The Ballestero Blog

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The Old Oregon Trail, And The Apostle John

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The Old Oregon Trail, And The Apostle John

No, the Apostle John never travelled the Oregon Trail. Yet, there is a common thread here and a simple truth worth sharing, found in their stories.

Ezra Meeker

Ezra Meeker

In the early 1920’s Ezra Meeker, the world-famous wagon train master, walked into my grandfather’s Oregon City Art Studio. My mother’s father, Turner Hubble Gleason, had been commissioned to paint the portrait of one of the most prominent citizens of the state of Oregon. A copy of his portrait remains in our family to this day.

By now, Mr. Meeker was a very old man. His beard was full and long and his hair white. His steps were still steady. His life had been filled with more adventure than most men could ever dream about. He had seen his life’s dreams come true.

“Before his death in 1928, just a few days shy of his 98th birthday, Ezra Meeker had not only walked the Oregon Trail several times, he’d ridden along it in an automobile and aboard a train, and flown over it in an airplane: he’d come a long way, and for many his story symbolized the opportunities that had been available on the frontier.” – http://www.lib.washington.edu/exhibits/frontier/local/case8.html

He had met with Indians. He had become friends with Indian Chiefs and had even driven his ox team to Washington to meet with President Teddy Roosevelt and several congressmen. The President had even walked out of the White House to see Ezra Meeker’s ox team and to talk of his future plans for him.

As the last Wagon Master to lead a train over the Oregon Trail, Mr. Meeker had been called on to verify the trail for the building of a new federal highway.

Unscrupulous men for years had side-tracked the unsuspecting traveler on the trail with their bogus signs. Signs with arrows proclaiming such things as “Custer’s Last Stand.”

In reality, the side trails took the weary and naïve off the true trail. To their dismay, they found that this was just a trading post or curio shop.

There was much confusion for the unsuspecting traveller. Something had to be done to straighten out the true Oregon Trail.

The President commissioned Ezra Meeker to guide surveyors, engineers and project managers to show them the original trail… The Old Oregon Trail.

Regardless of what the current signs said, Meeker ignored them and fully trusted his memory of the trail. He had spent a lifetime climbing every mountain and crossing every river. He knew the trail. That’s why they had chosen him.

Oregon Trail pioneer Ezra Meeker erected this boulder near Pacific Springs on Wyoming's South Pass in 1906.

Meeker, would say things like:

  • “We crossed the river right here.
  • “We went up the mountain on this side.
  • “Over there is where we made camp.
  • “Right here is the trail, ignore what that sign over there says.”

He then would remark the trail with his own signs that said. “Old Oregon Trail”

Because of Ezra Meeker’s life experience with the trail, the United States government trusted only him to lay the trail out right.

When the final stake was driven, they began construction of the famous east-west highway. Today, they call it, U.S. Highway 30. It remains as true as possible to the original trail.

__________________________________________________

 

The Apostle John

Mr. John Phillips in his commentary on the Gospel of John, starts his preface with something similar to this…

Matthew, Mark, and Luke were all dead. Peter, the Prince of Apostles had died too.  John was the first, and now the last Apostle. He alone of all the Apostles remained alive.

He was approximately 90 years old. Banished on the Island of Patmos, he began to write to his children in the Lord. He wrote as if he was the last defender of the New Testament doctrine.

Already the church was beginning to drift. They were deviating from the old paths in doctrine and in separation from the world, among other things. Grievous wolves had entered the flock.

His Epistles were the last known attempt to set the record straight. He had traveled the Trail of Truth from the very start. He wasn’t about to let anyone pervert this glorious message.

He drove down verbal markers and stakes, fearlessly proclaiming the message. It was the message that Jesus had given to the Disciples. The only message the Apostles ever preached.

John was prepared to die. But before dying, he was making sure that generations to come would know the Truth. As he made each point and drove it home, he would say: “This is…” He left no room for error.

 “This Is Our Message”

  • He Began His Gospel and Epistles Saying, This Is The Most Important Revelation.
  • That There Is Only One God. His name Is Jesus!

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:2 The same was in the beginning with God.

He then went on to proclaim in his epistles to the churches, the true Message.

1.) “This is the Promise.”

1John 2:25 And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.

2.) “This is the Message.”

1John 3:11 For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.

3.) “This is His Commandment.”

1John 3:23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.

4.) “This is the spirit of the Antichrist.”

1John 4:3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

5.) “This is the Love of God.”

1John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

6.) “This is the Victory.”

1John 5:4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

7.) “This is He.”

1John 5:6 This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.

8.) “This is the Witness of God.”

1John 5:9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son.

9.) “This is the Record.”

1John 5:11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

8.) “This is the Confidence.”

1John 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:

9.) “This is the True God.”

1John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.

10.) “This is Love.”

2John 6 And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.

11.) “This is a Deceiver and an Antichrist.”

2John 7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

_____________________________________

If you ever plan to drive to the state of Oregon and arrive there safely, one of the men you can thank is Ezra Meeker. He did everything he could to make sure that generations to come would follow the “Old Oregon Trail.”

If you ever plan to go to heaven and see Him who is God manifested in the flesh, one of the men you can thank, is the Apostle John. He did everything he could to keep the New Testament Church following “The Apostolic Message.”

Obey Acts 2:38

Written by Martyn Ballestero

November 7, 2011 at 3:22 pm

6 Responses

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  1. This is…tremendous. Thank you for a wonderful blog, helping us to connect past, present, and future. I enjoyed the ministry of your dad, as well as yours on several occasions. Thanks for reminding us once again of the importantance of the old paths.

    Barry Coomer

    November 7, 2011 at 3:47 pm

  2. Cut…paste…preach!

    Kenneth bow

    November 7, 2011 at 3:49 pm

  3. I remind myself it was the old paths that made the Apostolic Church great, why are so many wanting to change now? Caught up in more carnality than spirituality?

    Bro Mac

    November 7, 2011 at 4:25 pm

  4. Thank God It is still marked clearly for all that seek it!

    (Jer 6:16 KJV) Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls…..

    Jeremiah admonished the people to remember the old traditions of faith and obedience. By returning to those ancient paths and walking in them they could find rest, but sadly, as so many of this generation do, they said no!

    …..But they said, We will not walk therein.

    DLM

    November 8, 2011 at 1:49 am

  5. I for one still love the old apostolic way, and have purposed in myself to not stray. Thank you Bro. Ballestero

    J.J. Oropeza

    November 8, 2011 at 10:47 am


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