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Archive for October 2010

Poor Old Joe

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Poor Old Joe

Joseph was well respected among the followers of Jesus. Everyone seemed to honor and respect him, if not love him.

Because Joseph was such a common name, it was not unusual for a man to have additional identifying names. Even nicknames. Joseph had three names. Joseph, Barsabas and Justus.

He was present that day in the upper room with the 120, and there he received the Holy Ghost along with the others. Before the Spirit was poured out however, there was business to attend to among the disciples.

Judas had committed suicide. There was a vacancy among the twelve that needed to be filled. Peter spoke to them all and asked the 120 to submit two names they thought worthy of the office of ‘Apostle’. Someone had to be chosen to be one of the twelve Disciples.

Two names were brought to the ‘floor’. The first one they nominated was Joseph.  Matthias was the second name mentioned.

  • Acts 1:23 And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.
  • Acts 1:24 And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen,
  • Acts 1:25 That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.
  • Acts 1:26 And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

It appears that Joseph’s life and reputation were impeccable. Just by the meaning of the names given to him in later life it is fairly easy to see why many respected Joseph. Nicknames were commonly given to describe their personal attributes.

  • Barsabas: “Barsabbas” is Aramaic for “son of the sabbath,” perhaps because he was born on the sabbath. (Bible Background Commentary)
  • Justus: “Just”, a name given to him because of his integrity.

Apostle Matthias

Poor Old Joe. He didn’t get chosen. Matthias did. After this selection by the casting of lots, we never read another word about the good man Matthias. It’s like Scripture ignores the rest of his life.

It appears however, that Joseph the un-chosen, is mentioned again. Barnes Notes and other commentaries suggest that he was the man mentioned in Acts 4. They feel he’s the one that sold his property and laid the money down at the feet of the Apostles.

What did Joseph do when he didn’t get chosen?

  • Did he get his feelings hurt?
  • Did he leave the fellowship circle?
  • Did he quit church?
  • Did he sit cross-ways with the Apostles?
  • Did he become critical of Matthias?
  • Did he go start something of his own when he didn’t get voted in?

The answer is ‘No’. Not at all!

If this is indeed the same man, then he not only continued to be a follower, but he chose to be of service too. Insomuch so that he was willing to give his all… literally, to the work of God.

Don’t feel sorry for Old Brother Joe. His reward is securely laid up in Heaven.

  • Mark 10:29 And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s,
  • Mark 10:30 But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.

Oh, one more thing. Acts four says that he laid the money at the Apostles feet. He laid at their feet in an act of obedience and willful submission. That could have been him up there, if the lots had chosen him. But his name Justus, (Integrity) still stood him in good stead. He submitted to the Headship of the body of Christ.

Give us more Brother Joes.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

October 13, 2010 at 3:09 pm

The Danger Of Premature Launches

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The Danger Of Premature Launches

Things in life don’t always turn out well until it’s the right time. Wisdom dictates we wait until it’s the right season, or until all the pieces are in place.

Sister Nona Freeman, our beloved woman of God told a story about wishing she was ‘perfect’ when she was a young saint in the local church. Her pastor looked out the window at her garden in the backyard and said, “Sis. Nona, I’d like to have some corn on the cob”

“Why pastor, I’d be happy to fix you some, but I don’t have any.” She replied.

“Isn’t that corn in your garden?”

“Yes sir.”

“Then I’d like you to fix me some, please.”

“But I can’t,” was about all she could say.

“Why can’t you?” The pastor persisted.

“I can’t she said because it’s only this high,” she demonstrated holding her hand about a foot off the floor.

“What’s that got to do with it? Corn is corn regardless of its size.”

“I know, but I can’t, because it isn’t matured yet. There’s nothing there but leaves and stalk.”

“Sister Nona, that’s what the word ‘perfect means in the Bible. It’s talking about reaching maturity.”

What happens when things are done prematurely?

I recently heard Bro. Carlton Coon at the General Conference. He briefly spoke of his fear concerning the premature launching of Home Missions projects. His descriptive use of that phrase prompted me to consider the value of his fear. I find many other areas of life that give additional enlightenment on the subject. Here are a few.


Launching a Play

Who ever heard of having a play without having a play practice?


Launching A War

Imagine a President talking to the General of his Army and ordering him to attack the enemy when the Army is ill prepared. It would mean certain death, to go to war unless the troops are in place, the supply line is there and the men are equipped with ground and air support.

There’s a time for war, a time to fight. There’s a time to stand down.



Launching A Ship

Even God waited until Noah finished the Ark. If the ship is not completed, why launch it and let it face certain disaster? Finish the boat, then launch.


Launching A Business

Why open a grocery store with only one gallon of milk, two loaves of bread and a jar of pickles? Yes, you may have a sign and some shelves. You might even have a cash register, but what you need is enough on the shelf to keep the customer coming back.

  • A wannabe barber doesn’t open a shop just because he found a pair of scissors.
  • A mechanic wouldn’t be successful if he used dish soap instead of fuel injector cleaner.


Launching A Marriage

“God’s got the right girl for you son.” We hear statements like that when we are young. As true as that may be, other things factor in. She might be 12 years old when you meet her. It’s the right girl; it’s just the wrong time to marry her.


Launching A Ministry

A ministry is God’s call on your life. Just because he has called you doesn’t mean it’s time for you go immediately.

David was anointed King many years before he took the throne. You may not want me to say this, but he spent years in preparation. He also spent time in caves, in confusion, in despair, and in running for his life.

But when God was ready, it took place. David never tried to force the issue. It became a thing of beauty.


Launching A Church

The burden for lost souls, and un-churched cities tears at all of our hearts. The reality check is that although the burden is great, planning is still important.

Suppose you move to the new town, on Wednesday, and decide to have the first service in you living room on Sunday. You don’t know anyone, you have no sign, but you have a burden. If no one shows up, you are crushed. You are sure God wanted you to come to the town, why wasn’t there a better response? Was it a premature launch?

I would never attempt to diminish your burden or dampen your spirits. The truth is, that if you went in without some basic things being in place you may not be pleased with the results you see, and you may find yourself confused, discouraged or disheartened.

Some have given up and gone back home feeling ashamed and never wanted to do anything else for God. Others have backslidden because of their disappointment and embarrassment. But it wasn’t God’s faults. It was just a premature launch.

Much can be said about having the guidance of your pastor, and his moral support through the process. His blessing on you makes it easier for other pastors to give you the much need moral support. The prayers and blessings of the mother church is a Godsend and  necessity.

I would advise you to only go, when you have your pastor’s blessing on your launching of the new church. I would wait until he gives the green light. I wouldn’t tell him I was going; I would ask him to tell me, when it was time to go. There’s a big difference.

Oh, and may I be the first to say, “May God bless in your work for God. Bless you for doing it right, and for doing it in God’s time, not yours.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

October 10, 2010 at 1:16 am

There’s Only One God – (A PowerPoint)

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A basic Godhead Bible Study that I put together several years ago using the Wheel of Prophecy and other tracts for reference. I never had an opportunity to use this. I pray some may benefit from this simple study.


Download Here:

There’s Only One God

Written by Martyn Ballestero

October 9, 2010 at 1:21 am

Posted in God Head

The “Somewhere” Church

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In an email today I discover an article by a beloved Missionary friend of mine, Brother Brad Lambeth. He has spent his life laboring untiringly in Brazil and has done an amazing work for God. I was moved by his email and pray you are too.


The “Somewhere” Church
I just received the attached picture of a new Apostolic church… somewhere.  You see, somehow the text was deleted from the picture and I don´t know where this church is at!

The picture mesmerized my imagination!  Where is this church located? What Brazilian state? What is the name of the town?  Who is the pastor?  How many saints attend there?
Look at the picture.  What do you see?  Are you seeing what I see?

I see a lonely building… standing for Jesus somewhere in this vast Brazil.  Notice the empty background. Does that mean the building is in the country side? Probably so, especially when considering the fence on the right side. The sticks show to be discarded sugarcane stalks. Poor… very poor.
Can you “smell” the cheap paint? Yet, the thin coat of fresh paint shows so much love… and maybe a lot of sacrifice!

Notice that there are no electric wires feeding the building.  Does that mean that their lights were cut off because they did not have the money to pay the token light bill, thus having services in the dark? Or, who knows, because of the poverty, they are having (only) afternoon services?  Better yet, perhaps, the pastor chose to install the light box… BY FAITH, waiting for electrical power to reach their village!
The doors are open. The building is empty.  Does that mean they just started outreach and are awaiting the first convert… or does that mean the pastor (WHO IS HE?!?) sent the picture asking for HELP!
Look inside… can you see the homemade pulpit? While small (and seemingly frail), it speaks of Pentecostal authority!  Within a few hours (perhaps RIGHT NOW)… there will be an Apostolic preacher behind it, preaching with PASSION!

What about the mismatching chair on the left hand side, an afterthought? Or surge of faith that says “I am believing God can fill more than the white chairs… let´s go for the stars!”?

WHO IS THIS MAN OF GOD?  I don´t know his name… I wish I did!  Meanwhile, I am compelled to pray for this church “Somewhere”.  Can you join me?  You see, I can´t even ask you for an offering on his behalf… I DON´T KNOW WHO HE IS!  But we can pray!  Is your faith big enough to pray for someone you never have met… and don´t even know his name… do you have sufficient  faith to pray VICTORY on his behalf?

If you have enough faith, please pray… there is a church SOMEWHERE that needs your prayers!

Written by Martyn Ballestero

October 1, 2010 at 11:37 am