  I love John Phillips’ description of the setting, in his ‘Preface’ of the Gospel of John Commentary.

“His brother James was dead. Peter, the leading apostle to the Jews, was dead. Paul, the intrepid apostle to the gentile world, was dead. Thomas, Andrew, Philip, Nathanael, all the apostles, were dead – all except one. There in Ephesus lived a lonely old man, the first and the last of the apostles, the great apostle to the church. His name was John.”

As the last surviving apostle, John could not go to his grave without dealing with the false doctrine that had crept into the church.

Read about his killing the rats of heresy and false doctrine in his epistle.

1 John:

  1. 1:5 THIS then IS the Message
  2. 2:25 THIS IS the Promise
  3. 3:23 THIS IS His Commandment
  4. 4:3 THIS IS the spirit of the Anti-Christ
  5. 5:3 THIS IS the Love of God
  6. 5:4 THIS IS the Victory
  7. 5:9 THIS IS the Witness
  8. 5:11 THIS IS the Record
  9. 5:14 THIS IS the Confidence
  10. 5:20 THIS IS the True God

The dearest of the Apostle was writing to correct error that had gnawed it’s way into the early church. It was as if he screamed at them! THIS IS the Message!

How do you fight error? How do you eradicate false doctrine? Simple! Preach Doctrine. Preach the Oneness of God. Preach the essentiality of New Birth. Repentance, Baptism in Jesus Name, the Holy Ghost with the initial evidence of speaking with tongues. Preach separation for the world. Preach holiness. Preach church government.

If you let the rats have the run of your church house. It won’t be long before you’ll hear the:

  • ‘Emergent Church’ rats,
  • ‘Relevant Church’ rats,
  • ‘Branhamite’ rats,
  • ‘Seventh Day’ rats,
  • ‘Two God’ rats,
  • ‘Charismatic’ rats,
  • ‘No Tithes’ rats,
  • ‘Church in my own home’ rats,
  • ‘Once Saved Always Saved’ rats,
  • ‘No Pastor’ rats,
  • ‘Trinitarian’ rats,
  • ‘Adam Doctrine’ rats,
  • ‘Serpent Seed’ rats,
  • ‘Divine Flesh’ rats,
  • ‘Teeth Filling’ rats,
  • ‘Preterist’ rats,

The list seems endless and so do the rats. They won’t go away. What we need, is to hear some Doctrine preached. The Pentecostals of today seem to mainly hear messages about:

  • Blessing and prosperity,
  • Faith,
  • Winning souls

That’s wonderful! Don’t stop preaching that. But, dear hearts! There’s More! ‘Preach the Word, be instant in season and out of season.’

We need a Rat Killing! Once you seen and heard the rats, smelled their stink, cleaned up their mess, I hope your distaste for them equals my daughter Marisa’s distaste. I hope you recoil like she does, I hope you get passionate like she does, I hope you want them out of you world like she did. We need some more voices raised. We need saints that are tired of the stink, the mess and the reproach.

  • We have The Only Message!
  • We know The Only Message!
  • We need to Preach the Message!

Preacher, ‘Preach the Word,’ ‘Don’t be afraid of their faces.’ Be afraid of God’s face if you don’t!

Pentecost needs a old-time Rat Killing.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

April 24, 2010 at 9:43 pm

Posted in False Doctrine

Why I Dress Up For My Wife!

with 22 comments

I’m getting ready to go to the airport in a few minutes. I am wearing dress slacks, a sport coat, a dress shirt and a tie. The occasion? I’m going to see my wife in Indianapolis tonight. I ALWAYS dress up when I come home to my wife! Why? I would hope that the fact that I took extra time to dress up, tells her I think she is someone worth dressing up for. I want her to think, to know, and to feel that I consider her the most important person in this world. I will always dress up for her. I try to show her, that I think she’s very special! I might add that my efforts do not go unnoticed or unappreciated.

So what’s my point?

My point is that we are living in a very casual society. My travels have taken me to churches wear adults and young people wear clothes that not even a golf course would permit. Flip flops, tee shirts, curlers in the hair, and clothes that no one bothered to iron or maybe even wash, are seen in too many churches. What’s the deal? Why are Pentecostal churches looking like “Nothing special is going on here.”

There Is A Curse In Being Casual About The Things Of God:

1. CASUAL IN ATTITUDE

UZZAH:

  • Touch Ark to steady it and God killed him.  He was too familiar and too comfortable.
  • Casual Attitude brings Familiarity

ESAU:

  • Heb 12:16 Profane = to treat as commonplace.
  • Later he sought for God carefully with tears but never found help.
  • Casual brings Unconcern
  • Next is Contempt (He traded birthright for something to eat)
  • (Heb 12:17 KJV)  For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.
  • He got careful too late.

ATTITUDE

  • Gum chewers – almost never respond, and never receive.
  • Demonstrates an attitude of a spectator at an event.
  • A watcher.

DRESS

  • Carelessness about attire tells God you don’t think coming to His House is important
  • Some are very careless about modesty
  • Many are careless about adorning themselves with jewelry like Israel did when it backslid.

Wear your best to church

  • Dress up for God
  • He hates casual!!

God said to Moses, “Take off your shoes,” you are on Holy ground. God wanted Moses to be respectful in His presence.

2. CASUAL IN OBEDIENCE

  • Casual in Giving:  Tithe/Offerings
  • Sacrifice: God got tired of Israel bring him 2nd rate lambs.  He wanted the best. No Blemish.
  • Don’t be Casual in what you give God or Do for God

CAIN:

  • Offered what he felt was OK to God.  It was good enough for him; it should be good enough for God.

SAUL:

  • Casual in obedience
  • Destroyed as he saw fit.  Used his own judgment. Didn’t obey the prophet and let Agag live.

3.  CASUAL IN WORSHIP

  • Pharisees – whited sepulchers, worship with lips, but heart is far from me
  • Half Hearted worship too common in Pentecost

4.  CASUAL IN FAITHFULNESS

  • Why did he have to say, forsake not the assembling of yourselves together if they weren’t casual about their attendance?
  • (Heb 10:25 KJV)  Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

5.  CASUAL IN COMMITTMENT

AMAZIAH:

  • Did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, yet not with a perfect heart as did his father David

AHAB

  • (1 Ki 16:31 KJV)  And it came to pass, as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took to wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians, and went and served Baal, and worshipped him.
  • (1 Ki 16:33 KJV)  And Ahab made a grove; and Ahab did more to provoke the LORD God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him.
  • Your Casualness will cause you to provoke God.
  • Fools make a mock at sin.
  • Are you Casual with God?  You’ll be casual with sin

YOUR CASUAL LIFESTYLE ANGERS GOD

  • Churches without conviction  (are they casual?)
  • A Casual ministry brought Strange Fire
  • Some silly preachers wearing shorts and tank tops in public.
  • Even preaching in them.
  • God is NOT pleased.

REPENTANCE IS THE KEY

  • (2 Cor 7:11 KJV)  For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.
  • Yea what carefulness it wrought in you.
  • Only Repentance removes the casual attitude

Written by Martyn Ballestero

April 19, 2010 at 11:53 am

You Are 20% Of Your Father, 80% Of Your Mother

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You Are 20% Of Your Father, 80% Of Your Mother

Some years ago, the magazine Western Horseman had an article that caught my eye. It was written about a test done at the School of Veterinarian Medicine in New England.

Their research proved that a colt was 80% of it’s mother, and 20% of it’s father. The Doctor that wrote the article said that if the sire (father) was Secretariat, the famous racehorse, and the mare (mother) was a plow horse, the colt would be 80% plow horse and 20% racehorse.

Secretariat

Dapple Gray Percheron Plow Horse

On a spiritual level, we have the world’s greatest Father. He’s our heavenly Father. The church is our mother.

Gal. 4:26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.

That means to me, that although we have a wonderful Father, what we become is 80% determined by the church/mother that raised us.

Have you ever heard a preacher ask, “Where are you from? What church are you out of? Who’s your pastor?” Without even knowing you, the questioner can determine much about you just by knowing who your mother is.

I am dismayed at clueless and shallow people who put their job first. God forbid that they should ever have to transfer, but too often if they do, the job is top priority and then after they move they look for a church. Too often, just any church will do for then as long as it has the magic words or letters on the sign.

If an awesome mother has raised you, I pray you never have to leave home. Good moms are very hard to find. Not just any mother will do.

Life is about much more than money. Let your mother know how much you love her, then stick close and do what she says. Make her proud.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

April 14, 2010 at 8:09 am