The Ballestero Blog

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The Day The Devil Read My Palm

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The Day The Devil Read My Palm

On a cold winter’s evening, in the early 1960’s, I stood in the historic old Walgreens, downtown Chicago on State Street. I was killing time waiting for my parents to get their shopping done. Our Evangelist, Kenneth Phillips and his wife Wanda were with my folks in another store.

Post Card: Chicago Walgreens on State St.

I was the odd duck. I was still single and a teenager. The couples had managed to disappear leaving me to my own devises. We were to meet in an hour and a half for supper. I wandered around for a while looking at the items for sale.

Snow was on the ground. I wore a long trench coat, but no hat. My coat was buttoned to the top and my hands were jammed down into the pockets.

I turned off the main aisle near the back of the store. In front of me was a lady sitting behind a folding card table. Her hands were in her lap. The lady had shoulder length dark hair and wore dark slacks.  She appeared to be in her early thirties.

The handwritten sign taped to the card table said: “Palms Read For $1.00”

Although I knew Christians weren’t supposed to have their palms read, curiosity began to stir within me.

The lady looked harmless enough. The only thing on the table was a deck of playing cards. She smiled and nodded as if to reassure me.

A quick look around the busy old store confirmed that no Pentecostals were in sight to tell on me. My Parents and the Evangelist were nowhere to be seen.

My Father preached against Astrologers, Palm Readers, Spiritism, Séances and following Horoscopes and I knew it. Guilt was warning to turn away. But like a bug to the light bulb, I seemed drawn.

I finally pulled a dollar out of my pocket and laid it on the table. She picked up the deck of cards and said, “Cut it.”

I’d never cut a deck of cards before and I’m sure it showed. It was a black 10 that was turned face up. She looked but said nothing.

She reached out for my hand, and I extended it, palm up. She took it in both of hers and some traced lines across my palm.

When she was done, she dropped my hand and leaned back in her chair and spoke.

“You will marry an old-fashioned girl who will always wear dresses and will never cut her hair.”

A cold that was colder than a winter’s chill went all through me. I could ‘feel’ what I knew I shouldn’t be ‘feeling.’ Hair stood up on my arms.

I turned and ran from down the aisle of Walgreens out into the bitter cold night.

  • How did she know?
  • That wasn’t God!
  • I knew that wasn’t God beyond all doubt.
  • The devil knew about me!
  • The devil helped her read my palm!
  • That woman had a spirit of divination upon her.
  • Even the devil knew what kind of girl I would marry.

In fear I repented to God, and out of fear didn’t tell my parents of my foolish deed.

Years have past now, and I find myself of late, listening to stories of modern-day ‘Prophets’ who tell people things about their lives.

In my young Christian experience, men such as Bro. Verbal Bean and Bro. Joe Duke discerned the sins and called out the sinful in our church in South Bend, Indiana. Their walk with God and their spiritual accuracy brought repentance and revival.

Today, the modern ‘Prophets’ don’t do that anymore, all they seem to prophesy about is Blessings, Healings and Prosperity. Crowds flock to hear them. People will give wonderful offerings to these men. (There is no money to be made in discerning sin.)

I’ve known men who try to discern people’s names or tell them what their phone number or street address is. The onlookers are overwhelmed, thinking, this must be God.

There is NO Bible precedent for that. There is no example of that in the Book. Yet today’s church crowd will drive 100 miles to hear some one get called out and prophesied over. But these same folks won’t drive 2 miles to hear an old-fashioned ‘Word’ preacher. It’s boring!

Has God Changed? Or do we have itching ears? Are we the generation that only wants to hear smooth things preached?

Sure, I believe in the ‘Gifts’ of the Spirit. I just have a problem with those that sound like they need a chair, and a folding card table with a sign.

Yes, we all need healings and blessings. But if the truth was spoken, we need some fearless men of God that aren’t afraid to preach the word today, a whole lot more.

Let God use you in Prophesy if He has given you the ‘Gift.’ Just don’t cheapen your ‘ministry’ and sound like you work part-time at Walgreens.

Make sure it’s the Holy Ghost and NOT the spirit of divination.

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.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

January 9, 2011 at 12:23 am

8 Responses

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  1. Thank you for the timely blogs. So few among us today don’t understand that the demonstration can be supernatural yet not divinely inspired.
    Christ said to the sons of thunder “you not what spirit you are of”. Keep the Word coming forth!

    Gerald Adams

    January 9, 2011 at 12:58 am

    • Thank you friend. I believe in you. God has blessed your ministry with signs following! Love you.


      January 9, 2011 at 1:03 am

  2. Thank you for this blog. I started reading it on New Year’s Day, and I don’t plan to miss a day this year. To be honest, I’ve got alot of sore toes from it, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for every one. Love you, elder!

    Seth Flynt

    January 9, 2011 at 1:23 am

  3. Thank you for the message and that is so true. I believe in the gifts of the spirit. It’s amazing that the devil knows us way to much. I thank God that i know Jesus. Thanks for the blog. God Bless you!

    maria serna

    January 9, 2011 at 11:32 am

  4. Good message there Brother Ballestero. Conviction in that message.

    Helen Hoese

    January 9, 2011 at 5:51 pm

  5. Thank you again Elder, for another great post. And thank you for obeying the Lord and ministering to us this past Friday in Dallas!

    jen lord

    January 9, 2011 at 10:39 pm

  6. Thanks for this writing! Before the preacher preached, he was supposed to make an announcement that the pastor or those in charge of service forgot to do it so he read the note and proceeded to announce. brother Kenneth Phillips and his wonderful organ player wife was the evangelist for the night yet he pastored in Texas and may still pastor. After he announced our wedding night to come, he went into the spirit of prophecy and said something about that we were going to have some long winters in our life. It wasn’t what I so gladly wanted to hear but oh my, we sure have had that prophecy fulfilled several times over.

    Janell and tom Puleo

    January 10, 2011 at 1:48 pm

  7. You are right-on the mark. It is strange, that people who are filled with the Holy Ghost, God’s Spirit, and yet have these magicains come to their church, and subject the dear, open hearted Saints to witchcraft. It appears to me that is the lure of the Spectacular.

    Howard Davis

    January 10, 2011 at 8:32 pm

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